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Wednesday November 22, 2006 5:06 pm

Movies, Television Episodes Now Available Via Xbox Live Marketplace

Xbox Live Downloads

Today, on the one year anniversary of the Xbox 360, Microsoft has announced the first batch of television and movie titles along with pricing for their video download service. Gamers with either an Xbox Live Silver or Gold account will be able to download video content in either HD or SD formats; those that choose the HD formats will also be able to download the SD format at no charge. Microsoft’s pricing has also been set at the following levels:

Content TypeHigh DefStandard
Television Shows240 Points ($3)160 Points ($2)
New Release Movies480 Points ($6)320 Points ($4)
Classic Movies360 Points ($4.50)240 Points ($3)

Right now, the selection seems kind of sparse, and a single high definition movie download will take up well over 1/3 of the available space on a stock 20 GB hard drive. Television episode download prices seem in line with iPod download pricing, with a premium for high definition content, but it doesn’t appear that subscription options will be available. Movie download “rental” pricing seems high, particularly compared to mail-delivery based services like Netflix. Having DRM restrictions on the “rental” doesn’t help a lot either.

The full press release continues below.

Watch Movies and TV On Your Xbox


Redmond, Washington—With a robust library of 160 high-definition games expected by holiday, Xbox 360™, the video game and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp., will get even better today. On its one-year anniversary, Xbox 360 will digitally deliver an initial lineup of TV shows and movies to gamers in the U.S. via Xbox Live®, the online games and entertainment network from Microsoft.

As announced earlier this month, Xbox Live Marketplace will now provide gamers with easy access to hundreds of full-length TV shows for download to own and movies for download to rent from CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment with more content rolled out through Xbox Live Marketplace every week. Xbox 360 is the first gaming console to offer standard and high-definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution.

Since its launch on Nov. 22, 2005, Xbox 360 has gained impressive traction fast. Xbox 360 was the fastest console to reach 5 million sold, and 6 million Xbox 360 consoles had been sold by the end of September 2006. At least 10 million are expectedto be sold by holiday. Expected to be available in 37 countries by holiday, Xbox 360 continues to retain record game and accessory attachment rates, according to NPD. With more than 4 million members and an expected 6 million by June 2007, Xbox Live continues its leadership as the first and most comprehensive online games and entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire Xbox 360 experience.

Xbox 360 is prepared to have a booming holiday season, with consoles readily available at retail along with a host of new accessories such as the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, Xbox Live Vision camera and Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, not to mention blockbuster games such as “Gears of War” and “Viva Piñata™.”

“We’re exactly where we wanted to be this holiday with Xbox 360 retail stock availability,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “With an incredible library of games, more than 4 million gamers playing online with Xbox Live, and a growing catalog of high-definition gaming and entertainment content, why would anyone wait in line when you can get a superior experience from Xbox 360 right now?”

Examples of the download-to-own TV shows and download-to-rent movies available on the network on Nov. 22 include the following:

  * “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” “NCIS” and “Star Trek” from CBS
  * “Chappelle’s Show,” “Drawn Together” and Emmy and Peabody award-winning “South Park” from COMEDY CENTRAL
  * “Pimp My Ride” and “Punk’d” from MTV
  * “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” from Nickelodeon
  * “Skyland” and “Invader Zim” from Nicktoons Network
  * “Chinatown,” “Star Trek VII: Generations,” “Patriot Games,” “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “The Sum of All Fears,” “The Untouchables” and “We Were Soldiers” from Paramount Pictures
  * “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Frisky Dingo,” “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law,” “Sealab 2021” and “The Venture Bros.” from Turner Broadcasting
  * Some of the most intense fights from Ultimate Fighting Championship
  * “Breaking Bonaduce” and “Hogan Knows Best” from VH1
  * “Perfect Storm,” “Poseidon,” The Shining,” “Three Kings” and “V for Vendetta,” as well as “The Nine” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” along with the CW show “Veronica Mars” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Using the Family Settings feature, parents and individuals can choose the video content that can be playedon their family’sXbox 360. With the availability of this new entertainment content, gamers now can set controls based on movie, TVandvideoratings, orthey can entirely block explicit and unrated video content for themselves or their children.

Xbox 360 gamers in the U.S. can access Xbox Live Marketplace with a free Xbox Live Silver subscription or a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription and a broadband connection. Pricing is competitive and will vary based on format, media type and whether the content is a new release movie or a classic feature film. High-definition TV shows will be 240 Microsoft® Points per episode, and standard-definition TV shows will be 160 Microsoft Points per episode. New release movies in high definition will be 480 Microsoft Points, and standard-definition new release movies will be 320 Microsoft Points each. Classic feature films in high definition will be 360 Microsoft Points, and standard definition will be 240 Microsoft Points. After purchasing a high-definition TV show or movie, gamers can download the standard-definition version at no additional charge.

Microsoft Points can be purchased at retail or via Xbox Live. For example, gamers can get a 1,600 Microsoft Points card at retail for $19.99 (U.S.) or 1,000 Microsoft Points through Xbox Live for $12.50 (U.S.). More information about Xbox Live Marketplace is available at http://www.xbox.com/marketplaceentertainment.

About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games and to be available in 37 countries by the end of 2006. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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