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A solemn, dignified smattering of applause quietly and politely spread through the UK today when the BBC declared that it will make its “programmes” available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK.
The BBC iPlayer has long been available for the other two current generation consoles, but it just hit the Xbox today. The Xbox version has special features for the Kinect, recognizing both hand gestures and voice. Daniel Danker of the BBC said: “Xbox is hugely successful in the UK. Given the BBC’s goal to reach its entire audience, I’m particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE’s free membership.”
Microsoft’s Stephen McGill added: “We are delighted that BBC iPlayer is now available on Xbox LIVE. Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the UK and globally last year, while Xbox LIVE is one of the UK’s leading comprehensive VOD entertainment services on TVs. The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level. We offer a formidable line-up of the best TV and entertainment – both live and on-demand - from providers such as Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Blinkbox, MSN, YouTube and many others.”
Unfortunately, this feature is just for residents of the UK, and us Americans will have to settle for using Hulu on our Xboxes to watch Misfits.