Xbox companion app for Windows Phone 7 pictures and hands-on

Microsoft announced at the beginning of October that it was building a dedicated app for Windows Phone 7 users to control certain elements of the Xbox 360 console.

We caught up with the app and an Xbox 360 console at Nokia World to have a play.

The app, which we’ve been told will probably require you to upgrade your Xbox 360 console to the new "Dashboard" update that is due out in the next couple of weeks, works by allowing you to control certain elements of the console even if other people are doing something on it already.

In our two demos, one from Windows Phone 7 exec Joe Belfiore and a second at a demo booth, we were shown how you can control your console via your Windows Phone.

The demos showed how, once the app is loaded, you will be able to do a number of things from the app.

There is a quick start feature that lets you load a recent game or movie, as well as highlighted content to play. You’ll also be able to use Bing to search for additional movies with the app finding the relevant content based on your search.

From the phone you will then be able to play it, pause it, and do other things like fast forward, without the need to find one of the console’s controllers.

"Because the phone knows what the console is doing," Belfiore tells us, "it can do other things while the movie is playing."

Those other things involve getting additional information like cast and crew lists, viewing related content, and getting an overview of the film all while the content is being played on your TV.

The companion app is due out in the next couple of weeks. Microsoft wouldn’t confirm, however, whether you could use your phone as a full blown gaming controller, leaving us to find that detail when the app comes out and we get a chance to give it a proper review.