You may or may not have heard about the project currently known as Live TV to the gaming community. This feature was announced at the Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference and according to ongoing reports was originally planned to resemble something beyond the Netflix/Hulu setup to compete with something even more sophisticated – offerings we see from cable providers.
All of this was in the process of being added to Xbox Live with most speculation and rumor hinting at an eventual increased cost for higher-grade membership of Xbox Live that would allow access. In other words, if you want to watch – you would have to upgrade your account and pay extra at some point for a higher status (Diamond was a nickname among speculators), if not then you would presumably have the option to remain a Gold member.
According to the latest info surrounding this undertaking, which had Microsoft execs talking shop with the likes of HBO to make headlines, the entire project may have been cancelled for the time being. Royalty costs of digital streaming have still been in a transitional stage but we are starting to see owners of digital content value their intellectual properties more than before.
Netflix and Hulu are feeling the crunch and that’s why Netflix has been having to explain itself to customers about increasing fees and decreasing selection while Hulu seemingly planned ahead for this cost increase by leaving advertisements in to help cover content costs. Is it possible this is happening because of an upcoming shift to new hardware – or is does Microsoft believe it’s just too expensive for Xbox Live consumers during the global financial crisis? Only time will tell.
Thanks to VGP via GameGrep for advancements on this ongoing rumor.
Update: As far as we know this shouldn’t have any long-term effects on the YouTube/Bing Voice portions of Live TV.