Users will sign into Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS apps on the Xbox 360 with existing account information. Redmond will also likely ink content deals with HBO, Sony's Crackle, the Bravo and SyFy channels, and Amazon's Lovefilm, Bloomberg said.
Microsoft discussed its Live TV efforts at this year's E3 gaming conference, and the feature has already kicked off overseas with Sky TV in the U.K., Canal Plus in France, and FoxTel in Australia. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer provided more details on what US consumers can expect during a presentation at the company's BUILD conference earlier this month.
"It's quite obvious that we need to increase the amount of video and TV content that are available on the Xbox," Ballmer said. "Our goal this year is to dramatically increase the total amount of content, the total entertainment catalog available on the Xbox, particularly by working in partnership with a number of video suppliers."
Today Reuters reports on talks that Microsoft has had with several television networks about adding TV show content to the Xbox 360. While the details aren't known, one possibility is that the company could become a virtual operator and sell subscriptions to networks like ABC and NBC, or even add HBO and Showtime as subscription options. This would allow Microsoft to keep competing with rivals like Google (see the currently flailing Google TV) and Apple ( who recently released an updated Apple TV.) Microsoft actually has an advantage here if they choose to move into this area since the Xbox 360 is already in millions of homes, and adding services to the existing platform like that is much easier than releasing and expecting consumers to purchase a new device. If Microsoft plays their cards right, we could see the Xbox 360 take the top position in the battle for the living room.
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