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August - 2008 - issue > Tech Tracker
Watch-movies-in-Xbox-
Christo Jacob
Friday, August 1, 2008
And that’s exactly what happens with Microsoft’s deal with Netflix.

Thanks to Microsoft’s deal with the online rental service Netflix, now Xbox owners can watch movies in their game console. The customers who have Microsoft’s Internet based Xbox 360 console attached to their TVs and who subscribe to Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold service and Netflix can download Netflix movies at no additional cost.

The service that will be launched later this year will feature more than 10,000 movies and TV shows available for immediate viewing for both Microsoft and Netflix subscribers. The deal is resonating in the sector.

Launch of the service could hurt sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which features a built-in DVD player that can play discs encoded in Sony's high definition Blu-ray format. Netflix and Microsoft did not specify whether their service would include HD content, but Microsoft already makes numerous HD titles available through Xbox Live.

Microsoft is positioning the Xbox not just as a games console, but also as a platform for launching music and video content. However, the company is looking to maintain recent Xbox sales momentum in the face of stiff competition from the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii unit. The 40 GB PlayStation 3 sells for $399, while the Nintendo Wii sells for $250. A recent report by the research firm NPD Group showed that more units of Sony’s PlayStation 3 sold in the first five months of 2008 than Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Michael Gartenberg, Juniper Research analyst, finds that Netflix with its 8.2 million subscribers and about 12 million Xbox owners will help Microsoft to reach beyond the hardcore gamers of the family.

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