While Microsoft's E3 2010 offering will undoubtedly focus on Project Natal and expanding the life span of its flagship gaming console, it seems like Hulu might grab some time in the limelight. Gearlive, citing a "very reliable source", has been told that Hulu plans to partner with Microsoft to release a web player for the Xbox Live platform as part of the E3 2010 festivities. It will require some kind of subscription, but Gearlive isn't sure how Microsoft will process that fee. It could a Microsoft points-based system, giving you discreet amounts of Hulu time depending on your points contribution, or it could be like Netflix, who charges a monthly dollar rate for the service. Also unknown is whether or not the full content of Hulu's website will be offered on the Xbox, or if a separate, smaller library will be available to Xbox users.
Image courtesy of Gearlive
Hulu is infamous for being difficult to partner with. Largely due to the nature of the business -- it's basically run and controlled by the content providers who are stakeholders in the site -- many have tried and failed to successfully integrate Hulu's distribution model into their systems. Boxee had a Hulu player for a while and got rejected shortly thereafter due to a conflict with content providers. They won't play nice with Apple TV, and Google TV may have problems with them in the future. Hulu was expected to start their subscription-based service on Apple's iPad, but it looks like Xbox Live may be getting it first.