MLB.tv brings more sports to U.S. Xbox Live customers and CinemaNow brings on-demand TV.
Can’t get enough of the media apps on Xbox Live? Love using them? Well, there are more coming
The Xbox Live media apps have been insanely popular since launching last year alongside the latest dashboard update, much to my surprise. Apps such as the BBC iPlayer have brought services, previously on small-screen devices, to HD television. YouTube also arrived which, while buggy, is great for viewing users you’re subscribed to (The Verge video podcast, thank you very much). You can also view playlists in the YouTube app so it back, put the controller down and relax.
Though that’s not enough for Microsoft, it seems. The company has announced it’s lauching MLB.tv and CinemaNow for the platform. U.S. customers will note that the former has been available in that region since March, but Microsoft is launching for 18 new countries – Austraia, Germany and the UK are just some that can install MLB.tv premium to gain access to Major League Baseball Games.
US sports worldwide?
That’s actually pretty awesome because those of us on the other side of the Atlantic do feel left out: HBO Go isn’t available, and Netflix has just come over. I’d love if some kind of NFL app for the UK and other worldwide regions arrived. I bet a lot of people would watch that, though there’s nothing wrong with baseball.
CinemaNow offers access to premium video content for rental and purchase. The free app requires Xbox Live Gold, which includes news releases and TV shows. While the MLB app has no competition, CinemaNow is the exact opposite: LOVEFILM and Netflix offer movies and the BBC iPlayer offers TV shows – the latter is party of paying the TV license in the UK and the app is free. So it’s going to be a lot more difficult to care about using CinemaNow.
As mentioned, Microsoft did reveal that Xbox live media app usage has doubled over the past year and has surpassed games themselves. As Michael Pachter noted in the Microsoft episode of the Bonus Round, the Xbox 360 will be light on games and high on the living room experience at E3 2012.
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