The Xbox 360 Dashboard update hits tomorrow (6 December), but while it comes with plenty of new features and applications for content providers, including 4OD and Demand 5, the much-touted BBC iPlayer won't be one of them. Yet.
Pocket-lint has been told, in a one-to-one briefing, that the iPlayer app is unlikely to be available on the platform this year, with a 2012 release date much more likely. This is because both parties, Microsoft and the BBC, want the functionality and look of the service to be as good as it possibly can be, and to feature complete integration with the new features offered by the refreshed Metro-style interface:
"We are working with them to deliver their application, probably in 2012," said Pav Bhardwaj, Xbox Live UK product manager. "We are working to make sure that the app that we deliver for the BBC is the best app that we could possibly deliver. That it is seamless. That it is a great consumer experience. That's what both the BBC and Microsoft want to deliver."
However, at least this means that the iPlayer app for Xbox 360 will feature search through voice control, for example:
"That's what's most important. Rather than rushing it through, we're going to make sure it's a quality app," he added.
"What's important about the BBC is that they have such rich content. They've got so much content that's it's really important that we bring the whole Bing experience, the whole Kinect experience, and the whole search and gesture control functionality correctly to that application. And that it works seamlessly."
Additionally, the company is working with the other major UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV to bring its ITV Player service to the platform in 2012 too:
"They are one of the partners we're looking to work with," Bhardwaj said.
Read our full hands-on with the Xbox 360 Dashboard update, including a stack of exclusive pictures.