Let the games begin: Microsoft looking to bring ESPN to Xbox

Microsoft, falling further behind in its mobile race with Google (when, exactly, is WinMo 7 coming out anyway) and in second place for the foreseeable future in the search wars, is planning to make an aggressive foray into another space dominated by Google -- online video. But, this time, it won't be head-to-head, with the Redmond-based software king looking to make hay in one of the few fields Google isn't playing in, OTT streaming media.

The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft has had "in-depth" talks with Disney about bringing ESPN to its Xbox game console for a "per-subscriber fee." The talks are very hush-hush and the Times story is surprisingly dependent on anonymous sources, one of whom says don't expect to hear anything more anytime soon about a deal.

Nonetheless, the likelihood that Microsoft is looking for another way to get some separation from Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 isn't really an idea that's too tough to get your head around, after all, both recently cut deals with Netflix to bring the streaming movie service - once an Xbox exclusive - to their platforms.

There are some 39 million Xbox consoles in play around the world, nearly half of them connect to Xbox Live each month.

For more:
- see the Times story

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