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UPDATE: Microsoft Xbox 360 to get BBC iPlayer in 2012

Xbox 360

Update 05.12.11

Microsoft has confirmed its Xbox 360 will get BBC iPlayer next year as the firm attempts to make the device more of an all-round entertainment hub like Sony's PS3.

A major update will begin rolling out to Xbox 360 consoles around the world from tomorrow, December 6th.

But while the update will also bring the new 'Metro' interface, plus Kinect voice control integrated with Microsoft's Bing search engine, owners will have to wait longer for the hugely popular BBC iPlayer.

Around 40 media companies have been signed up to bring both live and on-demand movie and TV content to the console. In the UK, LoveFilm will be available through the Xbox 360 from December 6th.

Later in the month it will be joined by other on-demand services including 4OD, Demand 5, Blinkbox, Muzu.TV and Sony's Crackle. The iPlayer will be available via an Xbox Live app from early 2012.

Published 06.10.11

Xbox 360 owners will be able to view a string of on-demand and streaming services from the likes of the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and film rental service Blinkbox and Lovefilm this Christmas.

Microsoft has done deals with 40 television and video-on-demand companies to bring a range of entertainment services to Xbox Live.

Users will be able to search much of the content via Microsoft's Bing engine, and in some cases it will be possible to use voice commands to find films and TV shows using the Kinect device.

However, it's not yet clear if BBC programmes will be supplied via an Xbox version of iPlayer.

"Combining the world's leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless," says Don Mattrick, president of interactive entertainment at Microsoft.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.