Xbox Live Video Marketplace is live, $6 HD rentals [update 1]

Happy birthday Xbox 360! For your first birthday, daddy got you something really cool ... downloadable movies and television shows! While the PS3 Blu-ray marketing machine is busy selling folks high-def movies on little discs, Microsoft decided to forgo the discs and just sling the bits straight into your 'box. They already spilled the beans on this one a couple weeks ago, and we even picked Microsoft's Scott Henson's brain on it, but there was still one thing they wouldn't dish on: the price.

Prices are broken down into six categories: new release movie rentals, classic rentals, and television purchases, with high-def and standard-def offerings in each.

New releases

  • 720p HD movies -- 480 MS Points ($6)

  • 480p SD movies -- 320 MS Points ($4)

"Classic" feature film

  • 720p HD movies -- 360 MS Points ($4.50)

  • 480p SD movies -- 240 MS Points ($3)

Television purchase

  • 720p HD television -- 240 MS Points ($3)

  • 480p SD television -- 160 MS Points ($2)

So far they've got 48 movies and 50 TV shows broken down between 2 movie studios and 12 television networks. We're surprised Universal, who're supporting the HD-DVD and Zune platforms in a big way, didn't climb on board for the initial launch but we're certain there's a warehouse full of lawyers working to get more content partnerships established. Pics of the service after the break.

[Update: Video of the service added after the break]

Nothing new here ...

What's that? Movie and TV Shows and Star Trek?

The Movies page. KHAAAAAAAAAAN!

9-1/2 Weeks totally nails the lonely teenager demographic ... well, it doesn't nail it. You see, what we meant was ...

A classic, to be sure (and one of our favorites) but it didn't win the Academy Award for best picture in 2006! At least the prices reflect the "classic" scheme.

V for Vendetta on the other hand is most certainly a new release and priced accordingly.

Here's a classic without a high-def counterpart. We wonder if there will be a reduced fee upgrade option should one arrive ...

If you can't see The Lake House in high-def, then why bother, y'know?

High-def movie trailers; another arena where Microsoft is challenging Apple's dominance.

The TV Shows page ...

More Star Trek. What are they trying to say?

More demographically astute programming.

You can search by network so you can keep all your CW shows in one place!

Check out the branded sub-pages. Pretty swanky.

Where's our Daily Show? We're guessing the whole "daily" part may be a problem.

Some shows even have the network branding built right in there, like CSI here.