Rumor: Microsoft to announce Xbox LIVE ‘Diamond' TV service at E3

Rumors have been swirling around what Microsoft might have up its sleeve for its Xbox platform at the upcoming E3 expo next week.  Some have speculated that announcements will be limited solely to some new software titles (such as Forza Motorsport 4 and a new Star Wars title – both of which will bring extensive Kinect integration), while others have suggested that Microsoft might surprise us all with a hardware-related announcement.

But at least one major announcement has been all but confirmed by WinRumors – that of a new Xbox LIVE Diamond tier, which will bring a subscription TV service to the Xbox platform.

Citing sources close to Microsoft, WinRumors reveals that the announcement will be made on Monday, but that MS is still working tirelessly behind the scenes on last-minute negotiations to ensure that all of the requisite agreements with rights holders and contents providers are in place ahead of the announcement.

Xbox LIVE Diamond is believed to be the culmination of months of work on an internal MS project known as ‘Orapa’.  First revealed by ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley back in March, Orapa is a combination of the Xbox LIVE platform fused with Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV system, and some have suggested that it may even include elements of ‘Ventura’. This is a set of services in development by Microsoft focused on improving discovery of music and video content, but it’s not yet known if it’s a standalone product, or if its features will be baked into existing products like Zune.

There’s been extensive discussion in recent weeks over the future of the Zune brand, and this may well be the beginning of a transition that sees Zune phased out, with Xbox becoming the dominant entertainment brand for Microsoft.

In fact, in a posting on the Microsoft TechNet blog this week, Frank Shaw (corporate VP for communications at MS) stated:

Put simply, Xbox = entertainment, and is core to our entertainment strategy… The vision for Xbox is straightforward: All of the entertainment you want. With the people you care about. Made easy… That is why you’ll see Xbox marketed more as an entertainment brand this year.”

So, it looks like there’s plenty of exciting new features coming to Xbox LIVE and E3 is the place to find out about them – Microsoft will be streaming its ‘Xbox@E3’ announcements live at Xbox.com, and as always, we’ll have all the coverage you need right here on Neowin.  

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sony Xperia Play to expand game library with exclusive titles

Next Story

Sony's Playstation Network still not safe from hackers, says expert

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'll have to see it, but if this is something that gives you near unlimited access to the current video content then i'll be all over it.

Also, I'm not sure that this alone is worthy of paying big bucks to broadcast live to Time Square... we'll find out soon though..

It's so true. Many folks also think that MS could just snap their fingers and content publishers/distributors will just all fall in line. Unfortunately, it seems to be much tougher than that... and probably involves a 'few' lawyers.

AT&T Uverse seems to be happy, but if MS does get the green light, that'll **** off many of the operators... another reason they'll spend $$ to block deals and lobby against it. (btw, expect this type of jockeying with Skype)

It'll be interesting to see what MS can get after all is said and done. Living in US, I was envious of the UK Sky deal. :0(

the better twin said,
Whos betting this is another US only service? Yay for a global brand /s

No doubt.

I imagine it's a hard fight to get content without the consumer needing to be already subscribed to cable or satellite which makes all this stuff like Sky etc. totally pointless in my eyes. I've already bought the ticket why should I bother viewing the content in lesser quality through another device that requires another fee, Gold if you don't subscribe. There is really no hope when cable and satellite companies have a stranglehold on the market.

the better twin said,
Whos betting this is another US only service? Yay for a global brand /s

To be fair you can see why they would keep it US only to begin with, to minimise the losses if it flops and contracts fall through.

the better twin said,
Whos betting this is another US only service? Yay for a global brand /s

yep

And it's starting to bother me a lot.

XBox Live is really expensive for a steam like system. Because this is what it is outside of USA.

add bbc iplayer,itv player, 4oD etc etc instead bring for online TV content to the dam system .... else at least put a browser into with support for flash etc so we can get to said sites ...now that be entertainment

gunny2k6 said,
add bbc iplayer,itv player, 4oD etc etc instead bring for online TV content to the dam system .... else at least put a browser into with support for flash etc so we can get to said sites ...now that be entertainment

I would be more than happy with iplayer, youtube and basic web browser! But a spot of HD Freeview PVR functionality would be nice too

UKALFIE said,

I would be more than happy with iplayer, youtube and basic web browser! But a spot of HD Freeview PVR functionality would be nice too

http://www.anpark.com/Software.aspx
MCEBrowser is a plugin for Microsoft Windows Media Center which allows you surf the internet using a Media Center remote control. (use xbox control pad if you want)
If you have your xbox connected to a network with a Window PC, install the MCEBrowser plugin and load up windows media center on the xbox.
You can then visit any website you want. iPlayer and skyplayer media center plugin work direct from media center, other sites work too using the browser. I have tv card in my PC as well, so I can watch all the live tv channels using that too. I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more coverage.