The greatly expanded range of TV content on the gaming device effectively makes the Xbox a cable TV set-top box, but stops short of speculation that Microsoft would encourage Xbox owners to drop their pay-TV subscriptions.
Several major technology companies including Microsoft, Google
The new Xbox deals announced on Wednesday are part of the technology giant's bid to make its gaming console a major media hub in the living room and took years to sort out, said Ross Honey, general manager of content acquisition for the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft.
In the U.S., services from Time Warner
Microsoft is betting that people will want to watch TV through the Xbox using the Kinect, the motion controller gadget Xbox debuted last year. If users have a Kinect, they can use voice recognition software to search for shows.
There is no other platform today that lets you just ask the service, 'hey I want to watch 'True Blood,' and then you get all the ways to do that, Honey said.
Sony Corp's <6758.T> PlayStation, the rival gaming console to the Xbox, started offering live feeds of DirecTV's
He said that while the company is committed to video games, the amount of time Xbox users spent watching video grew by three times this year.
Microsoft shares rose 2.7 percent on Wednesday to $26.03.
(Additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Bernard Orr)