Monday, January 07, 2008

Next up: "Desperate Housewives" on Xbox Live

Coming to an XBox 360 near you, "Desperate Housewives" downloads.

At the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft head man Billy Gates and Microsoft President of the Entertainment & Devices Division Robbie Bach announced partnerships with Disney-ABC Television Group, NBC Universal and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

As part of that agreement, Xbox Live subscribers will be able to download hit ABC programming like "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" directly to their Xbox 360 in high definition.

That service should be available later this month. It is essentially like a video-on-demand service from cable TV, and I'd expect Gates to try to continue this digital download push with other networks. It's a wise move that will help set up Xbox 360 as the center of the home entertainment network and gives it a boost over competition from Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3.

ABC content from ABC Family, ABC News, Disney Channel and Toon Disney will also be available. In all, more than 500 hours of content, in standard definition and high definition, will be available at launch. Viewers can download episodes the day after they air on TV.

-- Under the agreement with MGM, Xbox 360 will offer MGM’s movie library on demand, including “Rocky,” “Terminator,” “Legally Blonde,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “Barbershop.” United Artists, an MGM sister company, will also make select films available on demand.

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