E3 08: Microsoft’s Announcements

Posted by Mehar Gill on July 14, 2008 
Filed Under: Downloads, Format War, Netflix, Netflix Streaming, Studios, Xbox 360, XBOX Live Marketplace

Microsoft had there E3 conference this morning, no doubt they had announcements regarding high definition medium. Heres a summary of what Microsoft had announced regarding their future with regard to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace:

  • Netflix availability via the Xbox Live Dashboard
  • Universal Studios and NBC have signed onto the Xbox Live Video Service in North America
  • MGM and Constantine have announced their signing on for Europe.
  • Universal titles such as American Pie, Bourne Supremacy, etc are already on the marketplace
  • The Xbox Live Video Marketplace is the worlds largest Video on Demand service (Including Digital Cable, Satellite, etc services).
  • You can bring a group of friends with you (via their new dashboard update) and can all watch the movie together. (Like with the Harry Potter HD DVD) the difference being only one person has to have a copy of the movie.

As expected no Blu-ray drive was announced, would Microsoft really want to announce one now since they are the number 1 distributor of video on demand content? A small demo was also given on the Netflix system, but I forgot to capture the video, sorry.

Related posts:

  1. Microsoft Reveals XBLVM Revenue
  2. HD Netflix Streaming Rolls Out With New Xbox Experience
  3. NBC Universal Comes to The UK’s Xbox Live Video Marketplace
  4. Netflix HD Streaming To Hit A Slew Of Devices
  5. Xbox 360 Netflix Streaming Users Top 1 Million


13 Responses to “E3 08: Microsoft’s Announcements”

  1. Dave Cowl on July 14th, 2008 6:37 pm

    It will be interesting to see if Toshiba or Microsoft caves first and makes a Blu-ray player.

    It is entirely possible that MS will just ignore BD since high quality movie playback is not part of their core system but Toshiba will no doubt have to bite the bullet eventually…

  2. Mehar Gill on July 14th, 2008 6:38 pm

    I would see Toshiba cave first, Microsoft is making a ton of money through Digital Distribution has it is, who knows how much Toshiba will make with its new technology.

  3. webdev511 on July 14th, 2008 8:02 pm

    Neither is going to cave with consumer spending on the down trend.

    If MS/Netflix can deliver 720p/dobly digital downloads for a reasonable price that will be “good enough” for some.

    If Toshiba can roll out their super scaler for $150 or less, it may be hard to pass up what the wal-mart shopper almost as good as blu-ray, at half the cost. If that’s the case, then the BDA needs to get off their butt and create demand for Bonus View and BD-Live. Gotta show more than better picture and sound for the premium.

  4. Jonsson on July 15th, 2008 12:34 am


    Actually, petter picture and premium sound is all I want. No extras, no tiresome animated menus etc. etc, just the bloody film!

    If they start to hype Bonus View, BD-Live and all that crap before quality, well then demand is certainly going to down from my side.

    Actually, if I ever get a BD Live capable player, chances are that it will never ever be hooked up to a network and if they ever make a disk/player that requires internet connection, well then it’s bye bye from me.

  5. Mehar Gill on July 15th, 2008 7:23 am


    So your the kind of person who is liking Digital Downloads? I like to relate Digital Downloads to the VHS tape, in terms of how the experince is. On the Xbox Live Marketplace, Warner has been adding extras for movies like I Am Legend, I think they are free or they could be paid for, maybe Microsoft should make those a bundle.

  6. Jonsson on July 15th, 2008 10:41 am

    @Mehar Gill

    Actually not. I’m not sure why you arrive at that conclusion? I’m dead against this digital download hysteria.

    I like high quality optical media. I just do not want the unecessary crap that the media company seems to think that they need to throw at us. I like to have my collection in hard physical form in my bookshelf. (Maybe I’m oldfashoned :-) )

    Also there is no way I could download a full quality HD movie in a reasonable time anyway And that will not change anytime in the near future. It would take me weeks with my connection. And my connection is in no way unique around here

    Heck I just checked my ADSL status and today seems to be a really really god day. I get about 5 MBit today with a noise ratio of 7dB. I almost never get that throughput. 3 to 4 MBit with a noise ratio of 3dB (and drops every now and then) is more normal.

  7. Mehar Gill on July 15th, 2008 10:53 am

    The reason I thought so was because you said you didn’t like the extras the companies like to “pack in”. I too am one of those people who like having the physical thing on my shelf, although there are times when I find ordering a video is better, like in bad weather.

  8. Roberta on July 15th, 2008 11:29 am

    Microsoft and Toshiba should both skip Blu-Ray and go directly to 4k. THEN we will have a medium that looks good on 70″+ screens. No question that Blu-Ray looks better on 32″-65″ screens, but when viewed on larger screens, Blu-Ray just doesn’t cut it (for me).


  9. Mehar Gill on July 15th, 2008 11:31 am


    There are already prototypes in the works that can do that, Toshiba is betting their chips on flash drives and stuff to distribute content since a spinning disc isn’t really that resourceful. I’m not sure what Microsoft is doing, I don’t know how well DD will work in that context.

  10. Jonsson on July 15th, 2008 11:40 am


    I would think that even in the states, most people would actually have something less than a 70 inch screen.

    I know for a fact that a 70 inch screen in Europe is considered as extrem luxury.most people would not only not be able to afford it but the would simply not have the space for it as well.

    Also a 70 inch screen that could handle a resolution even higher than 1080p would probably be VERY expensive.

    I would say that more than 1080p at present would simply be way overkill.

  11. Dave Cowl on July 15th, 2008 12:07 pm

    I can just imagine Toshiba scaling DVDs to 4K and claiming it is better than Blu-ray – and Microsoft offering 8Mbps 4K downloads – again claiming it is better than FullHD :D

    From what I hear, 4k is coming. Somehow I think though that the studios will not be all that interested in supporting it, except perhaps at a huge premium cost.

    The reality is that Blu-ray discs could pretty easily support 4k with the bitrates it supports. The 4k AVC demo at CES was around 25 Mbps iirc – though I am sure that they would prefer to do higher in general.

    If they wanted to go beyond 40 ish the spec would need to be changed somewhat… but backwards compatibility could still be retained.

  12. Mehar Gill on July 15th, 2008 12:14 pm

    Whats the bitrate on a 720p Blu Ray disc?

  13. Dave Cowl on July 16th, 2008 10:59 am

    As far as I know there are no 720p Blu-ray Discs – they are all 1080i or 1080p.

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