Microsoft unveils TV for Xbox

Microsoft unveils TV for Xbox

Microsoft has announced partnerships with almost 40 companies who will bring live and on-demand TV and video content to Xbox 360, controlled by Kinect, later this year.

The news means UK Xbox 360 owners will be able to view content from the likes of BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Blinkbox and movie streaming service Lovefilm. Those in the US, meanwhile, get HBO Go, Bravo, Comcast's Xfinity, Crackle, Epix, Syfy, TMZ, The Today Show, UFC, and Verizon FiOS.

Don Matrick, president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, said: "Today's announcement is a major step toward realising 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."

The news represents quite the coup for Microsoft, and implies a change of thinking in the company's upper management. BBC's iPlayer service has been available on PlayStation 3 and Wii for some time, but Microsoft's reported insistence on restricting access to premium features to Xbox Live Gold members prevented its appearance on Xbox 360 because the BBC requires that iPlayer be free to access.

More announcements may follow: the announcement takes Microsoft's tally of entertainment partners from nine to 51. At E3 in June the company said it would increase its entertainment partnerships by "a factor of ten" before the end of the year. The full list of companies involved follows on page two.