If one might say that Google owns the internet and Wal-Mart owns our shopping, then one might also say that Microsoft owns our television…sort of. Soon. See, Microsoft has teamed up with Verizon and finally spilled the beans on the much rumored Xbox TV, announced at E3, and how they plan on liberating the world from the regimes of oppressive cable companies and unreliable satellite TV networks. Vive la revolition!
“Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
Will 35 million users spending over 2 billion hours a month using Xbox Live, this could potentially redefine the entire television and entertainment industries. Combining the efforts of many different television networks and viewing services into Xbox Live’s already existing streaming services, music, youtbe, and web interfaces, you Xbox is poised to become your entire living room computer/entertainment center. Now all it needs is a beer tap and a cup holder.
Xbox TV will reportedly be available “this holiday season,” but exactly how it will function still remains a mystery. Will there be full channels available that we purchase in packages or individually, finally allowing viewers to only pay for the channels they actually watch? Will there be an expanded streaming service so we can watch exactly what we want, when we want without the annoying programming holes that Netflix and Hulu suffer from? WILL KINECT CHANGE THE WAY I WATCH TV FOREVER!?
Honestly, with voice commands and a powerful search engine that will work across multiple applications and services simultaneously, maybe it will. But now your friends will be able to know that when you’re not tearing through Locust in Gears of War 3, you also enjoy cooking shows and youtube videos of kittens. Get ready.
Close to 40 television networks have signed up with Xbox TV in more than 20 different countries, detailed in the extensive list you see below.
Entertainment Partners on Xbox 360 (Existing and New)
• ABC iView – Australia
• AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
• Antena 3 – Spain
• Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
• AT&T** – U.S.
• BBC – U.K.
• blinkbox – U.K.
• Bravo – U.S.
• BSkyB** – U.K.
• Canal+* – France, Spain
• Channel 4 – U.K.
• Channel 5 – U.K.
• CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
• Comcast – U.S.
• Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
• Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
• EPIX – U.S.
• ESPN** – U.S.
• Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
• FOXTEL** – Australia
• GolTV – Spain
• HBO GO – U.S.
• Hulu – Japan
• Hulu +**– U.S.
• iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
• Last.fm** – U.K., U.S.
• LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
• Manga Entertainment – U.S.
• Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
• Mediaset – Italy
• MSN with MSNBC.com – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
• MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
• Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
• Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) – Canada
• RTVE – Spain
• SBS On Demand – Australia
• Syfy – U.S.
• Telefonica – Spain
• Televisa – Mexico
• “The Today Show” – U.S.
• TELUS** – Canada
• TMZ – U.S.
• Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
• UFC – Canada, U.S.
• Verizon – U.S.
• VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
• VimpelCom** – Russia
• Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
• YouTube – Available in 22 markets
• ZDF – Germany
• Zune** – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain
* Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions/fees required. Kinect functionality varies by feature, provider and region.
** Denotes existing partners on Xbox LIVE available today.
“We are continually evolving the television experience to bring Xfinity TV subscribers more personalized ways to search, find and watch the content they love,” said Sam Schwartz, president of Comcast Converged Products. “Our recently launched next-generation Xfinity TV platform is enabling us to bring Xfinity On Demand to a gaming console for the first time, and Kinect’s voice and gesture controls will offer our customers an innovative way to discover and enjoy Xfinity On Demand’s huge library of top shows and movies.”