In less then three weeks, and virtually coinciding with the PS3 launch, Microsoft officially took any remaining wind out of Sony's sails today by announcing that Xbox Live will become a major payer for video content, with the Xbox Live Video Marketplace. For the record, I totally called it.
I'll let these pictures, courtesy of Microsoft and CNET, do the talking.
Pictures not enough? Let Larry Hyrb ("Major Nelson") walk you thought the how it works. From the video's title, I can gather that the Dasboard update was codenamed "Pegasus".
Henson told CNET News.com that pricing for the new content has not yet been finalized, but that TV shows and movies downloaded via Xbox Live would be "competitive" in the marketplace. HD content will cost somewhat more than that in standard definition.
While he did not say so, the competitive marketplace includes Apple's iTunes music store, Netflix, local video stores and other outlets.
So what can you expect to watch? According to the Xbox.com Press Release
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
Make no mistake, Microsoft has officially declared all out war on your television. And with 5 million units already in the marketplace, they are poised to win.
Now I want to hear more about the Vista Media Center and Zune integration story. There's no way Microsoft's not going to take advantage of the raw potential there.