ESPN’s Xbox Overhaul Could Be Cooler Than Cable

By  |  Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm

ESPN’s app for the Xbox 360 is about to get a lot better, just in time for college football.

The app, which relaunches on August 25 according to Gizmodo, will let users watch two games at once in 720p, with the ability to pause, rewind and replay each game independently. The second viewing window will also be able to show scores from around the league and replays from the game you’re already watching.

In addition to side-by-side view, the app will have a mini-guide on bottom of the screen with highlights, previously watched games and live updates on other games in progress. Kinect voice commands will be supported as well.

It sounds like a more practical approach to watching sports than the existing ESPN app, whose extra features include voting on favorite teams and milling around with other Xbox Live avatars. I assume it’ll be free, like the current app, to anyone with an Xbox Live Gold account and an Internet service provider that offers ESPN3.

I’m hoping this is the start of something greater. During E3, Microsoft talked about its plans to turn the Xbox into a home for live television, but it hasn’t announced any new content partners besides UFC. Live thumbnails, side-by-side playback and Kinect support, along with the “NuAds” that Microsoft is working on, could help show other networks what’s possible with Internet TV.

But in the short term, I’m just excited to root for Michigan and against Ohio State in separate games at the same time.



3 Comments For This Post

  1. David Says:

    I wouldn't assume it will be free. Sky have an integration with XBox in the UK which is "free" to Sky subscribers you have to enter your Sky subscription number. Everyone else only has access to Sky News.

  2. Jared Newman Says:

    Like I said, free to people whose Internet service providers carry ESPN3. The ESPN Xbox app is essentially ESPN3 with some extra features on top.

  3. Dave Says:

    It will probably only be free to those who have free ESPN3 such as Fios customers.