Those of you who like to watch Hulu Plus and Netflix on your Xbox, prepare for a pleasant surprise. Today, as predicted, Microsoft has expanded its app partners on the Xbox 360 from 3 (ish) to 50. Yep, 50. These partners range from music streaming services, to movie sites like YouTube all the way up to HBO Go, Comcast Xfinity, and Verizon FIOS. The Xbox is simultaneously about to become a cable TV set-top box and a pretty broad Internet streaming/download platform. Google TV, you may have your work cut out for you.
The full list of partners are below. Some of them require a full cable TV subscription, while others will not. The new upgrade will be able to search through all services connected to an Xbox. So if you want to find, say, The Office, you only have to search for it in Bing and Microsoft will find the app you need to watch it. Kinect users will have expanded voice control options as well.
In addition, as we’ve known, the entire Xbox 360 dashboard will get a Windows 8-like facelift with the update, which doesn’t yet have an official release, though it’s believed to come out in mid November.
Entertainment Partners on Xbox 360 (and countries of availability):
- ABC iView – Australia
- AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
- Antena 3 – Spain
- Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
- AT&T** – U.S.
- BBC – U.K.
- blinkbox – U.K.
- Bravo – U.S.
- BSkyB** – U.K.
- Canal+* – France, Spain
- Channel 4 – U.K.
- Channel 5 – U.K.
- CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
- Comcast – U.S.
- Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
- Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
- EPIX – U.S.
- ESPN** – U.S.
- Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
- FOXTEL** – Australia
- GolTV – Spain
- HBO GO – U.S.
- Hulu – Japan
- Hulu Plus**– U.S.
- iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
- Last.fm**– U.K., U.S.
- LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
- Manga Entertainment – U.S.
- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
- Mediaset – Italy
- MSN with MSNBC.com – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
- MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
- Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
- Rogers On Demand – Canada
- RTVE – Spain
- SBS On Demand – Australia
- Syfy – U.S.
- Telefonica – Spain
- Televisa – Mexico
- “The Today Show” – U.S.
- TELUS** – Canada
- TMZ – U.S.
- Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
- UFC – Canada, U.S.
- Verizon – U.S.
- VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
- VimpelCom** – Russia
- Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
- YouTube – Available in 22 markets
- ZDF – Germany
- Zune**– Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.
We’ve highlighted a few of the Internet streaming services. The addition of YouTube and Dailymotion is welcomed, as is Facebook. At the same time, we’re sad that Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, and other big streaming services weren’t added. Most of the attention has gone toward cable TV programming around the world, which can be quite costly. Still, it’s good to see cable TV services expand their reach and attempt to start offering services consumers want how they want them. Hopefully this trend will only continue. We look forward to the day when HBO Go and ESPN won’t require a $100 monthly cable subscription.
Finally, Microsoft released this not-so-pretty infographic to show off the new Xbox Live.