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BBC iPlayer on Xbox arriving next week?

Rumours suggest that BBC's iPlayer service could be landing on the Xbox 360 next week.

iPlayer, the BBC's streaming video service, could be arriving on the Xbox 360 next week, according to a report from Eurogamer.

The site reckons that the service, which has been long absent from Xbox Live, will be hitting Microsoft's console in a matter of days, and will be available for free, whether you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber or using the free option, previously known as Xbox Silver.

If genuine, the catch-up tool will have been a long time coming. We reported way back in 2009 that Microsoft was reportedly at loggerheads with the Beeb over squeezing iPlayer onto the Xbox.

The reason was said to be that the BBC wouldn't let iPlayer be part of a paid-for package, because its funded by you and I, the hard-working, license-fee-paying public. Microsoft reportedly wasn't keen on doling out streaming video to those who weren't paying for a Gold account, which costs about £5 per month.

If these reports about iPlayer for non-paying Xbox users prove true, then it looks like Microsoft may have relented. I reckon it's a smart move -- with more and more video streaming services cropping up, and rumours of an Apple TV set on the horizon, Microsoft should ensure it has as much tempting video on offer as possible.

So this time next week, you might be watching Eastenders on your Xbox. A vision of paradise, I'm sure you'll agree. Xbox Live already offers video services including Netflix, 4oD and Sky Go.

Microsoft's official line on the subject is that it "does not comment on rumour and speculation". We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything.

What's your streaming service of choice? Let me know in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall.