Interesting to get an update on the Xbox video downloading service from the team’s PR agency today, just as Apple launches its TV device. (You can order AppleTV now for $299, with three- to five-day shipping).
The similarly priced gadgets really will compete, taking the Apple vs. Microsoft fight to the living room.
Both are boxes that will stream video and other media from a PC to a television.
Xbox didn’t mention Apple’s device in the news release, but it was clearly one of those “anything you can do I can do better” things. Its bullet points:
— Within four months of launching, Xbox Live has become the number one online distributor of television and feature film content in the living room where it’s most easy for consumers to access.
— In the same four months, the service has quickly become the number two online distributor of television and feature film content, second to iTunes.
— Is currently the ONLY online distributor of major feature films and television programming in high definition (HD) resolution.
— The service is a breakout success, with double-digit, month-over-month growth since launching.
— Monthly downloads from Xbox Live went up 400 percent since the service launched in November.
On the other hand, Apple’s device seems to have a simpler interface than the Xbox blades. But then Apple’s interface looks awfully similar to the Media Center.
Apple also gave its set-top box a bigger hard drive (40 gigabytes vs. the Xbox’s 20) and an HDMI port.
I’ll bet we’ll now be seeing a bigger drive and HDMI on Xbox (the 360.2?) before the holidays.