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November 7, 2006

Xbox 360 upsells downloadable movies and TV shows

Posted by David Hunter at 9:52 AM ET.

As long as there are 4 million customers with Xbox 360s connected to their TV sets and to the Internet for Xbox Live, Microsoft might as well try to separate them from some more cash by offering downloadable movies and TV shows:

Microsoft Corp. today announced agreements with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to bring an initial lineup of over 1,000 hours of hit TV shows and movies to Xbox 360™ gamers in the U.S. by the end of the year. Furthermore, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console to bring standard and high-definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution over the Internet directly to the consumer.

Beginning Nov. 22, on its first anniversary, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console in history to provide high-definition TV shows and movies directly to gamers in their living rooms. Xbox 360 gamers will have access to the full-length TV shows as downloads to own and movies to rent via download from the Xbox Live® network, the worldwide leader in online distribution of high-definition gaming and entertainment content. This announcement also brings with it several additional “firsts”:

• For the first time, consumers will get an integrated gaming and entertainment experience on a gaming console that includes downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies. This new full-length content adds to the ever-expanding number of choices gamers have on their Xbox 360, whether they want to play games or play a movie on a disc or as a download in high definition or standard definition.

• For the first time CBS will deliver high-definition download-to-own TV shows including “CSI,” “Jericho,” “Numb3rs” and remastered “Star Trek” episodes; gamers can buy them and watch them repeatedly.

• For the first time on any platform, NASCAR.COM will deliver download-to-own condensed versions of select NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races from “Race Rewind.”

• For the first time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make 50 of its most intense fights available for download as well as select episodes from the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Heck, why not? There’s no shortage of vendors offering downloadable video for a fee – the only difficulty is that the user experience has been problematic and the cost effectiveness dubious compared to physical purchase or rental, or cable TV “pay-per-view.” Still, there will be some takers and it’s insurance against the Sony PS3 and its home entertainment aspirations. Head over to Ryan Block at Engadget for some of the pesky operational and technical details, but no pricing has been announced although it will be in Microsoft Points.

Filed under Coopetition, Microsoft, Sony, Xbox

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3 Responses to “Xbox 360 upsells downloadable movies and TV shows”

  1. Xbox 360 hard drive to say uncle starting November 22, thanks to HDTV and movie content » Make You Go Hmm Says:

    [...] What others think Angel also worries about hard drive space: “It would be great if we could transfer the shows to an external hard drive or to our computers in order to free up space, but unfortunately Microsoft has already stated that they will not support external drives.” David Hunter ponders pricing, which hasn’t been announced yet but Microsoft says will be competitive.: “the only difficulty is that the user experience has been problematic and the cost effectiveness dubious compared to physical purchase or rental, or cable TV ‘pay-per-view.’” Lost Remote: “The one advantage over iTunes is that the 360 is already connected to the TV. But in a disadvantage, the downloads aren’t portable.” Davis Freeberg sees this as a blow to Apple: “With Microsoft’s ability to support HDTV downloads and having the ability to play video games on the system, it’s going to make it all that much harder for Apple to convince people to fork over $300 dollars in order to have the privilege of being able to pay for VOD films.” Thomas Hawk calls the Xbox 360 Microsoft’s “trojan horse” in the living room. Hawk compares to the Media Center. Yeah, everybody wants their gadget in our living rooms and the Xbox 360 has a better chance than a loud, power-hungry Media Center PC. [...]

  2. Xbox movie and TV downloads launched, Gears of War driving sales -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] As promised earlier in the month, Microsoft yesterday commemorated the 1 year anniversary of the launch of the Xbox 360 by unveiling the first wave of movie and TV show downloads on Xbox Live. One initial review said that the downloads were incredibly slow, but there could be a variety of transitory reasons for that. Speed problems aside, the prices seem reasonable although selection is limited: High-def TV shows are 240 points ($3) and regular def shows are 160 points ($2). High-def movies are 480 points ($6) and regular movies are 320 points ($4). While classic movies (as in old ones) are 360 points ($4.50) in high-def and regular will be 240 points ($3). [...]

  3. Not much happening in Gates’s CES07 keynote -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Exactly as leaked, the Xbox 360 made its 10 million ship target and will in future provide Microsoft TV IPTV set top box functionality. This feature plus the video download service announced in November (Lionsgate was announced as a new content provider) seem to me to be more selling points for the Xbox 360 than any real encroachment on the consumer electronics market. [...]

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