With Windows 10 making Xbox video available on a huge range of devices, we take a look at Microsoft’s streaming service to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Xbox Video, also known as Windows Movies and TV, is Microsoft’s online video store. Its main rivals are PlayStation Network, iTunes and Google Play (it doesn’t directly compete with video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Rakuten TV).
The service has operated under several names. Originally called the Xbox Live Marketplace, it changed its name to Zune Marketplace in September 2009, and then to Xbox Video in 2012. Unsurprisingly for a Microsoft product its primary target audience is Windows and Xbox users, but the service is available to anyone with a computer, whether that’s a PC or a Mac.
Price and Packages
Xbox Video’s movie prices are closely matched to those of iTunes and Google Play — which, while reasonable, doesn’t offer much of an incentive to jump ship from your current provider. (This isn’t the fault of the brand, rather the distributors, who often insist on pricing parity.)
Similarly, TV shows are sold at a standard price of £1.89 for standard definition (SD) episodes and £2.49 for high definition (HD) episodes (costs for seasons vary depending on the length and age of the season).
What devices and platforms is Xbox Video compatible with?
Xbox Video is primarily aimed at Xbox users, so Xbox Video’s absence from other gaming consoles isn’t surprising. However, while many other video download services offering compatibility on a broader range of devices, Xbox Video fails to cater to users who may be avid Xbox fans, but prefer Apple or Android for their mobile devices.
We spoke to Microsoft recently about its plans to bring its personal assistant, Cortana, to iOS and Android and asked if there were had any plans to expand the Xbox ecosystem to third party devices. Microsoft officials were quick to assure us that Xbox apps would remain exclusive to Xbox and Windows users for some time to come. With that said, you can download the Xbox SmartGlass application to your Android or iOS device to remotely control media applications on your Xbox.
Top picks on Xbox Video
How do I use Xbox Video?
If you’re already a Windows, Xbox user or Outlook user chances are you already have a Microsoft account. If this is the case, then simply visit video.xbox.com and start renting and begin buying movies and TV shows now.
If you’re not a member, then pop over to signup.live.com and register for a free account. You will never be charged for using your Microsoft account and you can cancel your account at any time.
Xbox Video Pros and Cons
- Perfect for Xbox users who utilise their console as a media centre
- Plenty of new releases and classic collections on offer
- Xbox SmartGlass compatibility
- No subscription or streaming options
- Limited device compatibility is understandable but still a deterrent
When it was released, the Xbox One was heavily marketed as a media centre a onestop device for all your entertainment needs. By combining gaming, Xbox Music and Xbox Video, it fills that role superbly. The only issue is that unless every device you own calls Microsoft home, you’re not going to have the same seamless viewing experience between your mobile devices and console that Netflix offers.
If you are a Windows diehard, Xbox Video will almost certainly appeal to you.