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Monday, July 14, 2008
 E3: Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Movie Downloads, Xbox LIVE Primetime
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Message Text: As Xbox 360 readies for the next wave of audience expansion, Microsoft today announced a partnership with Netflix and an updated Xbox LIVE.

The announcement was made during the E3 Media and Business Summit in Los Angeles.

"We're entering a new age in entertainment, and Xbox 360 is uniquely positioned to become the heart of the living room," said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "The new Xbox experience offers more content than you can find from any device that connects to the television. That convergence of entertainment and gaming will bring new people and more families to the category, driving a record year for the games industry."

Microsoft's exclusive partnership with NetFlix offers Netflix subscribers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Xbox 360 will be the only game console to offer this movie-watching experience, available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.

From the Netflix Web site, subscribers simply add movies and TV episodes to their instant Queue, which will appear automatically on the TV screen via Xbox 360. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to instantly streaming Netflix movies to the TV, Xbox LIVE Gold members can browse and rate movies, fast-forward, pause and rewind, all using either their Xbox 360 Controller or remote.

Netflix on Xbox 360 will launch this fall.

As Microsoft vies for a stronger foothold in the living room, so is rival Sony, which has tried to make its PlayStation 3 into a broader entertainment device by including Blu-ray high-definition DVD players in the consoles.

In its strongest broadening play yet, Microsoft also announced Xbox LIVE Primetime, the next evolution in game shows slated for Xbox LIVE this fall; TV shows and movies from NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel and USA Network domestically and Constantin and MGM internationally; and blockbuster games "Lips," " Rock Band 2," "Scene It? Box Office Smash," "You're in the Movies" and the much anticipated "Final Fantasy XIII."

The first-ever live demo of Fallout 3 showed stunning detail. Guitar Hero World Tour is bringing us The Eagles and Metallica, and Rock Band 2 is going to deliver AC/DC and a debut single from Guns n' Roses.

A highly anticipated update to one of last E3's crowd-pleasers: Resident Evil 5 is coming in March, and will feature co-op play.

Microsoft also displayed "Gears of War 2," a much-anticipated sequel to its blockbuster science-fiction shooter game. It will debut exclusively for the Xbox 360 on November 7.

Microsoft said its Xbox 360 console will sell better than Sony's rival PlayStation 3 over the lifetime of the machines.

"Xbox 360 will sell more consoles worldwide this generation than PlayStation 3," Don Mattrick, a senior vice president at Microsoft's Xbox division, said at a Microsoft news conference before the start of the E3 video game industry trade show.

The company said Sunday it will cut the price of its best-selling Xbox 360 Pro with a 20-gigabyte hard drive to $299 from $349 while supplies last. In early August, it will introduce a new model with a 60-gigabyte hard drive for $349.
 
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