For the past couple of months rumors about a Hulu partnership with videogame consoles have been swirling along with even more rumors of the possible implementation of a paid service to either augment or replace the current, free, one. All those rumors were put to rest today as Hulu announced, through their official blog, the creation of Hulu plus, a paid service which will allow you to watch an expanded catalog of shows on your Samsugn internet-connected TV, iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch.
Getting down to the nuts and bolts of the new service, one thing was made abundantly clear: this is not a replacement of, but rather an add-on to, the current service. You will still be able to get recent episodes of some of your favorite shows for free should you not want to pay the $9.99 a month subscription fee. However, if you decide to shell out the cash you'll be able to watch every episode of the current season of many shows. You will also have access to back seasons and full runs of shows like The X-Files and Arrested Development. Best of all, all HD content will now be natively streamed in 720p.
In addition to the platforms which will be available at launch there is also planned support for the PS3 "soon". Microsoft also released an official statement which indicates that the service will be coming to the Xbox 360 some time in 2011. In exchange for the wait, Microsoft has promised Kinect functionality and the possibility of a party system for watching TV with friends from across the globe, among other features, as Xbox 360-exclusive features. On the downside, all of this will only be accessible if you have an Xbox LIVE gold account.
If you are interested in subscribing to the new service at this point you basically only have one option: hope for an invitation. In order to get said invitation you can either follow Hulu on twitter under the tag @hulu or you can "Like" Hulu on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hulu. Invitations will be handed out at random each week to some number of people who do so. It will not always be this way though, as the need for an invitation will be removed "as soon as possible".