So consumers can devote their computers entirely to tax business, Microsoft’s XBox Live is finally adding Comcast’s video-on-demand service, HBO Go, and MLB.tv.
“Both Comcast and HBO were among the first new content partners when Microsoft announced changes to its Xbox Live user interface and new content deals,” recalls GigaOm. “But they’re some of the last partners to come online as Microsoft has staggered updates of its various content partners’ software over the last several months.”
“It’s big news is my household because we own Xbox,” writes Forbes contributor Michael Humphrey. “If you own Boxee, or Apple TV, you’re probably shrugging right now.”
However, for Apple TV, Hulu, and other content platforms, Microsoft’s expansion into premium content could be cause for concern.
“HBO GO is arguably the best example of what the industry calls ‘Over The Top’ entertainment programming,” Humphrey adds. “Rather than toying with shows being available, then not available, then available again -- like you find on Hulu, Netflix and On Demand -- the cable channel lays all of its programming out there, often before it’s shown on cable.”
Microsoft’s popular gaming console already boasts apps from Verizon, Epix, Vevo, Vudu and YouTube.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the additional content is part of a larger push by Microsoft to use Xbox as a "trojan horse" -- using video games as a way to become the digital entertainment hub for families in the living room. Realizing its dream, the game console is now used more for watching movies and TV shows and listening to music online than playing video games online, LAT reported this week.
“For Comcast, it represents an acknowledgment that the traditional pay TV model is dead,” suggests SlashGear. “Consumers don’t have only one source of entertainment on their flat-screen anymore. Comcast will join Verizon as a cable operator that allows existing subscribers to watch on-demand content without needing to hit the ‘input’ button after playing a round of Mass Effect 3.”