Microsoft could be about to announce a new IPTV service specifically for Xbox 360 owners. Named Xbox LIVE Diamond it sounds like being one step up from Xbox LIVE Gold.
Xbox LIVE Diamond
Microsoft is being heavily tipped to unveil a new Xbox LIVE television service at the E3 Expo next week. Named Xbox LIVE Diamond (codename Orapa), the TV service would add even more video content to the bestselling games console which is already bulging with video content.
According to WinRumors, Microsoft is busy getting the final partners in place before making the big announcement. Orapa would be a monthly subscription service which would cost money on top of what Xbox 360 owners are already paying for the privilege of going online using their consoles.
Console TV Service
It’s unclear at this point exactly what form Xbox LIVE Diamond will take because the service is shrouded in secrecy and its existence is only based on rumor and speculation. The Diamond name suggests an added layer of features above what is currently available, with the paid plan currently known as Xbox LIVE Gold. And everyone knows Diamond is better than Gold.
It could be that the service is intended purely as a Mediaroom client, giving cable subscribers another device capable of streaming programming, or it could be that the service will be much, much more than that and effectively turn Microsoft into a TV provider in its own right. Or anything in between these two extremes.
This rumor is so strong I can only assume it’s based in reality. There have actually been rumors of a similar nature for months, so all eyes will be on E3 2011 next week waiting for this announcement.
Microsoft claims 40 percent of activity undertaken on the Xbox 360 is non-gaming, which would suggest there will be a lot of demand for this type of service. Games consoles are increasingly becoming living room entertainment hubs, and this will be another step in that direction.