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Tuesday November 7, 2006 2:50 am

Microsoft Announces TV, Movie Downloads For Xbox Live

Xbox Live Movies

Rumors recently surfaced that Microsoft was going to make movie downloads available over Xbox Live. Today, Microsoft confirmed those rumors, announcing that they would make television episode downloads and movie rentals available through the Xbox Live Marketplace. The first hints that a rental service was in the offering was the presence of a new expiration flag on multimedia downloads from the Live service. Providers lining up to offer content on Xbox Live include CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Movie content providers include Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. Television content will be download to own, and movie content will be download to rent over the service. The offering will officially launch on November 22nd, the anniversary of the Xbox 360 in the United States. No mention of availability in multiple regions was made, and costs were not released, but one would expect that Microsoft would offer prices that are competitive with Apples iTunes store. Now, however, the once “spacious” 20 GB hard drive is starting to seem rather small to support downloadable HD content.

The full press release continues below.

 

Movies and TV on your Xbox

Microsoft Corp. November 6 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.

“This groundbreaking announcement is a win for everyone,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “It connects our partners with one of the most coveted audiences in entertainment today, and provides even greater value to our Xbox Live community, allowing them to enjoy the games and entertainment they want, when they want it.”

The initial lineup of TV shows available for download to own and feature films available for download to rent will include a growing catalog of popular hits. Examples of content that will be available on the network by the end of year include the following:

  * “Robot Chicken” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” from Adult Swim
  * “CSI,” “Survivor” and “Star Trek” from CBS
  * Emmy and Peabody award-winning “South Park” and “Chappelle’s Show” from COMEDY CENTRAL
  * “The Real World” and “Pimp My Ride” from MTV
  * “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and ”SpongeBob SquarePants” from Nickelodeon
  * “Skyland” and “The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival” from Nicktoons Network
  * “M:i:III,” Nacho Libre” and “Jackass: The Movie” from Paramount Pictures
  * “Carpocalypse” and “Raising the Roofs” from Spike TV
  * “Race Rewind” provided by NASCAR.COM
  * Select episodes of the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and the “UFC: All Access” shows from the UFC
  * “Breaking Bonaduce” and “Hogan Knows Best” from VH1
  * “The Matrix,” “Superman Returns” and “Batman Forever” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Xbox 360 gamers can access Xbox Live Marketplace with a free Xbox Live Silver membership and a broadband connection. More information about the content available on Xbox Live Marketplace can be found at http://www.xbox.com/marketplaceentertainment.

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