Streaming service Crackle brings voice control to Xbox

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Crackle, a service that allows users to stream movies and TV shows, has made its way to the Xbox 360 complete with Kinect-powered voice controls.

Crackle, which ironically is owned by Sony (its TV and film unit Sony Pictures Entertainment), offers 200 movies from the broad range of Sony Pictures properties like Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, etc, in addition to 1500 TV episodes. It is a free service, but those who want to view it through their Xbox 360 will need to be a paying customer of Microsoft's premium Xbox Live Gold platform.

The service is monetized through ads, much in the same vein as Hulu. On the Xbox 360, users will be able to use their voice to search for a movie (e.g., "Xbox, Play 'Talladega Nights'") in addition to using the standard voice controls for pausing, playing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding through the video.

"Our partnership with Crackle marks a significant milestone in our vision to bring you all the film and TV entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy. By bringing Crackle to the Xbox Live service and adding the magic of Kinect, we are transforming the way consumers experience entertainment forever," said Xbox Live general manager Pete Thompson.

This isn't the only option Xbox gamers have for streaming video. The console also has apps for Netflix, Hulu, and Youtubem, in addition to Microsoft's own proprietary video rental platform. The latter also has full voice support via Kinect, but Crackle brings new content that is not available through these other services.

The app is available now to any Xbox 360 registered in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia.