If you’re in Europe, you don’t need games on your Xbox One because you can use the console to watch The Price is Right live … if you have that show where you live.
Microsoft revealed a new add-on peripheral for the Xbox One today that enables the console to tune into over-the-air HD television. The device plugs into one of the system’s USB ports, and it can pick up airwaves across multiple standards. Using this tuner, Xbox One owners can surf through channels using the system’s OneGuide channel browser. Viewers can even use the Xbox One (and its built-in hard drive) to pause live TV. So far, Microsoft has only revealed plans to release this TV tuner in Europe for $40.
Xbox One owners who use the TV peripheral will also have the option to change the channel with their voice if they also have the Kinect camera.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft about the possibility of the tuner making it to other territories, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
One of the Xbox One’s marquee features is its capability to patch in an HDMI signal from a cable or satellite television box. This enables gamers to quickly jump back and forth from Xbox software to live television. The Xbox One’s Kinect and controller also both feature an array of infrared blasters that can control the TV as well as set-top box, so people can use voice or the OneGuide to browse and change channels.
While the Xbox One tuner in Europe will enable viewers to pause live TV, Microsoft is not supporting DVR functionality — at least not at this time. The system has a 500GB hard drive, and the tuner will utilize a portion of that to save paused TV (up to a limit), but enabling the Xbox One to record and save TV would likely fill up that storage space quickly.
This isn’t the first time a gaming console has had a TV tuner. Sony released the PlayTV add-on for PlayStation 3 in Europe, and Sega even released an antenna plug in for its Game Gear handheld back in the 1990s.