OneGuide for Xbox One means you might want a Kinect after all

Xbox One is becoming the console we were promised

It's been just over a year since Microsoft pulled back the curtain and showed the next phase of the Xbox vision but, even with the Xbox One now well out of the door, OneGuide is still a US-only feature.

This month, all of that changes. OneGuide will come to the UK via a major June update, bringing the Xbox One and TV together in harmony as was promised all those many months ago. And having seen it in action ourselves last week, we're extremely pleased that the wait is almost up.

OneGuide combines your TV and set top box. So for the magic to happen, you'll need to run your set top box through the console via the HDMI passthrough.

Right now, Microsoft is telling us that most boxes are compatible but the June update will let you view a list of usable boxes on your console.

"We've been testing new boxes constantly through it and bringing in new partners," said Xbox Live UK product manager Pav Bhardwaj.

"So at any time you can bring up the set top box menu and actually check which boxes are available, but the majority are available on there."

With that all done, you'll be able speak the commands from anywhere in the Xbox One UI – even if you're in a game. A simple "Xbox, go to TV" will throw you straight into television mode, or, if you know exactly where you want to go, an "Xbox, go to BBC One" will take you right to the channel you desire.

Unfortunately it won't recognise specific show names, so you won't be able to navigate by yelling "Xbox, go to Cash in the Attic" at Kinect, however Microsoft hinted that this could be introduced down the line.

Aside from a couple of attempts that the console misunderstood, the Xbox One generally went to the right place on command. Of course, these new vocal tools join existing commands such as "volume up", so you'll be relying less on the controller and more on Kinect.

Xbox One

"Xbox, go to OneGuide" will take you to a pretty straightforward EPG, containing a list of all the available channels and upcoming programmes.

Don't fancy anything that's on right now? You've also got an apps channels, built up with the content of Microsoft's partners such as Amazon, Twitch and TED. Over time, you'll be able to pull all your favourite apps and channels in one place to create your own unique EPG just for yourself.

Not only does this give Kinect a reason to live, it also gives Smartglass a much-needed galvanisation. Everything on screen will be replicated on the device in your hands which makes browsing through channels much easier than it is with the controller.

Unfortunately for all your Australia folks, you won't be getting OneGuide just yet.

A Microsoft spokesperson told TechRadar, "After the system update in June, OneGuide is available in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. We are committed to bringing premium OneGuide experiences to all of the markets where Xbox One is available."

Hopefully that means it's not too far off.

Xbox One

Ready for Brazil

There's a pretty sizable sporting event taking place in Brazil in a few weeks time - you might have heard of it - and Microsoft is launching a whole dedicated service to coincide.

Soho Productions is unleashing Brazil Now, a hub that's aimed at keeping you in the loop with all of the World Cup updates pulling together a bunch of content, Twitter feeds, player information pages.

If you're on a page about a player, you'll see tweets related to them specifically. There's also a nifty notification system, so you'll get kickoff alerts, goal alerts and full time scores.

And you can have the app running in Snap Mode at any time, meaning you can keep one eye on the action at all times without being thrown out of whatever it is you're doing.

Microsoft will be aggregating all of its World Cup coverage into one place named Destination Brazil, which will include the Brazil Now app and some original Xbox video content, including Every Street United, an original series for Xbox that'll kick off in June.

And video partner Copa 90 will also be producing content directly from Brazil throughout the World Cup season.

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