The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 aren't just games consoles; a succession of software updates has made them into rich media boxes, capable of playing all manner of video and audio on your TV. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4, by contrast, have thus far offered a rather sad and limited media experience. On the Xbox One, at least, that experience is about to get a whole lot better, as Microsoft revealed today at Gamescom in Germany.
A new media player app for the console is being released with support for playback from USB devices and, later in the year, DLNA streaming from other devices on the home network, including Windows PCs. This is in addition to its existing ability to have content pushed by network devices.
On its own, this would merely bring the Xbox One's media capabilities up to the same level as those found in the older Xbox 360, but Microsoft is going a step further with substantially wider format support. The company has published a full list of supported codecs, but one stands out: support for MKV containers. While MKV is a rarity in the world of explicitly authorized video, it's quite abundant in the murky world of pirated TV shows. Native MKV support will make watching this content substantially easier on the Xbox One.