The latest salvo in the increasingly high-stakes console war has Microsoft’s Xbox 360 offering its customers digital downloads of more than 1,000 hours of TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters by the end of the year.
Microsoft announced agreements with CBS, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment earlier this month in a move that the company is hoping will bolster its Xbox Live network. So far, Microsoft has sold approximately six million Xbox 360s and four million Xbox Live subscriptions.
In addition to a slew of adult-skewing content such as Southpark and CSI, children’s programming will also be available directly through the console including Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob SquarePants and Skyland from Nicktoons.
The system will also be able to deliver HD programming along with feature-length movies such as Superman Returns and Batman Forever, and will be available in both download-to-own and 24-hour rental formats. Subscribers can purchase all programming through Xbox Live Marketplace, and will require a free Xbox Live Silver membership and a broadband connection.
Pricing for the new service has yet to be determined.