Microsoft is getting ready to transform the Xbox gaming experience into a full- fledged multimedia venture by bringing cable television to its 360 console during the holidays.
The giant will be teaming up with many entertainment providers such as Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, and Verizon FiOS to bring online entertainment straight to its Xbox 360 console. The service will become available in more than 20 countries through partnerships with BBC in the U.K., Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy.
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.
Mattrick explained that combining leading TV entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360* and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.
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.
In its new vision, Microsoft hopes to establish a seamless transition from game, to TV, to music, just by telling the console what you want to experience.
FiOS TV on the Xbox 360 is an excellent example of how we're working with market leaders to erase old technology borders to expand the FiOS TV experience and taking advantage of unique new features including voice- and gesture-control of live TV entertainment via Kinect, said Eric Bruno, vice president of consumer and mass business product management for Verizon.
Verizon will bring a selection of live TV channels to the Xbox 360 delivering live, multichannel streaming HD TV with Kinect.
With their ESPN partnership Microsoft hopes to make sports more than just a game on the console. The all-new ESPN on Xbox LIVE features thousands of live events and video highlights with enhanced personalization features, split-screen viewing and an updated interface content guide making it easy to find highlights of top games.
The Xbox has also teamed up with UFC in the U.S. and Canada, GolTV in Spain and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports in Canada. With UFC on Xbox live, fans will give access to pre-event videos and an interactive fight card.
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, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.