Xbox Live lines up movies and TV shows

MUMBAI: With a robust library of 160 high-definition games expected by December, Xbox 360, the video game and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp., will get even better. On its one-year anniversary, Xbox 360 will digitally deliver an initial lineup of TV shows and movies to gamers in the US via Xbox Live, the online games and entertainment network from Microsoft.

As was 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., 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 22 November, 2005, Xbox 360 has gained impressive traction fast. Xbox 360 was the fastest console to reach five million sold, and six million Xbox 360 consoles had been sold by the end of September 2006. At least 10 million are expected to 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 four million members and an expected six 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 Pinata.

“We’re exactly where we wanted to be this holiday with Xbox 360 retail stock availability. 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?,” said Microsoft corporate vice president of global marketing for the interactive entertainment business Jeff Bell.

Examples of the download-to-own TV shows and download-to-rent movies available on the network on 22 November 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 played on their family’s Xbox 360. With the availability of this new entertainment content, gamers now can set controls based on movie, TV and video ratings, or they can entirely block explicit and unrated video content for themselves or their children.

Xbox 360 gamers in the US 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 (US) or 1,000 Microsoft Points through Xbox Live for $12.50 (US).