A new XBOX Live service will soon let people download selected television shows and movies and other HD content to thier game console. Beginning November 22, the company will begin distrubuting on-demand movies and television programs from major studios for the console over Xbox Live.
Gamers will be able to rent movies for an unannounced fee and download them to their 20 GB Xbox 360 hard drive in either standard or high definition. (HD movie rentals will cost slightly more.) These movies will be avialable intially:
- V for Vendetta
- Batman Forever
- Nacho Libre
- Jackass: The Movie
- South Park
- Pimp My Ride
All content is encoded in VC1 (WMV HD) at a rate of 6.8Mbps and comes with 5.1 surround sound.
As is usual on the 360, content will be purchased by using the 'Microsoft Points'system, TV shows will sell for 240 points, while movie download rentals will cost 320 points each.
Television shows and movies will be available in both high-definition (720p) and standard definition (480p). While TV programs will be buy-to-own and remain on the Xbox 360 hard drive until it is deleted by users, movies will be delivered on a rental basis. Downloaded movies remain on the hard drive for up to two weeks, but once a user begins watching the movie, it is deleted 24 hours later. For that period, however, the movie can be viewed as many times as the purchaser wants.
Microsoft has also said that users will be able to re-download content for free, in the event that users delete content to make space for new purchases, or even if users want to sign in to Xbox Live and download the show on another console. Shows will be attached to a user's Xbox Live gamertag.
For now, the service will launch in the United States, but Microsoft plans to expand it to other territories over the coming year.