Microsoft has struck an online content deal with almost 40 television and entertainment providers around the world for its Xbox 360 Live service. Partners will include the likes of HBO, Comcast, Bravo, Verizon, BBC, Televisa and many more; pretty much everyone is in on it.
The deal will expand on the ones Microsoft already have such as ESPN, Netflix and Hulu+ in the US and Sky in the UK. Microsoft said “a new era in television” would begin this Christmas as the services were rolled out.
Amongst the deal where more than 20 countries with Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy launching in the US, BBC launching in the UK, Rogers On Demand in Canada, Telefónica in Spain, ZDF in Germany, MediaSet in Italy and Televisa in Mexico.
Microsoft promised at E3, that new services integrated with Xbox would offer support for search across all available video, as well as support for Kinect voice and gesture controls.
Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer talked about some of the new services at the Microsoft developers conference last month and said their Bing search engine would be combined with the Xbox’s Kinect controller, which allows voice and motion-based commands, to make the use of guides, menus and remote controls unnecessary.
This all means watching your favourite TV show or film is now only a voice command away. For example if you missed last night’s episode of True Blood you simply say “Xbox, Bing, True Blood” and the Xbox 360 finds it for you.
The changes will roll out later this year in a new Dashboard update.