Tag Archives: microsoft

Xbox Live and Netflix offer film downloads

One question that remains unanswered in paidContent’s original story is this: will users of Xbox Live living outside the US be able to view these films? Or will they get a ‘Sorry – wrong territory’ message that UK users often get when trying to view video content on many US news and broadcast channel sites? Can someone at Microsoft let us know? Will we have to wait for a Microsoft EU deal with Lovefilm or someone similar?

[via paidContent]

Microsoft and its ‘cash-back’ search strategy

The pros and cons of Microsoft’s cash back searches are well documented on far better blogs than contentcontent (just).

But this new search strategy could be an example of how Microsoft are trying to convince advertisers that paid search ads (ie Google’s) aren’t the be all and end all of search.

As well as the cash back search, it’s also worth watching Microsoft’s efforts in tracking and ‘engagement mapping’ tools which they’re supposed to be rolling out.

These tools (which MS bought as part of the aQuantive / Avenue A Razorfish purchase) claim to give online retailers a better picture of what ads or web content a user saw before they purchased a product on their site. The value being that not all purchases are made via paid search ads – display ads and other web content could inspire that purchasing decision.

Of course Doubleclick has being doing this kind of thing for years (which Google owns). It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft’s product offer will improve on Doubleclick’s offer.

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Microsoft opts for downloads for Xbox360 – not via Blu-Ray

Aha. So assuming this story is true, Microsoft DOES think downloads are the way forward.

Did the alleged Blu-Ray meeting with Sony and Microsoft not happen? Wonder how retailers will feel about this news? That said, Microsoft could still involve retailers by doing a Valve software thing like they did with HalfLife 2 and release a normal DVD in stores with the rest on the web.

But when all is said and broadbanded…the Xbox360 still won’t play Blu-Ray DVDs like the PS3.

HD-DVD dropped – so is Microsoft’s Xbox next to go?

The modern day equivalent of the VHS/Betmax video format war is over – according to online DVD rental firm Netflix.com.

Netflix.com is to drop Toshiba’s HD-DVD format in favour of Sony’s Blu-Ray equivalent by the end of the year so as not to confuse its customers. Because they’re nice like that.

Great news for consumers, but if the war has finally been won (which, let’s face it, is no surprise) then what lies ahead for Microsoft’s Xbox360 games console? Surely every recession-dodging-penny-pinching-gamer is going to opt for a future-proofed Sony’s PS3 console and its built in Blu-Ray DVD player?

So – will Microsoft now mothball the next incarnation of the Xbox and admit defeat and make way for NetFlix.com’s prediction that Blu-Ray will encourage users to continue using disc based entertainment for the next decade?

Or will Microsoft INSIST that downloaded music, movies and games should be the centrepiece for ‘Xbox 3’ going forward given ever increasing broadband speeds? Holy increased real-time advertising opportunities!!! Microsoft has already released a video downloads service. We assume there’s no full-game downloads being offered yet so as not to jeopardise retailer relationships, and not because of broadband speed limitations.

This latest blow in the HD format war and the fact that Microsoft divested of Bungie in 2007 – the maker of the lucrative Halo series of games – in no way suggests to us that Microsoft will be ditching its games console any time soon…will it?

Read the full story at GamesIndustry.biz

UPDATE (20/02/08): Paramount signs Xbox film download rental deal (Guardian).

Is the Xbox360 a lemon in waiting now that Warner Bros has signed up to Sony’s Blu-ray?

After holding off buying a new Xbox360 until the January sales, we’re gutted to hear that the future of the console’s format of choice, HD DVD, is now looking a little like the Betamax option.

Now that Warner Bros is reported to have adopted Sony’s Blu-ray format, the PS3’s HD format of choice, is it worth investing in a Premium edition Xbox360? Why buy one if nearly three quarters of film distributors have adopted another format?

This is a major coup for Sony. Does it spell the end for the Xbox consoles given that we’re still years away from downloading all our games, particularly HD games, via the web?

Let’s see what Microsoft says at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Has Sony been looking at Halo 3’s Wikipedia entry?

Great story on vnunet.com, which alleges that someone at Sony Computer Entertainment’s office in Liverpool has visited Wikipedia’s entry for Halo 3, the hugely awaited video game due to appear on Sony PS3’s rival Xbox360 console.

Over one million people have pre-ordered Halo 3, which at over £39 a pop, may even see it break movie box office records for a new release. Perhaps they’ll spend some of the profits on improving Halo3.com‘s…puzzling…but…slow…loading…website.

Risky viral – Halo 3 campaign

Believe it or not, this is a screenshot from an integral part of the £multi-million launch campaign for Halo 3 on Xbox360: a viral marketing campaign.
There are even street teams in New York posing as UFO fanatics handing out ‘We are not alone’ leaflets, according to gamesindustry.biz.
My opinion? The Blair Witch viral campaign was unique because everyone believed the film was a low budget documentary gone wrong. Can the same techniques be used for big $bucks$ video games campaigns?
Read more about the viral campaign on gamesindustry.biz. Or take a look at the campaign website itself.