CES 2007: Xbox 360 as an IPTV platform?

Adding IPTV to the Xbox 360 gives Microsoft's console another edge over the PlayStation 3

Microsoft's Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, made two announcements during the Microsoft keynote at CES that spell big trouble for the PlayStation 3 and Sony's new Internet TV service .

The first was that with 10.4 million Xbox 360s shipped, it has beaten its own sales projections for the first year. That's a daunting enough figure for Sony to be facing, without the new weapon that's been added to the Xbox arsenal - which makes the Xbox 360 the definitive home entertainment centre. Xbox Live Video.

Commentators who suspected all along that Xbox 360 was a Trojan horse from which Microsoft would take over your lounge have been proven right. For the last couple of years Microsoft TV (based on the Media Center-a-like IPTV Edition software) has been providing high speed TV streaming and on-demand video for the likes of Verizon in the US and, more recently, BT in the UK

Microsoft made the announcement at CES that the Xbox 360 will be able to receive a live, high definition TV signal from Microsoft TV, as well as provide a platform for blockbuster movies on demand.

Although the new service isn't expected to go live until Christmas 2007, and there were no announcements for pricing or for a larger hard drive which will presumably be necessary, there were plenty of service and content providers confirmed for the launch. These include Deutsche Telekom, BT, Swisscom and AT&T on the service side, along with Comedy Central, Fox Sports, Nickelodeon, Lionsgate and Warner Brothers for content.

"Both Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV IPTV Edition by themselves deliver unique and exciting entertainment experiences today, " said Robbie Bach. "But IPTV on Xbox 360 is truly a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts and will enable even more exciting experiences to delight consumers." Adam Oxford

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