Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has been making moves to become a one-stop hub for entertainment of all sorts for a while now, allowing subscribers to access Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN sports programming via the Xbox Live service. According to THR, Xbox is taking the next big step by making live television available via the console, thanks to a new deal with Verizon’s FiOS TV service that will make 26 channels available, including MTV, Comedy Central, and HBO.
There is, of course, some fine print. In order to access the live-TV programming, you’ll have to be a customer of Verizon’s FiOS TV and broadband services, as well as an Xbox Live subscriber. Once the service rolls out, you’ll be able to download the Verizon FiOS TV app to the console, which, in addition to providing access to the various channels, will also allow customers with a Kinect controller to interact with the app via voice commands and gestures.
Eric Bruno, Verizon’s vp of consumer and mass business product management, had this to say:
While this is the first such announcement, don’t be surprised if you hear more deals between Xbox 360 and other cable or satellite providers coming down the pike. The HBO Go service, for instance, which allows HBO subscribers to watch most of the network’s extensive catalogue online and via mobile devices, is already available to DirecTV customers, and Time Warner Cable customers may soon be in the same boat. This sort of deal is just another step in the ongoing dissolution of barriers between TV, movies, and gaming. What will really be interesting is when somebody like Microsoft or Sony starts making deals to provide the channels directly, without a cable or satellite middle man. If I could get the channels I watch directly through my Xbox 360 for the same price or less, I’d cancel my satellite subscription tomorrow.
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