Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Movies Games and Videos

Recently I thought I'd try out the Video Marketplace thingy that MS have finally released in the UK. My main reason for it was that I have a high def TV, but it's only 32" (girlfriend acceptance factor dictated tht I couldn't get anything much bigger), and I was curious to see if an HD movie format would actually look noticably better than the upscaling DVD player I have at the moment.

The marketplace itself is quite nicely laid out (certainly a lot better than the Arcade), allowing you to search by genre, popularity, or year of release, and offering up "if you liked X you might want to try Y" links. Once you've downloaded a movie it's very clear how long you have to watch it, so you're in no danger of something accidentally timing out on you.

I probably won't use it very often though, for two main reasons:

First off is the price. It seems high to me, especially for the HD stuff. Currently I rent using Blockbuster's online service - as many movies as I can watch (3 at a time) for £15 a month. And that includes Blu Ray and HD DVD.

I would have thought the HD movies would cost the same, or possibly even been cheaper, than SD, to tempt people into using it more - especially if MS really are trying to kill the HD format war so they can step in with downloads. The standard def version of "300" costs around £2.90 - a better option for most people would be to buy the DVD for only £3.99 and watch as many times as they liked (or sell it on if they didn't like it).

The second downside is the poor selection of titles. At the time of writing there are still only around 40 titles, about three months after the service launched. Everything on it seems quite old, and the recent titles (recent in that they're only a few months after DVD release) have even more hiked up prices.

I can understand the need for a back catalogue to be presented, but surely to provide a useful movie rental service you need to ensure each week's new releases are added promptly? How many people do MS think are sat at home thinking "oh if only there was a way that I could watch Wild Wild West and Executive Descision, yet those two titles are simply impossible to rent or buy"?

3 comments:

Benny said...
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Riki said...
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FreakyZoid said...

Thanks for spamming me with your rubbish adverts guys.