It’s official, Verizon is teaming up with Microsoft to provide live TV on the Xbox, a first for the console. The rumors were accurate. It appears that the service will work like this: Verizon FIOS TV and Internet subscribers who have Xbox Live will be able to download a Verizon app designed specifically for the Xbox. Yes, it has Kinect functionality. The app will provide users with as-yet-ill-defined “collection” of content in HD right through their Xboxes.
This is a first for the Xbox — and consoles as a whole — and represents a step in a new direction for consoles that are trying harder and harder to market themselves as out-and-out media devices and not just expensive, shiny boxes for man-children with disposable incomes who like to get yelled at by unbelievably foul-mouthed 10-year-olds while playing Modern Warfare. Not that that depiction is right, but it does exist to some extent. Having TV content will make the Xbox more like a DVR (or VCR for you neanderthals) and hopefully open up its market. Of course, this all leads to one big, looming question. Why?
I feel like I may be missing something here, but other than “breaking ground” by getting TV on a console, the benefits of this app are few if any. Okay, so you can use Kinect to watch TV. That might be moderately amusing, but let’s take a closer look at the details. In order to watch a “collection” of media — a collection that definitely won’t include everything — on your Xbox, you already have to have FIOS TV and Internet access; You can already watch TV on your TV.
The ability to watch TV on your Xbox seems like nothing more than the opportunity to route your content through another box for no particular reason all while also limiting the available content. Also, Xbox Live ain’t free, so running it through your Xbox is technically more expensive than just watching it directly on the TV that your Xbox is attached to. Maybe this feature could be used to get live TV on a TV that is connected to an Xbox but not the FIOS TV proper, but aren’t there other ways around that? I understand that this is a completely new arena for console content, but how it will provide anything besides Kinect support to users is beyond me. Hopefully this is just a first step in a direction that will lead to mind-blowingly awesome functionality, but I sure can’t tell where this is going.
(via The Next Web)
- The rumors this official statement verifies
- An awesome, unofficial, Xbox PS3 combo unit
- An infographic that suggests you’ll live to see the Xbox 3600