Microsoft firms up deal for live TV on Xbox

If you get your TV through Verizon or Comcast, you’ll soon be able to channel surf from the comfort of your Xbox 360.

In a statement, Microsoft has officially confirmed the details of its promise to bring live TV to the game console, saying its two biggest partnerships in the deal are Verizon Fios and Comcast Xfinity cable.

The feature will be made available as part of a large update to the Xbox 360 later this year.

Originally announced at E3 in June, the addition of live TV content to the console is a landmark move in the growing trend of offering more than gaming content to today’s consoles.

Microsoft first teased the idea during E3 when it allowed gamers to watch live coverage from Spike TV on the console. With its new content partners, Microsoft will offer some, but not all, channels, making the Xbox 360 somewhat of a virtual cable box.

“Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Microsoft’s Don Mattrick in a statement.

In addition, Microsoft has partnered up with other TV content providers like Time Warner and NBC Universal, allowing it to offer shows from other networks like HBO and Syfy.

“By bringing the technologically advanced Verizon FiOS TV service to Xbox 360 and Kinect, we are advancing our vision to provide the best in entertainment in extraordinary new ways,” said Microsoft corporate VP Tom Gibbons.