Wednesday, October 5, 2011

XBox 360 TV Teams Up With 50 Entertainment Partners

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that it has partnered with over 50 entertainment companies to deliver a diverse set of content to the XBox 360 through its online service XBox Live.
Nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainment providers, 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, will begin rolling out entertainment services to the console this holiday, in more than 20 countries.
My Thoughts
While I don't have a lot of details on the project, I am excited to see that HBO Go, for one, is listed. However, I have little expectation that this announcement will change my life all that much.

In looking at the list of partners, I am aware of Netflix, Zune, and ESPN because they're already partners. Unfortunately, nothing is free. As a Netflix customer, I pay a monthly subscription for products and services. When I attempt to watch Netflix on the XBox 360, I have to use my existing account in order to watch anything. I imagine this will be the case for most content provided through the recent deal.

With that written, I don't want to down play the significance of this deal, as I'm sure Microsoft is happy. However, I'm curious. Why should I be excited?

Maybe if Microsoft told me that my $60/year subscription would allow me to access all this content at no additional cost, but that doesn't seem to be Microsoft's style.

No, I imagine this is Microsoft's way of competing with Apple TV and Google TV before anyone really hits the ground running. It's smart, but I don't see why this matters much to me. Especially if I'm unwilling to shell out additional funds. Yeah, I'm thrifty like that.

What's left? Well, one can use Bing to search entertainment options and Kinect for accessing that same content using voice commands. It's nice on paper, but not quite enough to do back flips for. How do I know? Well, even with Kinect I still have to use a controller to navigate Netflix. At best, I can stop, start, and fast forward/reward at will. What about finding movies and shows? What about perusing my queue? Nope, one has to own a controller for that.

All in all, I'm happy for Microsoft. Unfortunately, the recent announcement doesn't move me yet. Now, if you wanna offer all that goodness for a low, low, price, then maybe I'll put on my dancing shoes. Until then, I'll just leave them in the closet gathering dust.

To see more details on XBox 360 TV, check out the video below.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

What do you think about this recent announcement? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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