In October of 2008, Microsoft announced a deal with video-rental service Netflix--but only for North America. Ever since, international gamers have been waiting on tenterhooks to see if similar services will be rolled out worldwide.
It had been expected that the Redmond-based console maker would announce such a service at an event in London today, but alas it was not to be. British Xbox Live users did receive word that a deal had been signed between Microsoft and NBC Universal to bring the latter's movies to Xbox Live's own movie-rental service. Thirty titles will be available immediately, ranging from comedy favourites such as 1978's Animal House to more recent titles such as romantic-comedy-cum-zombie-flick Shaun of the Dead and cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. More titles will be added to the service "on a rolling basis," according to Microsoft.
New releases will be priced at £3 ($4.30, 360 Microsoft points) for a standard-definition rental and at £4.50 (540 points, $6.45) for high defitnition, with library films coming in slightly lower.
At the same time Microsoft also announced that the Xbox Live quiz 1 vs. 100 was coming to the region, along with 12 new songs for Lips, the firm's take on Sony's multimillion-dollar Singstar franchise. The tracks will be made available over the next three weeks and will feature The Rasmus, Hinder and Coldplay, and more.