Xbox is, and has been for quite some time, one of the cornerstones of Microsoft’s hardware business. If anything, the gaming console is now a central entertainment hub, and a key part of its future strategy.

And Redmond has just announced several improvements that are in the pipeline for its Xbox entertainment apps that are available in Windows 8.1 Preview. The preview version already packs in several enhancement, but tons more are promised.

The company said on one of its official website:

“Later this year, be sure to check out the full launch of Windows 8.1 that will offer even more updates for Xbox Music and Xbox Video. With the launch of Xbox One, we’ll also be introducing an updated version of Xbox SmartGlass, making games and TV more interactive and immersive with new companion experiences on your smartphone, tablet and PC.”

No clear specifics are provided for now, but it is reasonable to expect performance improvements along with a bunch of new features. Plus the roll out a new Xbox SmartGlass app specifically aimed at Xbox One buyers is splendid news.

Microsoft also shared more information on everything it has added to the Xbox Video and Xbox Games apps for the public preview of Windows 8.1.

Xbox Games, for example, brings several search improvements including the ability to search directly from within the app. Search results now include a way to view any Xbox Live achievements by date as well as games extra. Snap View support also makes the cut for the new operating system.

And the Xbox Video app also packs in improved searching abilities, easier media downloading and management, along with the options to use the Play To feature to stream content from other devices.

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