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Hulu Could Be Heading to Xbox 360

While remaining as a rumor,a particular tweet written by Attack of the Show's uber-hottie Olivia Munn has re-ignited fanboy chattery in regards to Hulu heading to the Xbox 360. She doesn't offer any details or explosive revelations regarding a possible integration into the Dashboard, but merely announces that she just "finished promos for (the) Hulu/Microsoft event I'm doing on June 8!"

Normally it would be easy to piece together: Hulu + Microsoft + June = a big E3 reveal. Unfortunately, this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo runs June 2 to June 4, ending four days before Munn's Hulu/Microsoft event. Still, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't planning to announce a collaboration at the show; it just means that the planned event isn't taking place within the E3 timeframe.

Another clue to back up the Hulu/Xbox 360 theory is comments made by Microsoft's Shane Kim back in December. In an interview with the New York Times, he said that the company had no plans to build an Internet browser for the Xbox 360, but rather cut "a handful of deals" that integrate the Xbox more deeply into Hulu, YouTube, and a handful of other sites. The idea may actually seem outlandish, but then again the thought of integrating Netflix into the dashboard seemed just as outlandish at one time as well. "Who would rent movies through the Xbox?" Now it's hard to imagine the console without it.

Another piece to the Hulu/Xbox 360 puzzle points to Sky Player, a media content service similar to Hulu, but also offers live shows. Microsoft is currently integrating Sky Player into the European Xbox 360 XMB. Like Hulu, Sky Player provides premium live television both online and now through the Xbox 360, but will only provide a selection of channels, sports events, films, and television episodes. According to Register Hardware, Sky incorporates the Xbox Live avatars to bring an interactive element to sports games, and even allows the end-user to invite seven other friends into the room to watch a football match together. We assume this is possible with every show, whether it's an old movie or an episode of Doctor Who.

Many may question as to why the Xbox 360 even needs to stream live content from Hulu or even YouTube. A long time ago, Microsoft set out to create not only a gaming console, but a multimedia center where owners can sit down and listen to music, watch movies, and even enjoy other content outside the gaming arena. The original (vanilla) Xbox didn't quite accomplish that feat, but the current Xbox 360 is heading in that direction with the ability to rent and purchase media from the Marketplace, rent movies via Netflix, and now, hopefully, watch the latest episode of (Tuan's favorite) Nip/Tuck.

Microsoft's E3 press event is scheduled for Monday. Perhaps we'll hear an official announcement then, or sometime during the show next week.