Baby steps. Try to keep that in mind as you read the following news. Verizon will soon start streaming 26 channels from its FiOS fiber-optic cable/phone/Internet service to Xbox 360 consoles. There’s a catch though: in order to take advantage of the feature, you’ll need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription AND a FiOS account for cable TV and Internet. Sure, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since most will probably have their Microsoft game console connected to the same TV that receives FiOS cable TV. But hey, it’s a start.
No additional hardware is required to take advantage of the added feature so long as you meet the other criteria, the press release confirms. Xbox 360 users with a Kinect hooked up to their console will be able to use voice and gesture commands to explore the FiOS content, though there’s no info offered on how involved those Kinect features will be.
The intent is to eventually expand on the 26 available cable channels, though the press release notes that channel availability even at the beginning will depend on the customer’s TV package. There’s no list of which channels will be available, but it sounds like at least a few of them will be pulled from the service’s premium cable offering.
No launch date is mentioned for the expanded functionality, though “soon” is a logical assumption to make. Perhaps even as soon as the forthcoming Xbox 360 firmware update, which introduces a Metro-style dashboard on the console and enhances the level of Kinect functionality, among other things.
Verizon will be looking to lure new customers in with a Triple Play promotion that offers up cable, phone and Internet service for $89.99 per month (with a two-year commitment). In addition, new subscribers will receive a complimentary one-year Xbox Live Gold subscription and a copy of the recently released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Incoming customers will be able to take advantage of the promotion until January 21.