Xbox 360 expands sports to include hockey and basketball – and Australians won’t miss out

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E3 2012: Microsoft is to expand its sports lineup in hopes to become the premier destination of all entertainment content with the inclusion of Basketball, Hockey and live ESPN.

For sports fans, it will bring NBA GameTime, allowing you to watch hundreds of live games – some blackout restrictions apply depending on your market. This app will be accessible if you have a League Pass and will be available for everyone.

Hockey fans will also be served with NHL Game Center – which will also be worldwide with the exception of the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They will be able to watch all games live (again, depending on blackout restrictions).

US fans will also be able to watch 24/7 live programming of ESPN channels – ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U. This means that users will be able to watch “SportsCenter” and other ESPN coverage of many sports live via their Xbox 360. And you don’t need a cable subscription for it.

Also announced were more than 35 new content partners will be available on Xbox 360 over the next 12 months, including Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon – only for the United States. Many of the content providers are region specific, though for Australia: Machinima, Break Media, GameSpot TV, the AOL On Network and Quickflix are heading our way.