Sources suggest that Microsoft is finally bringing a browser to the Xbox 360. Possible E3 reveal
Kinect and IE will combine to bring a full browsing experience to the Xbox 360, perhaps this year
Woah, it seems like Microsoft is answering my requests one-by-one. First, YouTube. Second, on-console browsing. An exclusive report from The Verge says Microsoft is testing the functionality, and there could be a reveal at 2012’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.
The browser will be based off Internet Explorer 9 – it’s a modified version, the report says, – and will expand on the functionality of Bing search which is already available on the console. Bing currently allows owners to search the marketplace. Whether IE will replace Bing or work alongside it isn’t clear, but it would be cool to just type in a search query and browse away.
Though the typing will be done from Kinect, not a controller, with heavy use of gesture and voice control. For once, Internet Explorer integration sounds like a good fit for Kinect. Combined with the Metro interface – which we’ve seen in Windows 8 – Microsoft is tying all of its products together. With 10 million Kinects sold, I bet people will buy the motion sensing peripheral to use IE.
The only limitation is that it’s going to be difficult to switch out of games and search when you’re stuck, unless Microsoft has something hidden. Perhaps that’s a hardware limitation, though. Going to the marketplace from in-game exits the game.
The Verge’s sources also say Kinect isn’t compulsory, but IE for Xbox is being developed with the technology in mind. So it looks like controllers can be used, though judging by the experience from the PlayStation 3’s browser I wouldn’t recommend it.
On a launch date, there’s no word. E3 2012 is under a month away – it runs from June 5-7 – so there’s not much time to wait.
Windows 8 integration?
I always thought this would be more suitable to a tablet: play a game, search on the Internet while playing said game. If there’s some way to control IE on a tablet, that would be especially awesome. That sounds like a difficult technical feat to accomplish though.
The 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo runs from June 5-7, 2012, in LA.
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