I just reveived an alert from Major Nelson’s site that the Video Marketplace due for today is now online and working! I had a quick look and it seems to work with a Silver account with an address based in the US…from the UK. I had a quick look at the preview for V for Vendetta, which appears in a small window in the right half of the marketplace pages. 

Currently there are 48 films showing as available for download in the ‘All Movies’ section. Titles include:

  • 9 1/2 Weeks
  • Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
  • Analysze This
  • ATL
  • Excorcist II: The Heretic
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • The Matrix
  • Pootie Tang
  • Romeo Must Die
  • The Shining
  • Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek VII: Generations
  • Unforgiven
  • Zoolander

The price of a rental costs 240 MS Points for a Standard Definition download, with some newer titles such as V for Vendetta costing 320 MS Points. SD downloads weigh in at around 1-2 GB depending on the length of the film. High Definition films cost 480 MS Points and are around the 4-6 GB area. At the time of posting only a handful of full movies are available in HD and these are:

  • ATL
  • Clash of the Titans (from 1981)
  • The Perfect Storn
  • Poseiden
  • Unforgiven
  • and V for Vendetta

As this is a movie rental system, there are numerous trailers which can be downloaded for free in SD and HD. As mentioned earlier, these trailers can be previewed in a small window rather than downloading them.

For the launch of the Video Marketplace service, there are 47 TV shows appearing in the ‘All TV Shows’ list but not all have episodes available within them to download. Titles include:

  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force – 1 Season
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection – 3 Seasons
  • Chappelle’s Show: Uncensored – 2 Seasons
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – 2 Seasons
  • CSI: Miami – 2 Seasons
  • CSI: NY – 2 Seasons
  • Hogan Knows Best: Season 1

The small but cool thing about browsing the TV Shows is that when you enter a section for say, CSI: NY, the background changes to the CBS logo. Go into another show section such as Beavis and Butt-Head and the background changes to a picture of Beavis and Butt-Head.

The shows cost 160 MS Points for a Standard Definition download and 240 for a 720p HD download where available. Episodes of CSI: NY that are around 40mins approx, clock in with a download size of roughly 700-750 MB for SD. The HD equivalent will be around the 2 GB mark.

With 2100 Xbox Live points running in at  £16.99 in the UK, that works out to roughly 0.8 pence per point. So at present, disregarding US point prices in the UK (as US points don’t work here), that works out to:

SD Movie: 240 points = £1.92
HD Movie: 320 points = £2.56

SD TV Show: 160 points = £1.28
HD TV Show: 240 points = £1.92

Of course these figures are approx using UK based MS Points prices and points can be purchased for cheaper if you look around. Now you have an idea of what it costs..if the prices remain the same when the service is launched in Europe, it will beat going down to your local Blockbuster for some crusty, greased up, scratched Standard Definition DVD.

The only problem is paying for episodes of  TV shows which are not tangible i.e. not on DVD. Keeping such episodes stored WILL be a pain in the arse since the 20 GB hard drive for the Xbox 360 only has 13 GB free for user storage. Some Microsoft employee somewhere suggested using another Xbox 360 hard drive, can’t remember who that was or where I heard it but it was a ridiculous suggestion, especially due to the inflated price and only 13 GB of usable space. Oh and who wants to keep swapping a clunky hard drive around?

By Viran

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