Microsoft is widely expected to announce a partnership with Hulu at its E3 2010 keynote address that will allow access to the video service via Xbox Live for a subscription fee. The only obstacle remaining is if some content licensing rights are not ironed out in time according to 1up.com.
Xbox 360 owners currently have access to Netflix’s catalog of movies for $8.99 a month plus the additional cost of $7.99 per month for Xbox Live Gold membership. Hulu costs via Xbox 360 are expected to be in the same sub-$10 ballpark as Netflix. If it happens, Xbox 360 would be the first confirmed platform where Hulu viewers would have to pay for content.
Hulu was supposed to launch Hulu Plus last month, a $9.99 subscription service that would cut out free access to Hulu’s vast catalog of television and movie content. That service has yet to materialize.
Both Microsoft and Sony remain committed to turning their Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles, respectively, into a living room hub. The introduction of Hulu to Xbox 360 for television plus the ongoing relationship with Netflix for movies would theoretically negate the need for a cable subscription service.
We’ll find out for certain on Monday, June 14 when Steve Ballmer kicks off the 2010 Microsoft E3 keynote address and presentation.