With better support for multi-tab browsing, multitasking and more web standards, Microsoft seems to be bringing the browser wars to the living room with the Xbox One.
Microsoft fully detailed Internet Explorer on Xbox One in a blog post on Xbox Wire today. Starting with the Xbox One’s launch next week, users can expect to browse their favorite websites on the Xbox One just as easily as they could on a tablet, smartphone or laptop.
For starters, the company says that it has enhanced web standards compatibility by “200%,” indicating that users should find that Internet Explorer on Xbox One breaks far less websites than its Xbox 360 counterpart. The company has also added a few features that users of Internet Explorer 11 on Windows will be familiar with. That includes multiple tabs, favorites syncing and the ability to disable advertisement tracking.
The new Internet Explorer on Xbox won’t limit users to interacting with just a controller either. Microsoft says it’s added a series of voice commands for Kinect 2 users. Commands include “Xbox, Browse to…” for having the device automatically go to a website that is already in the user’s favorites. The command also works for websites a user visits frequently. Users can also tell Internet Explorer which pages to open by saying, “Xbox, click on…” Microsoft has also added gesture commands so that users can actually scroll, click and zoom in on webpages with just their hands.
Microsoft has also added more options for users who would like to browse with Internet Explorer but prefer typing on a tablet or a smartphone nearby. Users who install the Xbox SmartGlass app will be able to transfer pages to the Xbox One effortlessly. Gamers can also use their smartphone or tablet as a keyboard for Internet Explorer on Xbox One.
Internet Explorer for Xbox One will launch with the console on November 22nd. It is GottaBeMobile’s understanding that entertainment apps on the Xbox One require an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription at a cost of $9.99 a month or $59.99 a year. However, today’s press release didn’t detail if Internet Explorer is also behind this pay wall as well.
Pre-orders for the Xbox One are completely sold out, however users who show up at their preferred retailer early on launch day could still get a console. Microsoft has confirmed that some stores will have extra units on-hand for those that didn’t pre-order. The Xbox One costs $499.