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HBO Now app launches on Xbox One (update: Xbox 360, too)

This is the best kind of surprise

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Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in HBO's <i>Game of Thrones</i>.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Microsoft and HBO just stealth-launched an HBO Now app on Xbox One, bringing the streaming service to the console just in time for Game of Thrones' sixth season.

The 36 MB app marks the first availability of HBO Now on a gaming platform. HBO Now is one of HBO's two over-the-top streaming services, allowing customers to pay $14.99 a month for access to on-demand HBO programming without having to subscribe to a cable or satellite package. HBO Go, the network's other streaming service, must be authenticated with login information from a pay-TV provider.

HBO Now is accessible only "in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories," according to the HBO Now website.

HBO offers a one-month trial of HBO Now on its website. Interested parties who do happen to have a pay-TV subscription can watch this Sunday's premieres of Game of Thrones season 6, Silicon Valley season 2 or Veep season 5 without paying for HBO — a free preview of HBO and Cinemax will be available from April 22-25.

HBO Go launched in November 2014 on Xbox One, and in March 2015 on PlayStation 4. We've reached out to HBO to ask about an HBO Now app on PS4, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Update: HBO Now also launched today on Xbox 360, one day after Microsoft announced it had ended production of the console.

Update 2: HBO announced in a press release that "all Xbox users" will be able to watch Game of Thrones' season 6 premiere for free after it airs this Sunday night. The episode will be available from April 25-28 on both Xbox One and Xbox 360, and users won't need an HBO subscription to watch it.

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