Microsoft announced today that more entertainment options are available through the Xbox 360. You can now watch select TV content live or on-demand on your Xbox 360 with an Xbox Live Gold account. This isn’t exactly surprising given Microsoft’s industry lead with IPTV but bringing it to another platform is always welcome.
A new era in television begins this holiday where your entertainment becomes instantly searchable, easily discoverable and enjoyable in extraordinary new ways from a single device — Xbox 360. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to roll out the next generation of TV entertainment on Xbox LIVE, the online entertainment service for Xbox 360. Nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainment providers, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K., Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy, will begin rolling out entertainment services to the console this holiday, in more than 20 countries.
Unfortunately, it still follows the limitations of other TV Anywhere services like HBO Go, so it’s not completely a cord cutting solution or available for those with cable providers that are yet to get with the program. The Kinect and TV interactions and voice control could make this a pretty interesting option, even if you have a perfectly functioning set top box right next to the TV.
With Kinect for Xbox 360, there are no remotes, no buttons, no worries. Consumers will prefer to experience entertainment on Xbox 360 because it allows them to easily search and discover content across multiple entertainment providers within Xbox LIVE and interact and enjoy that content in extraordinary new ways. Gone are the days of managing a handful of remote controls, trying to remember what movies are available from what service, and hunting back and forth across television inputs. Using voice search with Bing on Xbox, easily look across a variety of branded services and play the programming you want without ever raising a finger. Having trouble finding last night’s episode of “The Office”? It’s now only a voice command away. Just say “Xbox, Bing, ‘The Office,'” and Xbox finds it.
So, what if you’re watching a video that says “Xbox Stop Video”, would that stop itself?
Not only is entertainment effortless on Xbox 360, it is more social and personal. Everything in Xbox has been designed to share with friends. Share recommendations, and show the Xbox LIVE community what games you’re playing, movies you’re watching and music you’re listening to, as well as invite them to join in — even post your game achievements and info about your favorite movies directly to your Facebook wall from Xbox LIVE. It’s simple: With your social network along for the ride, the world’s leading content providers and the magic of Kinect, entertainment experiences are better on Xbox LIVE.
For more details beyond the lengthy press release, it was also discussed in a TechNet blog today.