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Associated Press has reported that Microsoft plans to push live TV into the living room via the Xbox, announcing their plans at Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry’s annual convention
The company said live TV would be offered by domestic and international broadcasters, but no other details were revealed.
Partnerships with international broadcasters currently bring live TV to Xbox 360 in the United Kingdom, Australia and France, but the service unveiled Monday would be the first such offering available on a gaming console in the United States.
The company also announced at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center that increased functionality with its Kinect camera system was coming to Xbox 360, including the abilities to fully navigate menus with voice commands, scour for online and hard drive content with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and play games such as “Mass Effect 3” in tandem in the traditional controller.
The Daily Mail in the UK is even proposing that this may spell the end of the TV remote as we know it today:
Microsoft has announced upgrades for its Xbox and Kinect system that are designed to make the console the entertainment hub for the home.
In future the Xbox will incorporate a microphone, TV service, an internet connection and the ‘Bing’ search engine to transform viewing options through the set. The new system will allow viewers to talk to the Xbox and control what they see on the screen – anything from YouTube, to a library of films to music videos and live TV.
‘You say it, Xbox finds it,’ said Marc Whitten, corporate vice-president of Xbox Live. To watch live TV, you just say the words ‘Xbox live TV’.
Broadband TV News also covered the move by Microsoft:
The company plans to work with, rather than compete with, traditional platforms such as cable companies. In Europe, there is already programming available in the UK (through a deal with BSkyB) and a similar one in France with Canal+. Under the French agreement, the Xbox console acts as a de facto decoder of the premium pay-TV provider. And just recently, the Russian IPTV service Beeline TV is to become available through the Xbox 360.