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Microsoft Corp. on Monday said that starting later this month the company’s Xbox Live service will start selling high definition television shows and renting high definition movies. While the world’s largest software maker did not disclose many details, it is obvious that the move is a yet another step in creating a large content market.

By adding TV program downloads and movie rent into the Xbox Live service Microsoft is also expanding feature-set of its Xbox 360 game console, making it even more consumer friendly and providing possibilities not presently available on current generation and next generation game consoles, which may further popularize Microsoft’s most recent game machine.

Users of Xbox Live with appropriate subscription will be able to download high definition and standard definition TV shows from such TV networks as AdultSwim, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nick Toons, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, UFC, VH1, and Warner Bros. Besides, subscribers will be able to rent movies from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. for 24 hours. Initially the lineup will not be reach, but eventually Microsoft’s new Xbox marketplace will grow.

“This groundbreaking announcement is a win for everyone,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “It connects our partners with one of the most coveted audiences in entertainment today, and provides even greater value to our Xbox Live community, allowing them to enjoy the games and entertainment they want, when they want it.”

The video download service for Xbox 360 will open its doors on the 22nd of November, 2006. Pricing for movies and TV programs has not been disclosed so far.

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