Good news, FiOS fans! Verizon and Microsoft have announced today that they have struck an agreement to bring live HD television channels to your Xbox 360 without any additional hardware.
Now, don’t expect to get Verizon’s full channel lineup on your console just yet — according to their just-released statement, Verizon will only be bringing “a selection of popular live TV channels to the Xbox 360.” So far, Verizon has 26 channels on deck, including MTV, Spike, Food Network, Comedy Central, HBO, CNN and Nickelodeon.
Even cooler is the fact that Verizon’s FiOS application will have full support for the Kinect, so you can finally put the remote down and flick through channels from the comfort of your couch. I’m not sure how many people will embrace the added physical movement needed to channel surf, but the true couch-lovers can always stick to a controller.
The offer will only be open to FiOS TV and internet customers who have active Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, but that seems to be it as far as eligibility requirements go. Sorry folks: as AllThingsD succinctly put it yesterday, this isn’t a “tool for cable cord cutters.”
Verizon and Microsoft have yet to make any official statement on a launch window aside from saying it’s due out by the holidays. Bloomberg reported last month that Comcast was engaging in similar talks with Microsoft, so hopefully the FiOS-deprived among us aren’t left out in the cold for too long.
Update: Comcast has jumped on board Microsoft’s new TV initiative, but is only providing access to their On-Demand service as opposed to live television.