Forget iPod Vs. Zune -
the Apple/Microsoft war just officially
entered the living room…
From the Yahoo Biz Press Release:
Microsoft Corp. has teamed up with a handful of Hollywood studios to sell TV shows and rent movies that can be downloaded through the software maker’s Xbox Live online video-game service and beamed straight onto television sets.
The company announced Monday that beginning Nov. 22, Xbox Live users with the latest console will be able to choose from shows including “South Park,” which airs on MTV’s Comedy Central, and CBS Corp.’s “CSI,” and movies including Warner Bros.’ “V for Vendetta” and Paramount Pictures’ “Mission Impossible III.”
This is HUGE for several reasons…the biggest of which is that Microsoft has done something that Apple has yet to be able to do…get studio support for movie downloads from non-Disney owned studios.
An Xbox 360 Core System starts at $299. That’s the same price as Apple’s Upcoming iTV.[UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that you have to have the $100 hard drive to access Xbox Live, so to be fair, we're talking about $399 to use the downloading service]Â Now, granted, you can spend significantly more on an Xbox 360 (especially if you include the HD-DVD drive), but if I was a consumer that wanted to watch downloaded movies and television shows on my television (which I am), I think I’d have to take a long hard look at the iTV before I purchased it over an Xbox 360.
I mean, if I buy an Xbox 360 I also get access to a ton of fantastic games – and right now, with the iTV I basically get to stream stuff from my Mac to my television. Now, the final curtain hasn’t been unveiled for the iTV yet – and Apple may have something up their sleeve that we don’t know about…but it’s not a next generation game console…that’s for sure.
What will Apple come up with to combat this…because this is a VERY real threat to the iTV product…and if the Zune is integrated with the Xbox 360 it may even be a blow to the iPod in the long run.
To me, it looks like Microsoft just pulled out the big guns, and this fight just got interesting.