Microsoft tipped to launch Xbox IPTV

Microsoft is tipped to announce the launch of an IPTV service accessed through its Xbox games console at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) video games conference, which is being held in Las Vegas this week.

The subscription service will reportedly be called Xbox Live Diamond and a demonstration of it will be shown at E3. Any service is expected to be restricted, initially, to the US market. Microsoft is reportedly in last-minute negotiations with content providers and broadcasters ahead of E3.

The project, codenamed Orapa, would see Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV services combined with Xbox Live services.

Rumours of a forthcoming launch were fuelled last week when Frank Shaw, corporate vice-president, corporate communications at Microsoft, wrote on his blog that “the Xbox home entertainment pot will be boiling over during a 90-minute event” at E3. Reflecting that “40% of all Xbox activity now is non-game” and that users were now consuming an average of 30 hours of video per month per Xbox, Shaw said that the console would be “marketed more as an entertainment brand this year”.

The reports of an imminent Microsoft announcement follow similar reports last week that Apple could include TV and movies as part of its forthcoming iCloud remote storage service.

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