UPDATE: We’ve added a number of screens and a promo video, for your viewing enjoyment.
THE BUZZ: Microsoft announced a flood of new entertainment partners, set to provide telvision and movies to the console. This makes Microsoft’s vision of turning the Xbox 360 into an entertainment hub, one step closer to reality.
The official announcement came via Major Nelson’s official blog, touting the addition of nearly 40 new entertainment partners coming to Xbox Live, including, “Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC TV and radio in the U.K.; Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy.” The services will begin rolling out to more than 20 countries beginning this holiday season.
The blog was followed by an announcement on Comcast’s site, proudly announcing the addition of Xbox Live to the Xfinity family of services. In part, the post reads: “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we’ll offer our customers a unique and innovative way to discover, control and experience thousands of On Demand programs from leading networks and studios, using unique features like Kinect’s voice and gesture controls. And, because Xfinity TV’s Xbox experience is built on a private IP platform, we can deliver a more personal and integrated, next-generation experience. The Xbox experience also is more evidence that consumers can increasingly buy devices of their choosing at retail in order to access video content from a variety of sources, including video content from their multichannel video provider.”
We expect many more announcements still to come from each of the individual partners.
It’s important to note the disclaimer at the end of the blog: “Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions/fees required. Kinect functionality varies by feature, provider and region.”
EGM’s TAKE: What remains to be seen is how this will differ for those who already have cable subscriptions. One thing we are hoping for is the return of G4 TV. Those of us who have DirecTV have really missed Attack of the Show and X-Play since the satellite provider dropped G4 last year. If we can get those back, perhaps through Xfinity On Demand (Comcast owns both Xfinity and G4 — so this thought isn’t that far fetched) then we will be very happy campers. We will embrace the Xbox Live service, and hug it like our teddy bear, Cadbury. We just hope the subscriptions fees aren’t too outrageous.