Confirming the rumors we reported last week, Microsoft is indeed bringing video content from Comcast, Verizon FiOS and others to Xbox Live this holiday season. Calling it a “new era in television,” the official press release boasts of nearly 40 TV and entertainment providers joining in, including Bravo, HBO GO, SyFy, BBC, and a host of others from other countries. It’s expected to arrive with the fall Dashboard update, which rumor has it will be November 15. Kinect functionality will also be significantly expanded, as users will be able to use voice commands to search for programming through the Bing engine.
“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,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Verizon plans to offer a selection of its live TV channels, while Comcast is set on only bringing its Xfinity on-demand video to the game console.
Microsoft says nearly 40 television and entertainment providers will rollout on Xbox Live including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K., Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy.
“Our recently launched next-generation Xfinity TV platform is enabling us to bring Xfinity On Demand to a gaming console for the first time, and Kinect’s voice and gesture controls will offer our customers an innovative way to discover and enjoy Xfinity On Demand’s huge library of top shows and movies,” said Sam Schwartz, president of Comcast Converged Products.