The truth about Xbox 360 & Windows 8 revealed

Have you tried the Windows 8 Consumer Preview yet? I haven't had the time, but intend to get it installed today. Early reports are sounding fairly positive.

But let's fling our minds back to last July. Remember all the rumors about Windows 8 offering Xbox Live gaming emulation? (See Xbox emulation on Windows 8? Don't bet on it for a skeptical reminder.) Whatever happened with that?

Well the truth seems to be somewhere between what the rumors said and what the skeptics (I include myself in that category) expected. The folks at Engadget have done a pretty thorough walk-through of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, including a section on Xbox integration.

What it looks like to me is a combination of the Xbox Live features of Windows Phone 7 and a remote control system for the Xbox 360. You'll be able to see what your friends are up to, customize your avatar and check your achievements, but not actually play games. But you will be able to remotely launch games on your Xbox 360. I'm not sure how practical that is, but as Engadget points out, you can also launch and control media apps such as Netflix. Check it out:

Just one more step in Microsoft's campaign to turn your Xbox 360 into the hub of your home entertainment center, I guess.No need to reach for that unwieldy controller; just use your Windows 8 tablet.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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