According to Variety's recent assessment, Xbox 360's video download service is the year's digital distribution success story. Perhaps "success" is an overstatement, but despite an install base that's utterly dwarfed by the total number of Amazon.com users, Xbox Live's Video Marketplace is getting just as much love as the online retailer's 'Unbox' service, which also offers video on demand downloads.
The Xbox secret? Simplicity. Each video is only a few button presses away, and the console is (usually) already connected to the TV. For most users, Amazon is confined to a PC monitor, likely stashed on a desk, tucked away in the corner of the house; and getting content from Unbox to the TV is a tedious process.
So has Microsoft nailed it? Is Xbox 360 the frontrunner of the digital distribution era -- even with a 20 GB hard drive and limited studio support?