Continuing their efforts to fuse your gaming console and cable box into one singular entity, Microsoft is committed to re-branding the Xbox as the center of your living room entertainment. Furthering that agenda is the all-new app featuring content from The CW, home to such popular shows as Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and more recently, Arrow.
According the Major Nelson’s blog, The CW app “is unique in that it will offer next-day episodes free with your Xbox LIVE Gold subscription, no cable subscription or membership required.” Equally as interesting is the fact that the app will be compatible with the Xbox Smartglass second-screen technology, offering additionaly behind-the-scenes content and more for anyone who’s downloaded Smartglass onto a compatible smartphone or tablet. Singling out The Vampire Diaries in particular, Major Nelson explained that second-screen features include a real-time map that updates as the characters move about the town, offering historical information about particular landmarks and such.
Additionally, anyone who downloads The CW app will also be eligible for a Facebook contest and the chance to win a Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries-themed Xbox 360 console.
I think that the real news here is that this app is accessible without a cable or satellite provider. One of the biggest complaints I have of many of the 360’s “services” is that they all require an extra subscription on top of the monthly fee I already pay for Xbox Live Gold. Things like Netflix and Hulu Plus are a bit easier to understand, but if there’s going to be an ESPN app, I shouldn’t need a qualifying cable provider to have access to Monday Night Football. Hopefully, their approach to The CW app is a sign of things to come for the next-gen Xbox. It’s hard enough trying to justify the monthly fee of Xbox Live Gold when Sony has built an impressive infrastructure and offers comparable apps for free on the PSN, especially looking ahead to the PS4, so charging an additional fee to run most of these apps leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Do any of you plan of downloading The CW app on Xbox? Which shows would you most like to see take advantage of SmartGlass integration? Let us know in the comments below.