Comcast and Verizon will begin making content available through the Xbox 360 shortly after Microsoft gets an update of its Xbox software to market sometime around the holidays.
Microsoft has already volunteered its Xbox 360 as a new battleground where pay-TV competitors can duke it out. AT&T (the first to launch on the Xbox, nearly a year ago), Netflix and Hulu in the U.S., Telus in Canada, BSkyB in the U.K., Canal+ in France, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom in Russia, and Foxtel in Australia are among those already making content available through the Xbox.
Comcast and Verizon are waiting to take advantage of the updated Xbox capabilities, which will include motion control (via Microsoft's Kinect) and voice control (via Microsoft's Bing Voice search) to navigate through their guides.
Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said, "Combining the world's leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless."
Comcast is bringing its Xfinity on-demand to the Xbox, and Verizon FiOS will have several live channels in the U.S. Other MVPDs new to the Xbox include Rogers in Canada and Telefonica in Spain. Programmers that will soon offer access through the Xbox include HBO with its HBO Go app, Bravo, Syfy, the BBC and Televisa.
In addition to any subscriptions an Xbox user must have to any MVPD's service, they will also have to have Xbox Live Gold membership.
In a blog item, Comcast CTO Tony Werner said: "As we move to new platforms and devices, our goal is to bring consumers even better experiences. Our team of engineers and software developers in Comcast Labs are using both IP and cloud-based technology to take full advantage of each platform - whether it's an iPad app ... XfinityTV.com ... our next-generation Xfinity TV guide ... connected TVs, and now gaming consoles."
The blog included this screenshot of what the Xfinity on-demand user interface will look like in the Xbox: