With the big Xbox One reveal, Microsoft took a lot of time to emphasise the entertainment functions of the console
But in an interview with TechRadar, Adam Pollington, Marketing manager at Microsoft Australia, explained that the rollout of the TV features won't happen straight away.
"The goal is definitely to roll out those services to all markets where Xbox One is launching. We're obviously working in each independent market to ensure that we can account the services across different TV systems, because obviously TV was a piece that was showcased quite heavily this morning," he said.
"But we are looking to cater for the way in which TV is delivered in each market, so whether that's over the air, whether that's through the internet, or whether that's through a Pay TV or a cable set top box, we are ensuring that we can allow for those different services within each market."
Given Australia's love affair with free-to-air TV, we expect that to mean that the service we receive will be vastly different to the cable-solution preferred in the US.
Appiness is a state of mind
The shift to making the Xbox an entertainmnet hub rather than a games machine is nothing new, so shouldn't really be a surprise. Already on the Xbox 360, there are dedicated ways of accessing TV through services like ABC iView, SBS On Demand or Foxtel on Xbox.
But according to Pollington, those apps won't automatically jump across to the One.
"We've got nothing to announce around local app partners at this time. But you can be sure that we are working to deliver the best experience for Australians in terms of delivering on that next generation TV and entertainment services," he said.
While that's a bit of a non-answer, when pressed whether the new console's infrastructure will make the rollout of entertainment apps and services easier, Pollington confessed:
"I think that's a fair assumption to make," he said.
"With the HDMI-in functionality, it certainly does make it a lot easier to connect a number of other devices through to your Xbox One console, which of course we didn't have with the Xbox 360. With HDMI-in, you'll have the ability to connect your TV straight to the box, so effectively getting over the air TV, satellite or cable TV, or however it's delivered in your market, without the need for additional development on the TV apps, per se.
"So without a doubt, we've come a long way to being able to deliver those experiences in a more timely fashion," Pollington said.
The Foxtel question?
Given the close partnership Microsoft has developed with Aussie Pay TV operator Foxtel in offering the Foxtel on Xbox service, it's not unreasonable to assume that the companies are working together to make Foxtel on Xbox One even better.
Pollington wouldn't be drawn on the issue, but a Foxtel spokesperson did offer a statement on the new console:
"Foxtel is thrilled to have brought the experience of Foxtel on Xbox 360 to our Australian customers who have found it to be a fantastic way to enjoy our great content. We're watching Microsoft's latest announcement with keen interest and will keep you posted on any developments as they happen."
That doesn't exactly sound like the two companies are deep in negotiations, does it? We'll find out whether that's important once Microsoft gives us a launch date for the console.
- For more on Microsoft's new console, see our first impressions of the Xbox One