Microsoft's Xbox gaming system is marching into the cable TV arena. Deals with cable companies like Time Warner, Comcast, and HBO, in addition to pre-existing streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, will let premium subscribers to Xbox Live surf through a pretty big content selection. Xbox Live has over 35 million subscribers, so that’s a whole bunch of potential users. And if you have a Kinect with your Xbox, you can change channels and search for shows by voice command or gestures.
In a demonstration of the technology last week at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., Michael Suraci, director of marketing for Xbox Live, told an Xbox to “Bing Sandra Bullock,” which promptly found “The Blind Side,” “Crash” and several other movies starring the actress that were available through various sources of video on Xbox Live.
Similar to deals that have been reached to streaming services, you won’t be able to access a show like “True Blood” without paying for a cable subscription with HBO, which might be worth it just to say in your best brooding, vampire voice, “Bing, Sookie,” or maybe you could just make a fangs gesture.