Microsoft Reveals Xbox One Launch-Day Video Apps
Microsoft has touted the Xbox One as a comprehensive, all-in-one media center rather than a dedicated gaming machine. An entertainment center needs streaming video apps, and Microsoft has finally revealed which ones you'll be able to access when the system first launches Nov. 22.
It's important to note that the available apps will vary significantly depending on your country of residence. For this article, Tom's Guide will focus on the selection of apps in the United States. Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom will have their own unique selections.
The big three streaming video services — Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix — will all be available on day one. These services stream movies and TV shows. Amazon Instant Video provides options for both subscription and a la carteviewing, while you'll need a Hulu Plus or Netflix subscription to access content through those services.
Fans of lesser-known streaming video services can check out Crackle, Redbox Instant by Verizon, Target Ticket and Vudu.
Crackle offers a rotating selection of popular movies and TV shows for free, provided you're willing to sit through some commercials. Redbox Instant offers unlimited streaming movies to subscribers, and pay-as-you-go films for non-subscribers.
Target Ticket lets you either download or stream a variety of popular movies and TV shows. Vudu rents out individual movies, either by themselves or as part of discounted bundles.
TV channels are also presented and accounted for. Apps for CWTV, ESPN, FOX NOW and FX NOW will be available day one, and an HBO Go app will follow in the not-too-distant future (for now, Microsoft just says that it's "coming soon").
Those who prefer to get their entertainment from Internet channels will be well-served by Machinima, MUZU TV, TED and Twitch.
Machinima provides videos all about video games and gamer culture. MUZU TV streams music videos. TED is an educational channel where distinguished lecturers break down their findings for a general audience. Twitch is one of the premier services for streaming video-game playthroughs and eSports.
Sports fans have a few options at their disposal, too. The NFL on Xbox One is exactly what it sounds like: It provides football games and commentary. Spanish-speaking fans can check out their favorite teams on Univision Deportes.
Finally, cable subscribers on Verizon FiOS will be able to access their programming right from an Xbox One through the Verizon FiOS TV app. Other cable networks will be available further down the line.
Microsoft will also provide its own content services in every country: Xbox Fitness, Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Internet Explorer, Skype, SkyDrive and Upload. Xbox Fitness lets users stream workout videos and monitor their own progress. It's not yet clear how Upload will differ from SkyDrive.
For what it's worth, the PS4 will offer many of the same apps right out of the gate, but the selection varies slightly between the two consoles.
For prospective Xbox One buyers outside of the U.S., check out the Xbox One page for more information about what you'll be able to access. Beyond that, if you don't see your favorite app, keep your eyes peeled; Microsoft will add more in the coming months.