Among the multitude of features on Xbox Live are Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm and Netflix. Unsurprisingly, all of these features were announced at previous E3’s. Similarly, Microsoft unveiled another non-gaming feature at E3 this year. Now, Xbox Live Gold Members can watch 3500 ESPN events live and on-demand via Xbox Live.
Interestingly, the service is an exclusive partnership between Microsoft and ESPN. Gamers without an Xbox 360 are out of luck if they want to switch between playing as their favorite team and watching their team, which is a surprisingly quick transition. So far, NBA, MLB, college basketball, college football, soccer, and Sports Center have all been named-dropped as included content. NFL and NHL oddly, have not.
The ESPN service will feature support from Kinect. Using Kinect, one will be able to participate in actions such as voting on game outcomes. Unsurprisingly, stats and live tickers will be displayed. Though, in an interesting twist, ESPN and Microsoft have decided to give this feature for free to users who have a Gold status.
With everyone and their mother knowing who the main gaming demographic is, and with exclusivity rights, this partnership not only lends itself to being immensely successful, but quite surprising as well.