YouTube arrives on the Xbox One

A revamped YouTube experience has arrived just in time for the Xbox One launch this Friday, paving the way for unfettered access to awkward advertisements and whatever this mouse is doing from the comfort of your couch.

The Xbox One incarnation of the YouTube app will leverage all the new console’s (required) Kinect accessory has to offer. Say “YouTube” and the app will ready its controls, allowing you to control playback with your voice. You’ll also be able to use hand gestures to pan about menus, scroll through videos and pick the ones you’d like to watch.

If you’ve tried the YouTube app on the Xbox 360 and own a Kinect, you’ll likely feel right at home: The examples YouTube showed off today reveal an interface that feels similar. That said, in our Xbox One review we found that the Kinect sensor has been improved dramatically, which should make all of the hand waving and shouting a bit more responsive.

An improved Kinect camera should make hand gestures a bit more bearable.

App support from major entertainment venues like YouTube is a step in the right direction for Microsoft’s black box. It also makes YouTube’s absence on Sony’s gaming machine especially disconcerting. I’d imagine it has everything to do with that Kinect sensor: There’s quite a bit of “wow” factor in the Kinect, and while the one attached to my Xbox 360 never saw much use outside of getting me to Netflix when I couldn’t find a controller, it remains an interesting and powerful showcase for the kinds of technology the console can bring to bear.

The PlayStation 4 will likely get a YouTube app eventually, and its incarnation will likely be a traditional, gamepad-driven experience. Read: boring.

And while I have your attention, here are some explosions, in slow motion. Feel free to track this video down when you unbox your Xbox One on Friday.

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