Heads up, Xbox Live Gold subscribers — you’ll soon have yet another way to access some sweet, sweet video content on your Xbox 360. Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb has revealed on his blog that early Redbox Instant beta testers will be able to download and install the app onto their 360s “in the very near future.”
The news isn’t exactly a bolt from the blue for those you following the Redbox Instant odyssey — GigaOM reported this past November that Xbox 360 support would be part of the joint venture’s offerings from the beginning. It is, however, a serious boon for Microsoft. The Redmond-based company has been angling for an even greater stake in people’s living rooms for years now, and has worked to turn the Xbox into far more than just a mere game console. To wit: Microsoft has been adding hordes of new entertainment apps to Xbox Live every few months or so (in December, Microsoft announced an additional 43 would be live before this spring), but Redbox’s popular physical kiosks add value to what otherwise would be a Netflix-esque streaming video/DVD rental play.
Don’t see anything particularly appealing in your Xbox’s Redbox app? Why not hop in your car and drive five minutes to your local drugstore and pick one out of the Redbox vending machine? Even if you don’t have a dedicated DVD player, you can always throw it in — what else? — your Xbox for a relaxing night in. With Redbox Instant in tow, Xbox now has (another) terribly compelling content play to aid in its bid to wrest control of your living room away from its rivals.
Sorry, Sony and Nintendo devotees, you probably won’t be able to join in the fun any time soon. Hyrb’s post goes on to say that Microsoft is the service’s “exclusive gaming and entertainment console launch partner,” though that’s not to say that the service will never make to leap to rival consoles — Netflix named Sony’s PlayStation 3 the company’s “largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing” in 2012, so an opportunity like that probably isn’t an option that Redbox Instant’s brass is keen to blithely pass up.