After last month’s announcement that DixX support was coming to the Sony PS3 games console, there was speculation that the same would be happening on the Microsoft Xbox 360 soon.
It now seems that in the latest dashboard update, there was the inclusion of limited DivX support, although it’s not 100% functional, and Microsoft tried to call the files anything but DivX.
The Xbox Team’s official blog announced:
“[The Xbox 360] now supports files encoded using MPEG-4 Part 2, Simple and Advanced Simple Profile, [which are] often referred to as Xvid or DivX video files”
This is sure to be great news for the millions of Xbox 360 owners, as it increases the library of media content they can now have access to through their trusty consoles.
Not Quite Full Support
However, it’s not full support, as the Xbox 360 won’t support files which contain additional functions, such as menus or subtitles. It will also only support content encoded with DivX version 5.0 or later.
It’s not the only good news for Xbox 360 owners as we enter the Christmas season either, as the European launch of the Xbox Live Marketplace Video Store has been announced for December 11th.
Xbox Live Marketplace Video Store
From that date, Xbox Live users will be able to rent full length feature films for as little as £2 each (or 250 Microsoft Points) or HD-DVD movies for £3 (or 380 Microsoft Points).
Robin Truchy, European director of Xbox Live said:
“We want to give consumers the entertainment they want, in the format they want, when they want it and at an affordable price.”
“We are already offering HD games, HD music videos and the option to enjoy HD-DVD format films, now we are offering HD movies to download and rent as well.”
The films stay on the console’s hard drive for 14 days after being downloaded from the Marketplace website and must be watched within 24 hours after the play button is first pressed.
Consoles Rapidly Becoming Media Hubs
This is just the latest in a long line of steps taken seemingly to place what were once mere games consoles at the heart of the digital media revolution.
The Xbox 360, along with the PS3 are rapidly becoming more like media entertainment hubs sitting in your front room, rather than just machines to play Mario and Grand Theft Auto on.
Where this will end is anyone’s guess, but with the digital market growing, and television companies increasingly looking towards the Internet to sell their wares, it’s an important step forward for consumers.