Microsoft combines IPTV with Xbox 360

Last week at the 2007 CES, Microsoft announced a new approach to entertainment, bringing together the Xbox 360 gaming console and the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform.

The result is a digital entertainment offering that's essentially IPTV on Xbox 360. With a projected availability in time for the 2007 holiday season, the all-in-one entertainment device will be offered by providers that are deploying TV services over broadband networks based on the IPTV Edition software platform.

The integration of a video gaming console with IPTV services is intended to deliver a first-of-its-kind entertainment experience. IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to give consumers all the advantages of an advanced TV service with the benefits of next-generation gaming.

Online social network Xbox Live will be seamlessly integrated into the experience, providing consumers with a wide range of community-based features, such as voice chat, sending and receiving text and voice messages and accessing Xbox Live Marketplace, while watching TV.

With the addition of IPTV functionality, Microsoft aims to augment Xbox 360 as the centerpiece of HD digital entertainment in the living room.