Microsoft announced on Tuesday it has scored a big win with Verizon. The company’s Xbox 360 will be getting exclusive console launch rights to the carrier’s Redbox Instant service.
Although Microsoft wouldn’t reveal when Redbox would be coming to Xbox, aside from saying “in the very near future,” it did reveal that current Redbox Instant beta participants will have access “in the coming days.” Again, timing is unclear, but if you’re already a tester, you will be getting an email with a unique code to access the app on the Xbox 360.
For those who have Microsoft’s console but aren’t a beta tester of Redbox, don’t worry. You can wait for the service to roll out more broadly, after which the Xbox app will undoubtedly follow, or you can ask for beta access by visiting RedboxInstant.com.
For those who have never heard of Redbox Instant, that’s likely because Verizon only announced the service in December as a private beta. In short, the service, priced at $8 per month for DVD or $9 per month for Blu-ray, combines four one-night credits (per 30 days) for the latest movie releases at Redbox kiosks with access to a catalogue of popular movies available for unlimited streaming.
The Xbox 360 app will let movie fans purchase and rent the newest digital releases without needing a subscription. That being said, the fine print from the announcement suggests this won’t exactly be free (not the first time):
Xbox LIVE Gold subscription and/or additional subscriptions/fees including a Redbox Instant by Verizon subscription may be required and sold separately. Kinect functionality available with select Xbox LIVE content and varies by feature and country.
Becoming the exclusive gaming and entertainment console launch partner for Redbox Instant is really just a small piece of the larger puzzle for the Xbox 360. This console generation, Microsoft has been pushing hard to ensure that the Xbox 360 is more than just a console, a strategy that has helped it significantly in its fight with Nintendo and Sony.
Update at 7:00PM EST: Redbox contacted TNW to clarify that the Xbox 360 will be the only console to have access during the beta period and for the launch. That being said, the company is “talking to a lot” more partners and plans “to be on all the devices that consumers access their entertainment which we hope includes other gaming platforms.” Aside from the Xbox 360, the service is currently available for PC as well as mobile devices, including Android, iOS, Samsung Blu-ray players, and select TVs.
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