Talking tech since 2003

If there is one area that the Xbox family of consoles has fallen short in, it’s the handling of local network media. Even the Xbox 360, which supported DLNA, couldn’t pull off what a Plex-powered home theater PC could; at least, not as beautifully. The Xbox One, which only recently got a media player app, is now looking to extend its capabilities in a big way, far surpassing what the Xbox 360 could do previously.

xbox-one2-300x138And it’s no coincidence that I mentioned Plex in that last sentence, because a Plex app is what the Xbox One will be getting this week.

This is going to make a lot of people very happy.

For those who aren’t too familiar with Plex, imagine a home media server with a supporting cast of apps for computers, set-top boxes, tablets and smartphones. If you have a Plex server running at home, you can use one of those apps to access your media, even if you aren’t at home. And, even better: you can share your library with other users, pooling your media collections together into one massive  library.

Up to this point, the easiest living room solution for Plex has been through a Roku box. The Apple TV doesn’t have a Plex app (and I doubt one will come to the box for some time), and a home theater PC isn’t something that a lot of people want to invest time and money into. Those splitting time between their Roku and their Xbox One will suddenly find the tinier box a lot less useful. Those who don’t have a Roku box at all may want to look into Plex, as it’s going to make the Xbox One a lot more useful in the media department.

And, by the way — if you have an Xbox 360 just sitting around collecting dust, set it up in a spare room and download the Plex app, because that console is getting it, too.

A quick check of the Xbox Store at this time shows no signs of Plex, though careful reading of the Xbox news post says that the app will come “this week.” So, contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, it didn’t launch yet.

Plex fans, are you excited about the app coming to the Xbox One and Xbox 360? Sound off below.

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