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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?

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Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard.

Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be available on day one, DLNA will follow and the console is promised to “support more formats than Xbox 360, including support for dozens of new file formats like mpeg 2 TS, animated gifs and mkv which will be added by the end of the year.”

Microsoft's own wma and wmv will also be supported, along with aac, H.264, mov, MPEG 1, 2 and 4, plus avi divx and avi xvid.

There's no word on just when the app will become available but the post also mentions new message-threading features, enhanced social facilities such as a “Snap Centre” that allows one to interact with friends without needing to stop playing, and says those and more will appear at different times in different territories in coming months.

Your correspondent “hears from friends” that some of the file formats Microsoft will support are often found in torrents of copyrighted material. Surely Microsoft has no intention of letting XBOX One customers play files obtained through such skulduggery. Indeed, that's just not the kind of thing gamers would even contemplate, is it? Especially not when Microsoft has a perfectly decent content store baked into the XBOX platform.

No, this is clearly about the chance to play home movies in whatever format you want them in. Nothing else to see here. Move along. ®

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