Microsoft seeded the the Fall update to their Xbox 360 gaming console. The update was significant in that it finally offers the possibility to “rent” movies from the Zune store (i guess in the US they have like Netflicks or whatever as well?).
So naturally, i was a bit excited. One could even say anxious, to see the new update. Well, the update itself was painless, short download. Which leads me to believe it might already have been preloaded in a previous patch and activated now? Who knows. In any case, two new menuitems appeared, one was for the zune video marketplace. one was for the facebook/twitter thing. That doesn’t really interest me. I mean, i don’t feel like twittering when i’m playing, and as for some kind of automated twittering, i doubt it’d be of interest to anyone.
“Hey world! Grelbar is playing Need for Speed!!!”. Wohoo.
The Zune marketplace is fairly well laid out. It opens rather quickly after a little loading screen. You can search movies according to genre, name, date, popularity, etc. Most new movies offer either the HD version (around 500 xbox points), or the SD version (240-350 points). Each point is about one euro cent if you buy the points somewhere cheap (say, Verkkokauppa.com Ahvenanmaa). So the prices are perfectly in line with those of a brick-and-mortar rental place such as Makuuni, who charge 6 euros for a new movie, and 2-4 euros for an older movie. I’d rather get it streamed than actually walk to the store, so this might be a service that i’ll grow to like.
The only problem i saw was the selection. There were maybe a few dozen movies. And i’d seen most of them (then, we do have a serious DVD addiction, with a collection of about 500 authentic movies), so this was to be expected. But there was maybe one movie from 2009, and the rest were like golden oldies such as Beetlejuice, Matrix, Lethal Weapons 1,2,3 and 4, etc. Good movies, no doubt, but i think everyone has seen them at this point.
Please microsoft, and finland, give us some real new movies…..
I actually read through (most) of the EULA, which is… uh.. well, it has 28 sub-topics. It’s long. It details how Microsoft isn’t liable for really anything, and can change anything at will. Kind of like Monday’s Penny-Arcade. So anyway, they do say that “content will vary based on the geographic location of the subscriber”. Which means, that though Finland was finally lucky enough to get in on the fun, it’ll probably be a while before we get movies that are even borderline new.
So my general review of the update is: “Promising, but in it’s current state: bleh”