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Monday, January 08, 2007

CES: The Xbox 360 to get IPTV in '07, ships 10.4mil consoles

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Bill Gates and Robbie Bach are taking the stage at the annual CES keynote, eager to share all the secrets everything they have in store for us in '07. As leaked, Microsoft is touting 10.4 million Xbox 360 systems shipped to date as well as introducing IPTV services for the erstwhile gaming console. With "strong demand" for the HD-DVD drive and brisk sales from the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, the ability to s tream television straight to the 'box brings the erstwhile gaming platform closer and closer to the mythical convergence box they've envisioned from the beginning.

While mythical, IPTV inclusion wasn't a mystery. Last year a Microsoft exec said IPTV on the Xbox 360 was a "fair bet" and Engadget asked Gates directly about IPTV on the 360. With significant investment in IPTV already, bringing that functionality to the Xbox 360 was an obvious move for Microsoft. Some of the functionality of their offering will include:
  • "digital video recording capabilities" for gaming, movie viewing, and even voice and video chat -- we're really gonna need a bigger hard drive
  • Live chat while watching television -- we're so going to watch Lost with out friends. "I totally knew that was going to happen!"
  • Play on Xbox Live while recording television live in the background
Hold your horses! IPTV on Xbox 360 won't be available until "holiday season 2007." Even then, you'll need to be in a market "deploying TV services based on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform." Right now, we've got a lot more questions than we've got answers. Check Engadget for live coverage of the keynote for the announcements, happening now.
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