Microsoft and Sky have announced a new deal to bring Sky TV to the Xbox 360 in the UK by the end of the year, allowing gamers to watch Sky content on their gaming machines.
Unveiled at a very posh press event in London yesterday, Sky has confirmed that the system will essentially be a mirror of the existing online service, Sky Player, and will allow users to watch content both live and on-demand.
While content line-ups have been confirmed there seems to be a heavy focus on sports from both companies, with Sky and Microsoft both very excited to have Premier League football and Test Match cricket coverage on the console. That said, a number of other shows and genres have been mentioned - everything from Ross Kemp on Gangs to music videos and art shows.
Those of you who already have existing Sky subscriptions will essentially be able to use the Xbox 360 as a new way to access the content, but the main appeal is for those who aren't signed up to the satellite service. Neither Microsoft or Sky would talk about pricing, but a number of special packages will be unveiled in the future for those who want to access the content just through the Xbox 360. There should be a selection of packages to cater to most tastes, plus a pay-per-view system for popular shows.
The avatar system will be tied directly into the service too, letting groups watch the same show together in a virtual living room or stadium, able to communicate with each other via headset and emoticons.
"Our customers have told us that they want the opportunity to use their consoles as a way to access TV and once again Xbox has pulled off an entertainment first with amazing content and rich interactive experience,
" said UK Xbox chief Neil Thompson.
Let us know what you think of the system in the forums