Xbox Live Getting iView and SBS On Demand

Gamers rejoice — now you’ll be able to wind down inbetween sessions of Gears Of War 3 with a few tasty episodes of Gruen Planet or Rockwiz thanks to a new agreement that’ll see ABC iView and SBS On Demand become part of the Xbox Live offering.

More: It’s Official: Xbox 360 Gets TV (In Australia Too!) [Kotaku Australia]

Don’t get too excited about that screenshot though; it’s all Microsoft’s got to illustrate the TV concept for now. It’s part of a global rollout of TV services that covers some 40 television partner channels worldwide, but all we get is two of them in terms of digital channels. We’ll also get YouTube, Crackle and The Daily Motion, along with the already available Foxtel On Xbox Live offering. Foxtel seems to be doing OK on Xbox 360, with the official release quoting Microsoft’s David McLean as saying:

We have seen success with FOXTEL on Xbox 360 to date with more than 215,000 downloads of the application and expect that Australians will welcome the additional content that ABC iview and SBS ON DEMAND brings.’

The services are due ‘in the coming months’ according to the release, and may coincide with the launch of Kinect voice control for Australians. Yes, we’re still waiting for Kinect voice control.

Overall, I’m a little conflicted by this one. On the one hand, anything that expands my entertainment options has to be a good thing, right? On the other hand, generally when I switch on my 360, it’s specifically because I’ve got gaming in mind, and it’s not as though I’m lacking for sources to watch iView and SBS On Demand — and some of those sources don’t count towards my download quota either. What’s your take on adding more TV to Xbox 360? [Major Nelson]