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Xbox to go Live with movie and TV downloads

Pre-empting Apple's iTV

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Microsoft will begin offering movie and TV downloads via Xbox Live from 22 November. Gamers whose bones have dissolved to the point where a trip to Blockbuster is out of the question will be able to grab the likes of South Park direct to the Xbox 360 hard drive.

Redmond has inked deals with MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Home Entertainment to pump their content direct into users' homes.

Tying a download service to a piece of hardware is a trick Microsoft learned from Apple, and will try and pull off again with Zune. The Xbox service should have 750 hours of content at launch, rising to 1,000 by the end of the year. Much of it should be available in high definition, but with the Xbox's puny 20GB hard drive, users will may be forced to delete older downloads to make space for new releases.

Aware of their market in the early life of of Xbox 360, Microsoft has made sure the Ultimate Fighting Championship is on board too. Apparently it will make "50 of its most intense fights" available. Championship President Dana White said: "I can’t think of a better way to keep the adrenaline flowing than with some high-impact UFC fights." Hmmm. ®

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