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Xbox 360 gets iPlayer, 4OD, Lovefilm, and more

The Xbox 360 has just upped its media game, bringing a host of on-demand TV shows and films to your lounge.

The PlayStation 3's status as media console king looks under threat, as the Xbox 360 is about to start bringing shows and films from the BBC, Channels 4 and 5, Sky, LoveFilm and others. Well if you needed another excuse to stay in now the nights are drawing in, you've got it.

Microsoft announced deals with a huge number of on-demand names. The full list numbers over 40, but Xbox owners in the UK are about to get (deep breath): 4oD, Channel 5, BBC, Sky, LoveFilm, MSN, YouTube, blinkbox, and Muzu before Christmas. Batten down the hatches, it's staying in season!

The deal brings a huge roster of on-demand shows and movies to your console, offering a decent challenge to the PS3's dominance.

4oD lets you catch up on programmes broadcast in the last 30 days on Channel 4 or one of its sister channels, though you need to have a Gold Xbox Live subscription to take advantage. It also offers shows from Channel 4's 29-year history, from comedy to drama.

Meanwhile blinkbox promises to bring more titles than any other UK movie streaming service. And of course, there's always LoveFilm if blinkbox doesn't have what you're looking for.

All the services will come to Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming, video and music service. You'll be able to share recommendations with friends, as well as what you're watching, playing and listening to. You can also invite people to join in with what you're watching, so get your Twitter-esque cusses at the ready.

All we're hearing about availability is "this festive season", so safe to say we'll see them before Christmas. We'll bring you more info as we get it.

Has the Xbox 360 just slapped down the PS3 for media abilities? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

Update: We've been hassling the BBC about this today and had no response. On the strength of this page on the official Xbox UK site, we're inclined to agree with Tom Longworth in the comments below. There's no mention of iPlayer, or even the BBC, so Auntie's mooted involvement is likely to extend only to its involvement with the MSN Video Player, which is mentioned. What a shame.