Xbox Smartglass was – and indeed still remains – one of the most compelling second screen experiences available for living room entertainment systems. Though the second screen has faded as a trend to a certain extent, its potent potential nonetheless remains for brands and consumers as a way to maintain interest and engagement in the platform. Now, to ensure that users stay tuned into second screen experiences, Xbox announced that the Smartglass app will be able to act as a remote for the Xbox One. One of the key functions of the Xbox One is its OneGuide, which allows users to pick shows and moves, and transfer back and forth between games and apps within the console itself. The Smartglass app now seamlessly interfaces with the OneGuide, meaning that smartphones and other devices are now almost a part of the Xbox system itself, meaning less user distraction and increased engagement on the platform.
The paid and earned lines are increasingly blurring. While media owners disclose paid content whether it be native ads or branded content, Microsoft’s YouTube promotion is less transparent. The tech company is paying $3 CPM for YouTube content creators to mention the Xbox One and incorporate game footage with a maximum payout of $3,750 for 1.25 million views. An alternative campaign might be creating a UGC contest around gameplay footage which would achieve a similar outcome.
Microsoft is launching its first XBox One system update today, less than a month after the console’s release on November 22. This patch comes in response to a number of glitches found early on, and is said to be the first in a long series of updates set to come early in 2014. This update also updates the exciting TV feature of the One, which should become a progressively larger part of the XBox ecosystem over time. This update showcases the console’s automatic update process, and devices that are on standby will likely get the patch without owners intervening at all. All system owners not on standby today will be required to install the update after the grace period ends on Thursday, December 12.
If you take a look at some of the details on Xbox One, you’ll notice that a lot of it revolves around content, not gaming. From instantly toggling between programs like IE to Skype to incorporating interactive elements overlayed on live TV, Xbox is still positioning themselves at the center of home entertainment. What’s more is that Microsoft will even be producing their own TV content, beginning with Speilberg’s Halo series in a trend of content providers–think Netflix, Hulu, YouTube–becoming content creators. And yet, despite this programming push, the estimated $400 price tag will be hard to justify for someone not so into gaming.