360 Combats the PS3’s Launch with Downloadable Movies

360hddvd.jpgWhile rumors ran wild around the internet last week indicating that Microsoft may attempt to compete with Netflix and the PS3 at the same time by offering downloadable high-def video rentals and purchases via Xbox Live, Engadget received confirmation tonight that the rumors are indeed true.

Microsoft’s new venture, called Xbox Live Video, is a partnership with Akimbo to deliver high-definition content straight to your television via your 360’s connection to the internet. Using Microsoft Points to purchase the downloads, users will have over 800 hours of SDTV and 200 hours of HDTV content available from CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Turner, UFC, and VH1, as well as HD movies from Paramount and Warner Brothers among others.

The new service is due to launch on November 22nd. Continue reading for Engadget’s full list of Xbox Live Video’s features.

  • Microsoft has not yet disclosed pricing for downloads, but it will be in Microsoft points.
  • Movies will be “rental” only, TV for “purchase” only.
  • Neither TV nor movies are streamed; they are only downloaded, although you can stream short preview clips from the Live interface.
  • You can only download content to your Xbox 360 drive — not to an external drive.
  • Your “purchased” TV programs can be downloaded an infinite amount of times to an infinite amount of consoles; you may also play them back on friends’ 360s with your removable drive.
  • Deleted TV shows can be re-downloaded later; HDTV shows can be re-downloaded in either HDTV or SD.
  • Movies can be watched an unlimited number of times the first 24 hours. Plays after that period will cost the same as the initial download, although the movie data isn’t necessarily deleted. You can keep the movie data on your drive up to 14 days without re-downloading it.
  • Downloads are in VC-1 (aka WMVHD) at 720p, 6.8Mbps video with 5.1 surround.
  • An average HD movie download should be between 4-5GB, and a two hour SD movie would be 1.6GB.
  • An average 1 hour (44 min) HDTV download should be about 2.2GB, and an average 1/2 hour (22 min) HDTV download should be about 1GB. A 1 hour SDTV download should be about 600MB, and a 1/2 hour SDTV download should be about 300MB.
  • This service will not be available for MSN TV users, Vongo subscribers, or any other Microsoft partners. It is Xbox Live only.
  • You cannot download programs through the Xbox Live web interface — they can only be transported to your 360’s removable drive.
  • There aren’t any drive announcements being made, so if your puny 20GB Xbox drive is near or at capacity, you’re out of luck, kid.

Launch titles:

  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Batman Forever
  • Breaking Bonaduce
  • Carpocalypse
  • Chappelle’s Show
  • CSI
  • Hogan Knows Best
  • Jackass: The Movie
  • Jericho
  • The Matrix
  • M:i:III
  • Nacho Libre
  • Nicktoons Network Animation Festival
  • Numb3rs
  • Pimp My Ride
  • Race Rewind (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races)
  • Raising the Roofs
  • The Real World
  • Robot Chicken
  • Skyland
  • South Park
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Star Trek (original)
  • Superman Returns
  • 50 fights from Ultimate Fighting Championship, and some episodes from The Ultimate Fighter

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including VGBlogger.com.