Microsoft has announced that it is building a dedicated app for Windows Phone 7 users to control certain elements of the Xbox 360 console.

Sneaked out as part of the bigger "New TV services coming to Xbox Live" announcement for the Xbox 360 in the UK and the US, the new Xbox Companion App, as it will be called, will let you Find, Learn more about and Control content from Xbox Live Marketplace on your Xbox 360.

According to Microsoft employee Ben Rudolph who has already been playing with the new app in beta the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox Live Marketplace catalogue of games, movies, music and TV shows.

“I used it to search ‘Featured Content’ and pulled up the X-Men: First Class,” writes Rudolph. “Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the cast page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.”

But the real handy element of the new app is being able to use it as a remote control:

“Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into ‘controller mode’ in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote.”

The app will be available in the near future, however Microsoft hasn’t put a date on when that will be exactly.

Our educated guess would be in line with the Xbox 360 dashboard update that is rumoured to be landing on the 15 November to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Xbox console.