The ongoing Sony-Microsoft battle for the control of your living room entertainment continues unabated. New reports indicate that Microsoft is hoping to bring the BBC’s considerable library of content - including recent high definition TV series - to Xbox Live in time for the European launch of its digital TV and movie download service later this year.
Microsoft is yet to set pricing and an exact date for the launch of the service in Europe, but we have been consistently informed by the company that TV/movie downloads will be with us this side of Christmas and that pricing will be in line with that over in the States (currently very competitively priced at $5 for a rental of a new, high-def movie).
Over in the States, the Xbox’s video service already provides content from big Hollywood studios and television networks such as CBS, Disney, Fox, MTV, Paramount and Warner.
The BBC signed an agreement with Microsoft in 2006 to explore ways of developing its digital services – and having access to BBC back catalogue and archive content via Xbox 360 is clearly of immense value for Microsoft
Ross Honey, senior director for media at Microsoft’s content and partner strategy group, confirmed the company had been in talks with the BBC as well as a number of other major European media companies, noting that Microsoft was attracted to the BBC’s library of content and to high-definition programmes such as Planet Earth
“We are working diligently on multiple fronts to make it happen,” he said. “The BBC is a great content provider.”
Sony meanwhile has recently announced plans to turn the PlayStation 3 into a high definition personal video recorder, named PlayTV.
SPOnG's put a call into Microsoft in the UK this morning so we will hopefully bring you further confirmed details on the European plans for Xbox LIVE TV and movie downloads very soon.Source: The Sunday Times