Xbox gets a bevy of new apps, HBO Go, ShowTime, more

Microsoft releases 45 new entertainment apps for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It also adds in an optimized-for-TV Twitter feature.

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What the Twitter integration feature looks like on Xbox. Microsoft

It's been rumored for years, but now it's official: Both Xbox 360 and Xbox One will now host HBO Go.

Microsoft made the announcement Wednesday saying that the two gaming consoles combined are getting 45 new entertainment apps -- and some of them are pretty highfalutin, such as ShowTime Anytime, Comedy Central, Major League Gaming, and more.

While Xbox 360 already has MLG and HBO Go, this will be the first time that Xbox One gets those apps. Besides the above-mentioned apps, the consoles are also getting apps like Vine, iHeartRadio, MTV, NHL, Starz Play, USA Now, various Disney apps, and many more.

Bringing in these dozens of new apps, Microsoft is increasing Xbox's catalog by 25 percent to more than 225 apps worldwide. The company said its goal is to give users a way to both play video games and watch TV shows and movies on its consoles.

"Xbox fans are spending more time than ever on the console, spending more than five hours a day on Xbox One," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's corporate vice president for devices and studios, said in a statement.

Xbox's top competition, PlayStation, also recently got hooked up with the HBO Go app. The PlayStation 3 got the app in March, but it's unclear when it will come to PlayStation 4. Sony has confirmed, however, that PS4 will be getting HBO Go.

Microsoft also announced Wednesday that it's adding another new feature to Xbox -- optimized-for-TV Twitter integration. What this means is that the social network will appear on users' television screens, showing real-time tweets that relate to the programs people are watching. Microsoft hopes this will help users follow and be a part of trending Twitter conversations.

"Today as we announce new commitments from dozens of our partners, including deep integration with experiences like Twitter and Vine, we hit an important milestone in our journey to deliver unique experiences on Xbox," Mehdi said. "We're thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences like we're doing with Twitter on Xbox One."

Most of Xbox's new apps are scheduled to launch by the end of this year's holiday season. While some of the apps will only be available in the US, others will be accessible in various countries worldwide.

 

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