Microsoft wants to make the Xbox 360 and beyond the only device you need connected to your TV. They know that just gaming isn’t what people want anymore. They require a feature rich experience for the best price they can get it for. Sure, throw your “until it overheats” comment below. Microsoft announced partnerships with almost 40 new entrainment providers, and wants to add more. The biggest ones are Comcast and Verizon. You were already able to use the 360 with your Uverse cable and that is expanding. Here is a short list of the biggest companies that MS is jumping on board with:
- Comcast: Sorry live TV buffs, Comcast is only bringing access to Xfinity On Demand this year.
- Clear Channel: iHeartRadio will be the only digital radio service on Xbox Live, complete with Kinect support.
- HBO: A new version of the HBO GO application and its associated content catalog should soon make an appearance on the Xbox.
- NBC Universal: Content from a handful of NBCU properties will end up on the Xbox, including Bravo and SyFy shows. Oh, and who could forget The Today Show?
- Manga Entertainment: Still unknown, but you otaku can probably expect a catalog of streaming anime in the near future.
- Crackle: Expect to get access to Crackle’s backlog of movies distributed by parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment.
- EPIX: Unknown, but I’d expect the MGM/Lionsgate/Paramount company to provide on-demand access to their catalog a la Comcast.
- TMZ: No details yet, but episode of the eponymous show will likely be made available for streaming.
- UFC: Fans got a sneak peek of UFC video on the Xbox back in June — in addition to streaming fights, it’s also expected to bring some degree of interactivity to the mix.
- Verizon: 26 channels from the Verizon FiOS lineup will begin to air live to the Xbox 360 in time for the holidays.
Impressive, no? On top of that there is Youtube, Netflix, HULU and ESPN already. Microsoft must have something going on over there that hasn’t in the past 5 years or so. Maybe they saw Nokia, RIM and Palm and decided you can’t just “stick with what works” in todays tech environment. WP7 Mango, Windows 8 and a much better Xbox platform are all on tap to push Microsoft back into the innovative leader they once were.
Category: Tech News
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