Attention, Xbox 360 owners – you’ll be prompted to download an Xbox Live update tomorrow. And if your home cable provider is Comcast, and/or you happen to be a fan of the many original shows on HBO, it’ll be an update worth downloading. Both content providing companies will be adding their stamp to the growing catalog of Xbox Live streaming video content when the new firmware update is rolled out.
For Comcast, it represents an acknowledgment that the traditional pay TV model is dead. 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. The Comcast-Microsoft partnership was announced as part of the expansion of Xbox Live video content, but it was never announced when the service would go live.
The same is true for HBO Go. The on-demand streaming app was rumored to launch on April 1, in time for the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. However, it makes more sense to launch the service a few days in advance, so as to fix any issues that might arise. In addition to on-demand cable services and HBO Go, the Xbox 360 also lets users stream videos through Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Vevo, among others. It is becoming less and less of a game console and more of a total living room immersion device.