DirecTV and Microsoft Expand Marriage

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Digital Distribution | Hollywood & Video Games

Logo_leftnavAt CES in January, Microsoft and DirecTV entered into a long-term agreement to expand the reach of digital content throughout the home and on the go. According to online reports, part of this marriage may soon be coming to Xbox 360. A DirecTV blade is rumored to be in the works for Xbox 360 Dashboard that would allow gamers to download high definition movies on demand straight to their hard drive. Since DirecTV also features TV programming, this type of partnership could also pave the way for HD TV content to be beamed to the next generation console. With E3 right around the corner, the Microsoft press conference seems like the perfect venue to announce any new offerings in this partnership.

DirecTV also announced at CES that it was getting into the professional videogame business with its Massive Gaming League. E3 is expected to be the locale for the first tournament for this endeavor. An interview with head of DirecTV's gaming initiative revealed that DirecTV is focusing on Xbox 360 for all of its tournaments because of the built-in spectator feature on Xbox Live and the next generation graphics. This will put Microsoft front and center with DirecTV programming that will surround these events, which will be packaged for online and satellite consumption.

As more gamers pick up Xbox 360, the console will become a hub in many homes. It makes sense for DirecTV to get a piece of the TV action from these gamers. Sony will certainly be offering TV and movies through its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network Platform when it ships this fall. Microsoft doesn't own TV or movie studios like Sony does, so this partnership with DirecTV does bring entertainment content to the gaming mix.

Both Sony and Microsoft are targeting the living room in this next generation battle. Over the next few years, as market penetration broadens, these two consoles will be used for much more than just hardcore and casual gaming. Movies, TV and music will be digitally distributed to networked homes. These consoles will serve as hubs for this content. More partnerships like DirecTV and Microsoft are likely to occur as Sony and Microsoft align partners in their ongoing battle for the digitally distributed living room of tomorrow.


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