Rent Movies Via Consoles

27th February 2009

Yesterday The Guardian reported that Microsoft brokered a content deal with NBC Universal that will offer a selection of the studio’s movie portfolio for rental via the Internet to its Xbox 360 customers.

The deal, which is specific to UK and Ireland, adds considerable value to the Xbox 360’s burgeoning video-on-demand service. Currently around 300 movies are available to UK users, with Paramount, Warner Bros and MGM already supplying content.

Customers pay around £2.50 to download a movie, which remains on their console’s hard drive for 14 days – but once you start playback, you have 24 hours to watch the film before it expires. Many of the titles are available to rent in either standard or high definition formats.

Microsoft sees the provision of a movie service as a key element in expanding its market beyond the traditional gamer demographic.

“We’re looking at how we can grow Xbox as a core entertainment hub,” said Thompson “There’s a phenomenon at the minute where more and more people are staying at home to consume their entertainment – we’re really offering a convenient one-stop shop for them.”

Consoles like the X-box and the Nintendo Wii are increasingly marketed as “entertainment hubs”, which allow their customers to download content, and to interact with other players around the globe using broadband connectivity.

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