The keynote speech at CES by Bill Gates, and also Robbie Bach, has come and gone and aside from the BT partnership announcement there was really nothing too interesting to be said about the Xbox 360.
Hit ABC and Disney Channel Programs Join Xbox Live Video Lineup; MGM Brings Legendary Library of Films to Xbox Live
Bach announced that hit TV programs from ABC Television and Disney Channel will join the Xbox Live programming available for download directly to the Xbox 360 console. In addition, MGM will bring its library of hit movies.
Under the agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group, later this month, all U.S. Xbox Live members will begin to have access to select TV shows and movies from the ABC Television Network, ABC Family, ABC News, Disney Channel and Toon Disney as part of an agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group. More than 500 hours of content, in both standard definition and high definition when available, will be offered including hit ABC Television shows "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives." Past and current ABC shows will be available on demand, with new episodes arriving on the service the day after they air on television.
Under the agreement with MGM, Xbox 360 will offer MGM's legendary movie library on demand for Xbox 360 including such titles as "Rocky," "Terminator," "Legally Blonde," "Silence of the Lambs" and "Barbershop." United Artists, an MGM sister company, will also make select films available on demand.
With more than 10 million Xbox Live members and more than 3,500 hours of premium content, Xbox 360 has established itself as a premier platform for on-demand TV shows and movies, including impressive high definition experiences, for TV.
"Xbox Live Marketplace is the destination for high-definition movies, TV shows and music videos," Bach said. "And, with the new Disney-ABC and MGM partnerships, we are bringing even more compelling high-definition content to people through their Xbox 360."
Xbox 360 on Track to Register Biggest Year in Video Game History
According to Bach, the continuing success of Xbox is another indication of the power of digital technology to transform the way people access and experience entertainment of all kinds. Sales of 17.7 million consoles this holiday season surpassed original expectations and put Xbox 360 on track to register the biggest year in video game history as U.S. consumers spent more on the Xbox 360 platform in 2007 than on any other gaming platform.
"With its continued momentum in games, accessories and digital entertainment via our leading online service Xbox Live, and record-setting games and accessory attach rates, evidence is everywhere that Xbox 360 is thriving," Bach said.
MORE GOOD NEWS
Microsoft and BT Joining Forces
Microsoft and BT have announced they are bringing together the next-generation TV service BT Vision with the Xbox 360. All BT broadband customers will have the unique opportunity to receive the best in high-definition gaming, television and movies through an Xbox 360 console, in a powerful, all-in-one entertainment experience. BT Vision, which is powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) platform, plans to make this first-of-its-kind device and service offering available to customers in the middle of 2008. The announcement was made during the keynote address by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Microsoft President Robbie Bach of the Entertainment & Devices Division at 2008 International CES.
The groundbreaking partnership will enable any BT Broadband customer to use an Xbox 360 console to access the BT Vision service and its extensive library of on-demand content, giving instant access to hundreds of movies and thousands of hours of sporting events, television programming, music videos and other digital content, such as BT Vision Sport's 242 "near-live" FA Premier League football matches.
BT Vision customers with an Xbox 360 console will gain the option of accessing BT Vision from either the Xbox 360 console or a set-top-box. The service will be available to existing and future Xbox 360 console owners.
BT Vision on Xbox will combine the richness of the Microsoft Mediaroom- enabled TV service with the benefits of next-generation gaming, as well as unique new capabilities that the integrated solution brings. Xbox LIVE, the largest online social network in the living room, will be seamlessly integrated into the experience, providing consumers with a wide range of community-based features, such as voice chat, sending and receiving text and voice messages, and accessing Xbox LIVE Marketplace, all while watching TV. For example, while a TV viewer is enjoying his favorite football game, he can receive a message from a friend inviting him to join a voice chat, or they could play a game of their own with EA SPORTS(TM) "FIFA Soccer."
"We are pleased to partner with Microsoft to deliver a truly compelling connected entertainment experience to our customers," said Dan Marks, CEO of BT Vision. "For the first time consumers in the U.K. will be able to experience the advantages of an advanced TV service together with the benefits of next-generation gaming. Our aim is to provide BT Vision on multiple platforms -- giving customers greater convenience, control and flexibility over what they watch, when they watch and how they watch TV. It also means that we are able to potentially expand our BT Vision customer base by tapping into the popularity of Xbox 360."
"This is an exciting moment in home entertainment," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected Television Division at Microsoft. "Last year at CES, we announced Xbox 360 on Microsoft Mediaroom as a powerful platform capable of enabling new entertainment experiences for consumers, and we are pleased to team with BT to bring this service to market. Together we are enabling BT Vision customers to be the first in the world to enjoy this next-generation TV and gaming entertainment experience."
11 years ago