The long awaited debut of ESPN for Xbox is over. Starting today, Xbox Live gold members can update their consoles and get access to ESPN for Xbox… provided they get their internet from an affiliated ESPN service provider.
The deal is something of a breakthrough for a traditional TV network… especially one as large as ESPN. Fans will now be able to watch live programming from ESPN3.com on their TV sets… a huge step forward over the often cramped computer screen. For a huge Australian Rules Football fan (a group which your SportsNewser editor proudly includes himself), this is a big deal.
There will also be some technological gimmickry, like Xbox Kinect integration, allowing you to control the programming by waving your hand.
It will also lend some ammo to cable cord-cutting evangelists, although most major sporting events will not be available on the service, and you still need to get your internet from a cable provider, as well as a premium XBox Live subscription.
More information after the jump.
ESPN on Xbox LIVE Launches Today
Live events from ESPN3.com, ESPN.com clips and interactive features delivered to the Xbox 360 console
ESPN today officially launched ESPN on Xbox LIVE, delivering the ultimate interactive experience for sports fans with live events from ESPN3.com, ESPN.com video-on-demand clips and sports highlights and other features on the Xbox 360 console. Xbox LIVE members are able to access the service via today’s Xbox LIVE software update.
Xbox LIVE Gold members who are customers of an affiliated service provider will have access to thousands of live, global events every year via ESPN3.com – ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network – including college hoops, college football and bowl games, basketball, baseball, top international soccer, tennis including all four Grand Slam tournaments, golf majors and more. For more information about the service, click HERE.
“Today’s launch of ESPN on Xbox LIVE marks the beginning of a new way to serve sports fans that is truly innovative and social,” said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Digital Media. “This deal is the first of its kind for ESPN, and we’re in a position with Xbox to enhance the gamer’s experience like never before with live events, on-demand clips and more.”
“We’re proud to be partnering with ESPN to expand our ever-growing library of entertainment on Xbox LIVE,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Kinect, Xbox LIVE and LIVE Services at Microsoft. “Our goal is to not only bring premium live sports content to tens of millions of people in the Xbox LIVE community, but also integrate rich social and interactive features into the experience so they can enjoy their entertainment with the people they care about, on the same couch or across the country. And for the first time, you will be able to control this entertainment using just a wave of your hand or sound of your voice with Kinect for Xbox 360, which launches on November 4th.”
ESPN on Xbox LIVE is free for Xbox LIVE Gold members. Users of this service will be able to watch sports and events with full DVR control, pull up current scores while watching the game, easily switch between events and more.
ESPN content and features available to Xbox LIVE members include:
Â·Â Video Streaming: Access thousands of live and on-demand global sporting events from ESPN3.com a year, many available in HD-quality, plusÂ ESPN.com video clips and daily sports highlights streamed on-demand;
- Games at a Glance: Pull up real-time score information from the world of sports without leaving the game you’re watching, and easily switch between events;
- Out-of-Market Programming: Catch out-of-market games happening around the world and exclusive games you can’t watch anywhere else;
Â·Â Predict the Winner: Predict which team you think you’ll win and see the percentage of other people in the Xbox LIVE community who are rooting for the same team;
Â·Â My Sports: Follow your favorite leagues for the season;
Â·Â Kinect for Xbox 360 Integration: Microsoft’s new technology allows fans to control the content they watch with just their voice or wave of the hand.
ESPN3.com is available in approximately 65 million households nationwide via dozens of affiliated service providers including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, Windstream, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.