• New "Elite" Release Reinforces Xbox's HD Differentiation

    Microsoft announced its 120 GB Xbox "Elite"today, along with 4 new content partners, A&E, ADV Films, National Geographic and TotalVid. This press release has all the specs on the new device, including a new HDMI port for high-quality connections to HD TV sets, while this press release highlights the content activities.
    I got a preview on this announcement in a briefing last week with Xbox executives, in which I also got some stats on Xbox LIVE's video activity (this is all for our upcoming report on broadband-centric video aggregators). Microsoft believes that Xbox LIVE is now the #1 destination for HD video downloads. Though I don't have data to support or refute this, what other site would come close?
    Xbox is doing a great job carving out new, differentiated ground for itself by highlighting HD downloads and building a serious library. For reference, a typical movie is about 3 GB, so about 40 movies could be stored on the new "Elite", assuming no other downloads. Given the ongoing tussling between Blu-ray and HD DVD, Xbox is emerging as a pretty serious contender for getting broadband-delivered HD downloads into the home.
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