The BBC has at long last launched its iPlayer video-on-demand streaming service for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.

Much like other Xbox video services, like Netflix and LoveFilm, users will need to be an Xbox Live subscriber to use the iPlayer service. It means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK, according to the firm.

Daniel Danker, BBC general manager of programmes and on-demand said, "Xbox is hugely successful in the UK. Given the BBC’s goal to reach its entire audience, I’m particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE’s free membership."

A bonus for Xbox 360 users is the added functionality gained from the Kinect sensor. Users can control the iPlayer with hand gestures and voice recognition for the first time. The BBC said iPlayer is now available on more than 450 platforms and devices.

Stephen McGill, director of Xbox and entertainment at Microsoft said, "We are delighted that BBC iPlayer is now available on Xbox LIVE. Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the UK and globally last year, while Xbox LIVE is one of the UK’s leading comprehensive VOD entertainment services on TVs. The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level."

This week the BBC also announced a download service to rival Apple’s iTunes. It is codenamed Project Barcelona and will allow users to purchase content to download and watch from the archive.