San Francisco: Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will bring cable television content to its Xbox video game console over the upcoming holiday season, expanding the console into an entertainment hub.
According to a company press release, nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainment providers such as HBO, GO and BBC will stream their content through the Xbox Live service in more than 20 countries and regions.
Users will be able to sift through shows online with the Kinect motion sensor device for Xbox 360 and Bing voice search, Microsoft said.
To watch TV programmes via Xbox as an alternate delivery system, customers have to already subscribe to the TV services and Microsoft`s Xbox Live Gold service of $60 per year, Xinhua reported.
"Today`s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy," Microsoft said in the press release.
Microsoft first entered the gaming console market in 2001 with the Xbox, the predecessor to the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 currently competes with Sony`s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo`s Wii as the seventh generation of video game consoles.
In June, Microsoft said 35 million people subscribed Xbox Live service around the world, spending an average of 60 hours a month playing games and watching movies and shows.
Last year, the company integrated social networking features into Xbox Live, allowing users chat with each other while watching programs.