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Xbox adds HBO Go, MLB.TV, Xfinity, as it evolves from game console

What do you use your Xbox for? From personal experience, I can say that I fire up Microsoft’s console more often to catch an episode of something on Netflix or Hulu Plus than I use it to play games.

In a Tuesday release, Microsoft announced that entertainment usage has passed multiplayer game usage on the Xbox, meaning that users are spending more time consuming non-game entertainment than playing games.

Not only that, the company’s metrics now show that the Xbox Live users spend, on average, 30 percent more time on Xbox Live’s online services than they did a year ago. That’s around 84 hours of online gaming, video and music.

With Tuesday’s announcement that Microsoft has added HBO Go, Xfinity and MLB.TV to the Xbox’s stable of video services, that number is likely to go up. According to Microsoft’s release, Comcast’s on-demand library will be available to Xbox Live members, while HBO’s entire catalogue of shows will be available to those who use its app. MLB.TV will allow users to pause and rewind games, though blackout restrictions apply.

All the new services are integrated with Kinect, and require their own subscriptions.

But the one-platform television of the future isn’t here quite yet. For example, while Comcast has granted access to Xfinity, the HBO Go service isn’t available to Comcast (or Time Warner Cable) subscribers.

Some users also reportedly had problems getting the Xfinity service up and running, according to a report from ZDNet, but the Xbox support page indicates that the service is “up and running” on consoles now.

Related stories:

Xbox 360 updates its dashboard with more Kinect control

New Xbox to come in 2013, at earliest

FBI says AWOL soldier got debit card by stealing Microsoft co-founder’s identity

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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