Microsoft’s big push for independent development on the Xbox One is finally starting to pay off. The popular media streaming application Plex is being ported to the Xbox One, and it’s all thanks to open source software and the [email protected] program. Watching your video library on your console will soon be easier than ever, and it won’t even require jailbreaking the device.
A developer by the name of Tyson Edwards recently posted on the Plex forums — explaining that he is currently working on a port of the application for the Xbox One. He claims that he has been accepted into the [email protected] program, and he’s begun work on fully integrating the Xbox One’s user experience into Plex. After only a few days of work, Edwards already has Kinect-powered voice controls working in his prototype version.
Keep in mind, this isn’t an officially sanctioned version of Plex. As it stands, this project is being operating exclusively by Edwards himself. A Plex staff member briefly popped into the forum thread to explain that the company has “never talked about a new platform ahead of release,” so it remains unclear if an official version is headed for the Xbox One at a later date. Edwards has already pledged that his code will be available to the Plex team, and they’ll have the option to turn this app into the official release if they so choose.
Microsoft, of course, has DLNA support with its “Play To” system, but its limitations and lack of flexibility left Edwards wanting more. He goes on to say that he began this project in earnest after buying an Xbox One, and growing frustrated with Microsoft’s streaming video implementation. It’s clear from this tidbit that this app will largely work as a simple client, and the video content will stream off of an existing media server. After all, downloading and managing video files locally on the Xbox One sounds like a nightmare.
The fact that something like this can exist on an unmodified version of the Xbox One is a testament to Microsoft’s current leadership. It’d be easy for Redmond to squash projects like this in favor of their own system, but the Xbox team seems dedicated to turning the tide in the console wars. The heavy competition from Sony has changed the Xbox One in front of our eyes, and both consumers and developers are benefiting from it in a major way.