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BBC iPlayer launches on Xbox Live, available for free

On-demand service includes Kinect support

BBC iPlayer, the popular video-on-demand service, has finally launched on Xbox Live, Microsoft's confirmed.

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The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK, the platform holder says. It also means iPlayer is now available on every major gaming platform in the UK.

Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality, including playing programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition.

The BBC on-demand service has been available on PS3 since 2008. It's widely believed that the Beeb's request to have iPlayer available for free - rather than commercialised as part of a premium package such as Xbox Live - is the key reason it's not appeared on Xbox until now.

Daniel Danker, BBC GM of programmes & on-demand, said of the launch: "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.

"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."

Xbox UK boss Stephen McGill added: "We are delighted that BBC iPlayer is now available on Xbox Live. Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the UK and globally last year, while Xbox Live is one of the UK's leading comprehensive VOD entertainment services on TVs.

"The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level. We offer a formidable line-up of the best TV and entertainment - both live and on-demand - from providers such as Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Blinkbox, MSN, YouTube and many others.

"The way people interact with entertainment content is changing. Xbox LIVE is the only service in the world where you can search, discover and control TV, movies, video and music using voice and gesture via the power and magic of Kinect."

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