Starting next month, Verizon FiOS channels will be streamable through Xbox Live without the need for a cable box. Initially, there will be 26 channels available with more to eventually come (hopefully). You’ll also be able to use Kinect voice and gesture controls to navigate the menus.
Hold those cheers…
However, there is a steep downside here. You unfortunately can’t just turn on your Xbox 360 and stream FiOS programming for the cost of nothing. In order to take advantage of the 26 streamable channels, you’ll first need to be a regular Verizon FiOS customer (both TV and internet) and subscriber to Xbox Live. That’s roughly $90 for FiOs, and another $60 for a Xbox Live gold membership. All that money for 26 channels you could watch by just turning on your TV. Unless you have a vendetta against cable boxes, this whole thing seems a bit silly, does it not?
Maybe Verizon and Microsoft realize how ridiculous this “deal” is, and that’s why they’re throwing in a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and a year’s subscription to Xbox Live to sweeten the pot for newcomers. That’s a combined valued of roughly $190 ($90 for FiOS, $60 for Live, and $40 for Halo) for only $89.99. If you’re in the market for FiOs, you might want to jump on that deal. It expires on January 21, 2012.
So the Verizon/Microsoft team-up is turning out to be a bust (unless you're in the market for a new cable/internet provider). Here’s hoping the rest of Microsoft’s entertainment partnerships wind up being more fruitful.