Last night while asking HBO’s press relations team to look the other way and slip us Obama’s copy of the Game of Thrones season six premiere, we also asked whether HBO Now would ever launch on a game console.
The video-streaming app, which lets users pay to watch all of HBO’s programming without a cable subscription, has appeared on a number of streaming devices, but game consoles from Sony and Microsoft have been stuck in the old HBO GO days. For now, those users must instead steal passwords from cable-subscribing aunts and uncles rather than paying for their own a la carte HBO access.
We wondered if that situation might change in light of a new Game of Thrones season starting this weekend, as HBO has a precedent there. The company launched the Xbox 360’s HBO GO app the same day as GoT‘s second season premiere in 2012. As it turns out, our hunch was right. With no advance notice, HBO Now rolled out its first console apps on Thursday, and they’re landing exclusively on Xbox systems—both the Xbox One and the Xbox 360. An Xbox Live subscription is not required for either console.
If you haven’t already tried HBO Now on another device (or can come up with a whole-new set of credentials), you can effectively watch the first few episodes of the new GoT season for free thanks to HBO Now’s one-month free trial for new users. (Same goes for Silicon Valley and Veep, whose latest seasons also kick off this coming Sunday.) After that, viewers must pay $15/month to keep subscribing.
HBO did not make any announcements about other gaming platforms getting the Now treatment in the near future.