The holidays will bring the owners of the Xbox 360 a broad range of TV shows and other entertainment content through their gaming consoles. Microsoft announced that the company is partnering with Comcast, HBO, Bravo, Verizon’s FiOS service and others with the intent to bring on-demand and live television content to the Xbox. The partnership is exciting but there is a catch – there always is a catch in these deals — most of the content is not free.
The programs will require subscriptions or payment to other TV services. Technically speaking, the Xbox should make it easier for users to access HBO shows. But, they will also need a subscription to the Xbox Live Gold online service — $60 a year.
Some live TV channels will be available, such as Verizon will have a selection of popular live TV channels to the Xbox. But, some subscribers will need a set-top box to access all channels and digital video recording services.
I am sure all the kinks of what we can do and cannot do will be ironed out as the holidays approach.
Most importantly, the deal places the Xbox 360 in a position of being more than just a gaming console. Microsoft has sold 55 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide given that they were launched in 2005. Another interesting number is that currently there are 35 million Xbox Live members.
Although Microsoft hasn’t given an exact date of the release, the company stated the new entertainment content will begin streaming this holiday season.