According to the Microsoft Corp, Microsoft is partnering with Comcast Corp., HBO, Bravo, Verizon’s FiOS service and others to bring on-demand and live television content to the Xbox.
This doesn’t exactly replace the set-top boxes currently used to access TV programming. But M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon says it’s likely a good option for families who want to able to access TV content in different rooms of the house. With the Xbox, they won’t need a second set-top box.
The Xbox may make easier to access those HBO shows, but you’ll still have to pay for them. In some cases, you’ll also need a subscription to the Xbox Live Gold online service, which costs $60 a year.
Microsoft says “We continue to invest and focus on games. It’s a key pillar of our offering,” said Ross Honey, general manager of content acquisition at Microsoft. The latest TV offerings, he added, “bring another pillar” to the Xbox experience.
Microsoft has sold 55 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide since they were introduced in 2005. There are 35 million Xbox Live members. The company said the new entertainment content will be available this holiday season in more than 20 countries, but did not give an exact timing.