Microsoft SkyDrive photo and video files now available for XBox 360

Microsoft’s SkyDrive is about to get a whole lot more useful. This cloud storage system allows you to upload and access files from mobile devices such as computers and smartphones seamlessly. A SkyDrive app is now available for XBox, so you can view videos and pictures on your TV.

This is good for people who don’t want to deal with connecting a laptop or tablet to an HDTV with a cable or wireless mirroring solutions. Just pop the movie or pictures you want on SkyDrive and it’s available via the XBox. If you take said video or images with your Windows Phone it will sync instantly to the app. Plus, you can view files shared with you as well as those you own.

If that’s not convenient enough, the app is compatible with the Kinect. That means both voice and gesture control of your media.

The announcement post doesn’t mention anything about file types that will work, but it’s a good bet that the XBox will play any compatible file. Currently, the game system supports AVI, WMV, MPEG-4, H.264 and QuickTime for video.

There’s also no mention of support for music or other file types. I suppose most people don’t need to access their Word documents on a television, but if said TV is hooked up to your sweet sound system then it does make sense to stream your music.

SkyDrive offers users 7GB of free space — not a lot for videos. If ready access to your movie and TV collection is important, you can add 20GB, 50GB, or 100GB for $10 – $50 per year. The service isn’t limited to Microsoft products. There are apps for MacBook, Android, iPhone and iPad as well as Windows XP – 8. To add the SkyDrive app to your XBox, go to Apps > Social > SkyDrive.

How do you like to get videos and pictures from your laptop to your big-screen TV? Does SkyDrive look like a better solution than AirPlay, DLNA, AllShare, WiDi, or other wireless streaming options?