Xbox One June update will bring Sky and Virgin Media guide support for the ultimate World Cup viewing experience

Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be your portal to Brazil this summer, and it looks set to deliver

Microsoft has confirmed that UK Xbox One owners will finally support Sky and Virgin Media electronic programme guides (EPGs), empowering their tellies with the Xbox One's media smarts - just in time for the World Cup.

After the Xbox One update rolls out (which Microsoft assures us will be before the World Cup kicks off on 12 June), you'll be able to access your EPG directly from the Xbox itself. And you don't have to have a Sky or Virgin Media box for it to work either.

Microsoft tells Stuff that EPGs will be pulled from other set-top boxes too. Just plug your box into the Xbox One's HDMI input, and it'll pull all the information through automatically.

Currently you're able to view set-top box content via the Xbox One, but the lack of EPG support means that you can't take advantage of Kinect's voice controls to go directly to your channels of choice.

After the update lands, you'll be able to tweak the guide in a number of ways. for starters, you can set HD channels to be the default option, so that SD versions of the same channel aren't cluttering up your guide.

You can also save a favourite channels list for each Xbox profile, so little Timmy's cartoons won't drag down your favourite movie and sports channels.

Additional channels also appear in the guide, ranging from Twitch streaming content, to TED talks and gaming clips recorded to Microsoft's OneDrive service. But EPG guide support is only one half of the update...

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It's coming home

Well, to your Xbox One anyway. The June update will also bring with it an incredible one-stop-portal for all your footballing needs.

The new Brazil Now app serves up all the latest news, live scores, stats, tweets and more, letting you get your world Cup fix all in one place. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

For starters, you can snap the app to the side of the screen, which means you can track all the live in-play stats like shots fired, possession and more, in real-time directly next to the action.

You can also follow what people are tweeting about the match, and check the live scores of other games. There'll also be popup polls asking you questions relevant to the match, after which you can see how many others disagree with your clearly superior knowledge.

More after the break...

Never miss a goal

If you happen to be gaming while a match is on, then you'll still be one click away from all the action. The Brazil Now app actually sends you notifications of key events like match kick-off alerts and goals, even while you're shooting down giant enemies in Titanfall.

You can either choose to carry on bashing in enemies, or activate the notification to go straight to the action.

The Brazil Now app is even clever enough to tune directly into the action for you. If you're carried away racing enemies in Forza and lost track of time for example, then clicking a match kick-off alert will automatically take you through to the relevant TV channel instantly. How's that for a helpful TV butler?

Microsoft's decision to sell an Xbox package sans Kinect has been met with criticism, but the update in June which will bring voice control powers to your channel surfing could tempt those on the fence to fork out a little extra for Microsoft's smartcam.

Stuff asked Brazil Now developers Soho Productions whether or not these smart footy services will be hitting the Premiere League in the future. Although we were denied an outright confirmation, we were told that the World Cup is definitely seen as a testing bed for the service.

When it inevitably does land for the premiere league, footy fans will have an extra incentive to opt for Microsoft's console, if they haven't done so already. Watch this space.

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Other tasty extras

The June update also brings with it a few other things for Xbox One owners to look forward to, including scrapping the requirement for apps to require an Xbox Live gold membership. Currently if you're a Netflix subscriber then you can't access the Netflix service on your Xbox One unless you fork out more money for a gold membership. This is obviously a big gripe for many users, who will welcome the update with open arms.

You'll also be able to save game saves and profiles to USB memory sticks and external hard drives for easier transfer between consoles, as well as setting your real name next to your profile so that friends can find you more easily.

The Xbox One update doen't have an official release date beyond "early June", but with less than two weeks to go till the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, we shouldn't have too long to wait.

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