On top of debuting one rumored product – SmartGlass – the company also dropped news of yet another pretty major service: Microsoft’s rumored "Woodstock" music streaming service is real, and it’s called Xbox Music. Announced by Yusuf Mehdi at the E3 stage, Xbox Music is a service that will be available not just on the console, but on Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices as well. Without delving into too many details, Microsoft did share that the service will offer 30 million tracks to boot. The Smart DJ service that is available on the current Zune service will also live on within Xbox Music. Again, not much details were revealed during the demo – or teaser, rather – or even now after the show, but all that could be seen is a Metro-styled music service that looks rather similar to the Zune.
Rebranding the service and relaunching it enveloped under the Xbox brand with improvements seems to be a pretty good move. The consumers who have even heard of the Zune to begin with don’t care about it, and most tech bloggers and pundits have pronounced the brand and service dead.
Hopefully Microsoft will have more to share on this service throughout the coming months. Given the rise of music streaming services as of late such as Spotify and Rdio – albeit with shaky business models – I think that Microsoft intends for this service to play a pretty big role throughout all of its devices, so I’m pretty excited about it.
There’s something else that I wish to touch on in this post. When the Wii came out, I recall plenty of hype surrounding fitness games, with many people touting the console as the future of home fitness. The hype – along with the Wii itself – did die out soon after though. Now, the baton of hype seems to be passed to the Kinect and Xbox; and for good reason, if the cool preview of the Nike+ Kinect game is to be believed.
Nike’s Vice President Stefan Olander took the stage and stated that the Nike+ Kinect Training "game" will work as a personal trainer, benchmarking users of the game and developing a personalized workout to improve their statistics, just as Nike’s real personal trainers do at their facilities with professional athletes. Until now, Nike apps on gadgets were exclusively on Apple products.
It is set to hit the shelves in time for the 2012 holiday season for an unknown price.
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