Paramount deal for Xbox Live

More handshakes for Microsoft as movie studio signs agreement to distribute film-based content over Xbox Marketplace; more trailers, themes, picture packs on way.

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Paramount Pictures and Microsoft are entering into a partnership under which the movie studio's content will be integrated into the software giant's Xbox Live service, the companies said on Tuesday.

The program will launch Wednesday with free, high-definition, downloadable content from two summer 2006 Paramount films: Mission: Impossible III and Nacho Libre.

Essentially, the partnership is about bringing a wide variety of content to the online Xbox community service, including movie trailers, graphics that can be used to customize Xbox games, and contests whose winners will get to play games against stars from the studio's films.

To date, more than 2 million Xbox users are members of the Xbox Live community, and its marketplace--where users can buy and sell add-ons for their games--has seen more than 10 million total downloads.

The service's bonus material isn't limited to content from the silver screen. Microsoft recently signed a deal with Epic Records to promote its musical artists over Xbox Live.

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