Officials from Microsoft have confirmed the launch details for the Xbox Live Marketplace Video Store in Europe, with the service due to go live in the UK on December 11th.
Already launched in the U.S., the worldwide roll-out of the service has been staggered due to the complex licensing issues for video content in different regions and to allow time to make deals with local content providers. As a result the range of content is different in each region, with the service also becoming available in Ireland, France and Germany.
Movie launch titles announced for the UK and Ireland include 300, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Zodiac, The Matrix trilogy, Ocean's Eleven, The Perfect Storm, Swordfish, Three Kings, Training Day, The Fugitive, Risky Business, Space cowboys, Eyes Wide Shut, Analyze This, Demolition Man, Eraser, Executive Decision, Lethal Weapon 3, Lethal Weapon 4, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Mars Attacks!, Clash of the Titans, Superman III and Dead Calm.
Over 100 music videos are also available to download from Microsoft partners Ministry of Sound, Sony BMG, PIAS and Vid Zone. However, no television show content has yet been announced, despite being available on the service in the U.S.
As in the U.S. movies will be available in standard definition, from 250 Microsoft Point (£2), and high definition, from 380 Microsoft Points (£3.20). Once downloaded the movie content will be available to the user for 14 days or for 24 hours after first being viewed. After this time period it will automatically be deleted from the hard drive.
Xbox Live European director Robin Truchy commented: “Xbox Live Marketplace Video Store in Europe is all about adding to the ever-expanding number of entertainment choices that our consumers have on their Xbox 360. We want to give them the entertainment they want, in the format they want, when they want it and at an affordable price.”
Said Screen Digest broadband media analyst Arash Amel, “Screen Digest predicts that the total European movie download market will be worth €350 million ($516m) by 2012, up from €17 million ($25m) in 2007."
"The Xbox Live Marketplace Video Store, as the first multi-territory hardware-based online movie delivery service in Europe, is expected to be a European market leader for movie downloads. Consumers in both the U.S. and Europe have already made it abundantly clear that they are reluctant to watch two-hour long films on their PC,” added Amel.