After three years of negotiations and discussions between BBC and Microsoft, the BBC iPlayer app has finally launched on Xbox 360. The initial discussions started back in 2009 but had seen slow progress due to Microsoft’s insistence on keeping all revenue from the content. Now, however, the shockingly pleasant news is that Microsoft won’t be charging anything for the content of the app and users with Xbox Live account will be able to use it for free.
The web player of BBC is already available with nearly all major gaming platforms. But it comes with an additional, and cool, feature for Xbox 360 users. The users of Microsoft’s game console will be able to use the iPlayer using Kinect which means that they will be able to control the player using voice commands and hand gestures.
According to different sources, the deal was finally sealed between Microsoft and BBC in October 2011 after Microsoft decided to go flexible on its demands.
The launch of the well popular web player has been long anticipated by Xbox 360 users. According to BBC’s general manager of Programmes & On-Demand, Daniel Danker, ”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.’
BBC is also quite excited over the fact that users will be able to use the player for the first time through motion controls and voice commands with the help of Microsoft’s Kinect. In this regard, Danker said, ‘As we continue our work to make BBC iPlayer as simple as possible, we’re also excited to experiment with natural user interfaces made possible with Kinect, including voice and gesture control. We believe it’s early days for these experiences, but see a great future working with partners such as Microsoft on innovations like these.’