[UPDATE: Microsoft has clarified that Business Insider's report of 'Xbox Music' features is erroneous, as the company was actually showing existing Zune Music functionality on the Xbox 360, activated via a Kinect voice command. Gamasutra regrets the error.]
Microsoft will launch a new music service on Xbox 360 later this year as part of its drive to expand entertainment facilities on the console.
As revealed by CEO Steve Ballmer at the Microsoft Partner Conference on Monday, and reported by Business Insider, Xbox Music is set to launch this fall.
The service will initially offer more than 11 million songs, and make use of the console's Kinect hardware, allowing users to search for songs via voice recognition.
No more specifics were revealed, and it was not explained how Xbox Music will differ from the current Zune Marketplace on Xbox Live. No pricing model or specific launch date has yet been given.
Xbox Music is part of Microsoft's expansion of the Xbox 360's abilities, as Dennis Durkin, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, recently told Gamasutra that the company is looking to drive platform momentum.
"[When] we launched the New Xbox experience in 2008, we added in new entertainment categories," he explained. "Not only has gaming usage gone up, but non-gaming has as well."
"As we add new entertainment categories, we appeal to broader entertainment segments. If we can provide content for all of them, we can be relevant to all of them."