Microsoft to offer TV shows, movies on Xbox Live

Soon after the launch of its upcoming HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360, Microsoft plans to kick off another initiative to attract movie buffs. The company says starting on November 22, it will begin to make available 1,000 hours of high-definition television shows and movies via its Xbox Live network. TV shows will be offered on a pay-to-own basis, while movies will be available for rental only. Content will be provided by CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, TBS, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. By the end of the year, Microsoft says its selection will include TV shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, CSI, South Park, and Star Trek, as well as movies like Mission Impossible 3, Superman Returns, and The Matrix.

The November 22 date is just five days after the announced launch date for Sony’s PlayStation 3, so it looks like Microsoft is actively working to draw sales away from Sony for the holiday season. Epic Games’ Xbox 360-only title Gears of War will also become available at major retailers on November 12, five days before the PS3’s launch.

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