Whether you’re a gamer or not, if you have the slightest interest in pop culture happenings then you probably know that Microsoft announced its next-gen console, the Xbox One, earlier this week. As someone who has already decided to throw all of my console eggs into Microsoft’s basket, I was a little disappointed that my two primary questions: 1) “When can I get it?” and 2) “For how much?” weren’t answered. Nevertheless, the Interwebs are also filled with grumblings from undecided consumers who thought Microsoft’s big reveal focused too much on the other entertainment features of the One as opposed to the gaming experience (see this amusingly edited video of the announcement as an example of their frustration). Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less about using my Xbox to check fantasy football stats and/or being able to power the console on with my voice as opposed to the physically intensive act of pushing a button on my controller. That said, I would offer that those ready to commit to Sony’s PS4 at least give Microsoft a few weeks to roll out more details of the One’s games at E3. If we come out of that still talking about our ability to seamlessly switch between The Price is Right and a Skype call then we may have something to complain about.
If the above paragraph whetted your appetite for more console talk from a novice gamer then you’re in luck. This week’s Top 5 includes more on Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal, the final trailer for Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III interviews with Bradley Cooper and more, the U.S trailer and a couple of new posters for Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End, and Before Midnight interviews with Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy. A brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.
House of Cards isn’t Netflix’s first original series, but it’s the most important to the streaming service’s future. Arrested Development has the benefit of a built-in audience, but House of Cards is built from the ground-up (aside from being a remake of the British series), and Netflix is hoping that the clout of executive producer David Fincher and star Kevin Spacey will help draw in viewers. Judging by the trailers, the show looks to have a highly entertaining and pitch-black take on modern American politics. All 13 episodes are now available online, and if I weren’t working, I’d be marathoning them right now.
Netflix is hoping it can lure in new members by offering the series premiere for free on its website. Furthermore, all Xbox users can watch the show this weekend provided they’re already Netflix members. No Gold Xbox Live membership is required. Hit the jump to check out the trailer for House of Cards.
Ahead of the announced April 1st release of HBO Go for XBOX Live members and cable subscribers, the cable TV app goes live today with some company. Major Nelson also revealed that Xfinity TV and MLB TV will be coming along for the ride. HBO’s entire show and film catalog is now available on the XBOX 360 for Live and HBO subscribers, so if you need to catch up on Game of Thrones before the second season premiere this Sunday or just watch some old episodes of Entourage of Curb Your Enthusiasm, then the world is your oyster. Xfinity also has a decent size collection of TV series and movies for your pleasure, and while MLB TV is probably cool for sports fans, that’s not really our bag here. Anyway, check out the full press release after the jump and get that XBOX 360 updated!
[Note from Matt: Xfinity subscribers won't have access to HBO GO. Comcast customer service can't do anything to change this, so if you want HBO GO, tell corporate: 215-286-1700 or e-mail email@example.com]
Beginning tomorrow (a.k.a. Friday, April 29th), Hulu Plus subscribers will be able to stream the service’s content via XBox Live. Functioning similarly to Netflix’s downloadable XBox 360 app, Hulu Plus will also be compatible with the console’s Kinect motion sensor so that users can control video playback with the appendage of their choice. Per Variety, Hulu Plus’ $8/month price point will remain intact and the launch will simply allow current and future subscribers the convenience of partaking in the service through their 360 console.
In order to promote the launch, Hulu is currently offering new users a free week of their subscription service through May 6th. While I enjoy Hulu’s free service, I’ve yet to completely buy into Plus. Call me a skeptic, but I’m just not sold on the extra content being worth $8/month (although the 360 streaming is a nice start). What are your thoughts? Are you among the service’s near one million paying customers? If so, do your best to sell me on its merits in the comments section.