It’s the news Xbox owners have been awaiting for quite some time.
For what seems like forever now, Xbox’ers have watched as Microsoft has brought the likes of the Sky Player to the console, but has failed to negotiate services such as iPlayer and Lovefilm, which have been on the rival PS3 for ages.
But now Microsoft has announced a “a new era in television” for the console across the globe, with a multitude of streaming TV services being introduced in different countries.
Here in the UK, we’re set to get 4oD, Channel 4’s on-demand service, Channel 5 catch-up, Lovefilm’s streaming offering, and the BBC is also involved. Although iPlayer isn’t mentioned specifically, that can be the only platform to be delivered here.
And the further good news is that these services aren’t going to be restricted to paying gold members, but available to the non-subscribing silver denizens of Live.
Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, enthused: “Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy.”
“Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”
Yes, Microsoft is pushing Kinect along with this launch, the idea being to provide a remote control and button-free TV experience.
Should you want to search for a programme, you can simply talk to Kinect, fire up Bing, and search for the show you’re after, then ask it to play. All without reaching for a button, which will deprive couch dwellers across the land of a bit of finger exercise, and help potato-fy them just that little bit more. Oh the irony.
All in all, it’s a good day for the Xbox, even if all this should really have happened a long time ago.