Microsoft is removing its TV listings feature on the Xbox One in May. Originally introduced as part of its broad ambitions to take over the living room, the OneGuide TV listings on Xbox One was designed to overlay on top of your cable box and provide a better way to access content. You could also combine the feature with an Xbox USB TV tuner to access free-to-air TV channels.
“Based on customer usage and feedback, we’re constantly evolving the Xbox experience,” says Jonathan Hildebrandt, a program manager for Microsoft’s Xbox Experiences group. “To that end, beginning this May we’ll be sunsetting live TV listings for OneGuide on Xbox One.” OneGuide users will still be able to access the HDMI passthrough feature on the Xbox One to watch connected devices, or still access a TV tuner, but TV listings will be removed.
It’s the final nail in the coffin for Microsoft’s original dream of turning the Xbox One into a digital entertainment hub, or modern cable TV box. Kinect and an HDMI pass-through were central to this plan, but the $100 price gap between the Xbox One and PS4, bulkier VCR-like hardware with less performance, and the focus on entertainment muddied the waters on what was primarily a game console.
Microsoft has gradually been walking back its Xbox TV efforts in recent years with the removal of Kinect, the Xbox One snap mode going away, media features disappearing, and an axed Xbox TV DVR feature. The Xbox One looked like a cord-cutters dream, but that quickly dissipated only a few years into the console’s existence. Microsoft’s latest Xbox Series X / S consoles no longer include a HDMI pass-through, or the company’s OneGuide app.