Microsoft unveils Windows Phone app to control Xbox 360 consoles [video]

By Tom Warren, on 5th Oct 11 5:04 pm with 52 Comments

Microsoft unveiled a brand new Windows Phone application for Xbox owners on Wednesday.

The application will allow Windows Phone users to control their Xbox console from their phone. The app will be made available for free to Windows Phone users and will let owners find and control content from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Xbox 360.

  • Finding content - Xbox companion provides access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace of games, movies, music and TV shows.
  • Learn more about your content – The Xbox companion app will provide information and related details about specific content on the Xbox 360. If an Xbox owner is listening to a song then Windows Phone users can simply bring up information on the song name, artist and albums etc.
  • Control and play - The Xbox companion app includes a controller mode that allows Windows Phone users to navigate the Xbox dashboard or control video and music playback.

Microsoft’s companion app is part of a number of new integrated experiences between Windows Phone 7.5 and the new Xbox dashboard. The software giant claims the control mode for Windows Phone is “virtually instantaneous,” allowing users to use their phone as a TV remote. ”You probably want to know more and find out when the Xbox Companion app will become available,” wrote Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph in a blog post on Wednesday. “Rest assured that it’s coming soon and that when it gets here, it’ll be a free download for Windows Phone customers.”

Windows Phone Xbox companion app

  • Anonymous

    I have been waiting for this for a while. 

  • http://twitter.com/dizzydj Jacob Geiser

    This. Is. Awesome.

    Why is Apple getting all the Press attention?! Microsoft’s announcements today should be BIGGER than a whimpy iPhone 4S announcement.

    >.<

    • Anonymous

      What are you talking about?  The iPhone 4S is revolutionary!  Didn’t you see that the camera is now 8 megapixels?

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      It sends post cards too.  Don’t forget about that!

    • Anonymous

      That feature was so magical that it vanished from my memory.  Thanks for the reminder though.

    • MS Fan

      That’s awesome. I haven’t to send a card to my grandma by myself. 

    • Aaron

      Don’t forget that all of your previous iPhone 4 cases work with the new 4S, woohoo

    • Anonymous

      In all fairness, I know we love to laugh at apple around here, but the voice activation is actually really cool. much better than the implementation in mango.

      Other than that Mango wins in all areas for me.

    • http://twitter.com/LachlanCMcLeod Lachlan C McLeod

      you mean the number 1 selling phone in the world has just barely beat an OS that has 3 percent of the entire market in its voice control..  LOL.. except WP7 had it for a year now when it first came out..

    • Guest

      If it works like the demo, I’d have to agree. It’s beyond anything I’ve seen anywhere.

    • Dotlex

      Agree. And even if the iPhone 4s is not what should be…. is better than any WP7+ device. 

      And the Nexus Prime? …..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

      Are you being sarcastic, too, or did you think that was serious?

    • Dotlex

      Sarcastic or not, revolutionary or not, its true. Im waiting the Nexus Prime and the Nokia Ace and see the end of this crazy year.

    • Anonymous

      I guess you are not a native English speaker, but that is okay.  I was being sarcastic because somehow I am not impressed by a slightly upgraded iPhone 4 after 1 and a half years of development and hype.  

      As for the Nexus Prime, I am sure it will be some pretty awesome hardware.  I hope Nokia brings something like that to Windows Phone.  Even the blogosphere is admitting that the Mango update makes Windows Phone a great OS, but we are still lacking in hardware.  Thank god WP runs so smoothly on its current hardware unlike Android.

    • J A

      I clicked ‘Like’ when I actually wanted to click ‘Reply’. How does an 8 megapixel camera make a Apple’s toy revolutionary? The HTC Titan has the same thing, Fujitsu’s WP device has a 12 megapixel camera. I’m sure you do not want me to continue listing WP devices with better camera capabilities.

    • Anonymous

      there is a language called sarcasm, and people who can’t speak it aggravate those who can.

    • Anonymous

      Since we agree anyways, I wont be hard on your for missing my sarcasm.

    • Major Plonquer

      I agree.  I mean Apple were using sarcasm when they didn’t announce the iPhone 5 they’d been secretly announcing for months.  Didn’t they?  They certainly made utter mugs of many people in the press.  I thouht it was funny.

    • Guest

      The sad thing is they’ll sell more in the first week than all WP7 units ever.

    • Anonymous

      I hear ya. That’s why I get my tech news from sites like Winrumors, Engadget, etc. I really don’t think a lot of the news networks (like CNN, etc.) understand technology enough to report it correctly. They’re too occupied with Apple’s old/skewed statistics.

      Thanks to them, people probably think Mango took the voice recognition idea from iOS Siri even though Windows Mobile has been doing this for years!

    • Anonymous

      While I do read Engadget, I think they have a pretty clear bias in favor of Apple.  If you saw their site yesterday you would notice the front page taken up by 20+ articles on the iPhone announcement.  About one article per slide shown in Tim Cook’s presentation.  Not sure how many articles they wrote up for week long BUILD conference, but I doubt it was that many.  Still though, at least they did a big write up on their Mango review.

    • Anonymous

      I think engadget had 3 articles on Build..  but yeah, they’re apple fanboys big time

    • Dotlex

      You are right. Im from Sout America. My english is veeeery bad, please forgive me.
      I thought thats was a serious, I did not understand the sarcasm. 

    • Aaron

      This is why I don’t read Engadget and start following ThisIsMyNext.

    • http://about.me/fpira Francesco Pira

      you’re right! it’s a really useful feature. windows phone it’s really powerful!

    • MakeSomeSense

      For all who replied and like the comments below: awesome are WP7 Phones that already sold what … 10 million units, 5 million units, no we don’t know the data because in the words of Steve Ballmer “WP7 market share went from small to very small” in over ONE YEAR (really a commercial success!!!) …. Oh, and it’s revolutionary … its first update took what … JUST 5 months to reach all the devices available … not to mention the ones in which this update almost deleted user’s data and freeze the hardware. That’s really a success people! Microsoft style indeed. Are you really serious? In a month iPhone 4S will have sold probably more than all the WP7 devices sold until now. Get real … better yet … get a life!  

  • Anonymous

    All we need now is Xbox for our car, then we’ll have Xbox everywhere

    • Anonymous

      And a lot more vehicular manslaughter :)

  • Anonymous

    AWESOME!!! Next level: Xbox 360 games on Windows Phone. :D

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind if integration that we have been looking for from Microsoft. Here is to hoping that they have this level of integration when they finally release Media Center for Window 8.

    • Anonymous

      Apple can only drool about this level of integration!

  • Anonymous

    long overdue but excited none the less : )

  • Aby
  • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

    I still like the idea of my phone being a companion/tool for a XBOX game.  Say it’s a device that shows stats, gives tips or maybe shows my weapons inventory.  Just throwing ideas out there but it really seems like anything is possible.  Can’t wait for this to hit the app store!

  • Impartial

    3 screens and a cloud – MS take ALL MY MONEY NOW!

    • Anonymous

      I appreciate your enthusiasm, but MS isn’t Apple.  They will never take ALL of your money.

    • Impartial

      I just watched the 2019 VISION video again and my god they are getting close to it:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2PMbvVGS-o&feature=related

      UIs, hands free interaction, surface2, xbox… Who would think that the giant will actually drive the tech industry into the new era. Time to sell Apple and buy M$$$$

    • Guest

      Yeah. I hope Microsoft patented hands free interaction so that Apple won’t copy them again. And yes. I would never sell them any license for that.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Nice. Preinstall this on the Titan in stores and use it for a demo, add in some of that Kinect integration shown preciously and WP7 should get a lot more peoples attention.

  • Soundtweaker

    I hope it will control windows media center on the Xbox also and not just the dashboard.

  • Anonymous

    For the Xbox/Windows Phone teams consideration: I think “Xbox Fuse” would be a better name for the app (you would be “fusing” the Xbox phone experience with the Xbox console experience).
    Also “Fuse” is more marketable than “Xbox Companion

    • adam

      that name is so sexy

    • Anonymous

      Haha… “Xbox Fuse” is something you could market… “Xbox Comapnion” is not. You have an Xbox experience on your phone and you have an Xbox experience on your console and this app is fusing those two experiences together. Xbox Fuse is even a brand that could be used as an AirPlay Competitor. MS Hardware (Mouse and Keyboard guys) could even create an MS equivalent to the AirPort Express (AirPort Express amongst other things allows you to turn any speaker with an auxillary input into an AirPlay device).

  • mike

    Anyone else notice the new UI coming in spring 2012?  In the full length video http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/05/soon-xbox-companion-will-let-you-control-your-console-from-wind/ found there look at the 7 second mark

  • adam

    i want to be able to flick pinned tabs to x-box/win 8 devices- i submitted the request http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/2297049-cloud-flick

  • http://twitter.com/miaochklara1 miaochklara

    Wp7 has got so very low specs, its not for meeeeee

    • Anonymous

      it’s an efficient OS, so whereas android barrely works with dual core chips. wp7 blost past it with a more power efficient single core :) join the efficiency revolution

    • https://profiles.google.com/christopher.gull/ CG

      WP7 are for those who appreciate the efficiency of the software, that the hardware specs need not be lightning fast for the tasks to execute lightning fast. I pay for a good experience, not for a bad experience with mindblowing specs.

    • Guest

      FO troll.

  • Anonymous

    Please add voice control thru phone. Hate the idea of having to address the xbox
    as xbox. want to be able to just hit a button and say “record show” or “watch
    porn”.

  • Anonymous

    Cant wait for this!

  • Anonymous

    about time!