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Updated: The clock is counting down to the XBox 360 launch. Folks like Chris Anderson and Russell Beattie are waxing eloquent about the hottest new gaming platform and its ability to act as a bridge between television and Microsoft Media Center PCs. But all is not hunky dory, according to Sajeeth Cherian, who wrote the amazing Videora software.
In the FAQ for his new Videora XBox 360 convertor software he points out that many of videos on the XBox Live MarketPlace are in most likelihood, available for free on the web.
Of course, you cannot play the videos without a Media Center PC, and last but not the least, You cannot play videos off your non-Media Center PC for now. You will need an optional Xbox 360 Hard Drive to download/watch video from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Given that its a Microsoft world, not too surprised about the only support for Windows Media and MPEG 1 &2 platforms but no support for avi, Xvid, Quicktime and H264. (Apple does the same, so I don’t hold that against Bill’s boys!)
Those issues aside, I personally think this could be a beautiful gaming platform, and will get the kind of traction Gates & Company have been lusting for. The marketplace encourages micro-content buying through things like paint jobs for racing cars and tattoos for the gangsters. I think these virtual-tochtkes that cost pennies will add-up to become the next billion dollars for Microsoft. Having seen the device up, close and personal, well, it is so un-Microsoft like that it might be a success.