The online video store component of Microsoft's Xbox 360 videogame console will launch in Canada this weekend, the company announced Tuesday.
The Marketplace Video Store, part of the console's Live subscriber service,offers users a selection of movies downloadable to their Xbox hard drives. The store has been available in the United States since November 2006.
The service will go live at 12:01 a.m. PT on Dec. 11, said Scott Nocas, global marketing manager for Xbox Live, in an interview on the Xbox Canada website. The store will also launch in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany that day.
Movies from Warner Bros., Maple Pictures and MPI will be immediately available, Nocas said, featuring titles such as 300, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ocean's 13.
The rentals, which remain active for 24 hours after the user presses play, cost about 310 Microsoft Points, approximately $5, for standard definition and 460 points, roughly $7.35, for high definition. Current titles are a little pricier at 460 points for standard and 610, approximately $9.25, for HD.
Industry insiders had expected the store to launch with the console's fall update on Tuesday. Nocas said the company decided to push it back "because we thought that the service was big enough to deserve its own launch, and we wanted to make sure we tested everything and had it all ready so you had a great experience when you try it."
Television shows, which are available in the U.S., will not be available with the weekend launch.
"Any time we bring something new to Xbox Live Marketplace, we want to make sure that it’s an amazing consumer experience. We make sure we have a ton of content and we make sure we have local content," Nocas said in the interview."We also want to bring it to multiple countries and, right now, we really wanted to focus on the movies because we felt that was really one of the better offerings that Xbox in the U.S. had."