Today the Xbox Live Marketplace begins selling TV shows and movies that can be downloaded and watched on the Xbox 360. My 360 is connected to my flatscreen computer monitor since I wanted HD, but still cannot bring myself to paying $1K USD for an HDTV. So I was initially lukewarm to the idea of watching TV and movies on my computer monitor. But since my home office has been exiled to the bedroom, watching shows on the Xbox 360 makes a little more sense now. So I may give this a shot, especially since the PC monitor is bigger than the old TV in the room and I have a better sound system attached to the Xbox. If this becomes popular, I think Microsoft is going to need to introduce a hard drive upgrade option. The current 20GB drive is looking smaller and smaller everyday. I think either an upgrade option and/or a network storage service would be the way to go. A 60GB drive to match the PS3’s premium offering would suit me just fine.
Downloadable shows on the 360 opens up a new front in the battle for the living room. While Apple is in the fight with downloadable shows for the iPod, they do not yet have a big screen presence in the living room, though it is coming. Right now, the first one to feel the heat may be TiVo which I think has plans for downloadable shows, but now will be playing catch up to Microsoft whose Xbox 360 is also much cheaper than the $800 TiVo Series 3. Another potential victim could be Sony’s Blu-ray movie format if Microsoft and others manage to popularize HD downloads making physical media, including HD DVD, irrelevant.
In the end though, it won’t matter if the shows available suck! So I’ll be interested to see what kind of lineup greets me when I login tonight.