MUMBAI: Software major Microsoft has announced agreements with US broadcasters CBS, MTV, film studio Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The aim is to to bring an initial lineup of over 1,000 hours of hit TV shows and movies to Xbox 360 gamers in the US by the end of the year.
Microsoft says that Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console to bring standard and high-definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution over the Internet directly to the American consumer. From 22 November 2006, which marks its first anniversary, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console in history to provide high-definition TV shows and movies directly to gamers in their living rooms. Xbox 360 gamers will have access to the full-length TV shows as downloads to own and movies to rent via download from the Xbox Live® network, the worldwide leader in online distribution of high-definition gaming and entertainment content. This announcement also brings with it several additional 'firsts':
• For the first time, consumers will get an integrated gaming and entertainment experience on a gaming console that includes downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies. This new full-length content adds to the ever-expanding number of choices gamers have on their Xbox 360, whether they want to play games or play a movie on a disc or as a download in high definition or standard definition.
• CBS will deliver high-definition download-to-own TV shows including CSI, Jericho, Numb3rs and remastered Star Trek episodes. Gamers can buy them and watch them repeatedly.
• For the first time on any platform, Nascar.com will deliver download-to-own condensed versions of select Nascar Nextel Cup Series races from Race Rewind.
• The Ultimate Fighting Championship will make 50 of its most intense fights available for download as well as select episodes from the original season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series.
Microsoft corporate VP interactive entertainment business Peter Moore says, “This groundbreaking announcement is a win for everyone. It connects our partners with one of the most coveted audiences in entertainment today, and provides even greater value to our Xbox Live community, allowing them to enjoy the games and entertainment they want, when they want it.”