Microsoft Inks Multiple TV Content Deals for Xbox 360 Live
Bravo, Comcast and HBO Go are among the providers that will supply programming for the console, which will satisfy users’ gaming and TV needs via voice command and without multiple remotes.
Microsoft has taken another step toward its goal of making its Xbox 360 game console the most useful and ubiquitous box in the living room.
On Wednesday, the software maker said it has struck deals with some three dozen creators and distributors of TV content from 20 countries, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO Go, FiOS and SyFy, for live and on-demand television shows.
Users will still need a subscription to a traditional provider of TV, but the Xbox 360 Live service will put the content on multiple TV screens without the need for several boxes, and it will make locating shows easier.
The service, available around Christmas, uses the Kinect gaming device to eliminate the need for multiple remote controls for switching between live TV, on-demand shows or playing games. Instead, TV will be controlled through voice control or arm motions, so no complicated button-sequences to fumble with.
Here's how Microsoft described that aspect of the Xbox 360 upgrades in its announcement on Wednesday: "Using voice search with Bing on Xbox, easily look across a variety of branded services and play the programming you want without ever raising a finger. Having trouble finding last night's episode of The Office? It's now only a voice command away. Just say 'Xbox, Bing, The Office and Xbox finds it."