The battle for VOD supremacy on your gaming console just took things up a level, with Foxtel and Microsoft announcing that a special internet version of Foxtel will be available for Gold Xbox Live customers some time in Q4 this year.
At launch, the service will include at least 30 channels, including Fox Sports, ESPN, Discovery, Nickelodeon and Sky News. Pricing is still to be announced, but Foxtel CEO Kim Williams promised at the announcement that the service would be affordable. He also added that current Foxtel customers with multiroom can add the use the Xbox service for no additional cost.
The service, which is based upon the same service offered in the UK on Xboxes from BSkyB, will allow users to watch live linear channels, catchup TV, and other Video on Demand content. At launch, all the content will be offered in standard definition, but they’ll definitely be rolling out HD content, as well as some technical improvements as time goes on.
The service will only be available for people in regions that are currently serviced by Foxtel, which is a bit of a shame for rural Australians and Austar customers. The Foxtel agreement is also exclusive to Xbox (for the time being, at least), meaning you’re not going to see the same service on your PS3 any time soon.
Of course, the big issue with a service like this is data allowances on broadband plans. Foxtel’s Williams did mention however that two ISPs have indicated to him that this is the kind of service they would likely include in their unmetered offerings, although he refused to comment which ISPs they would be.