Microsoft adds 100+ TV shows to Xbox Live Video Marketplace

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - After several months of scant updates to the Xbox 360's video download store, Microsoft announced today it has increased its selection with more than 100 new shows.

The update includes family-friendly programming as a complement to the same-day release of a new Xbox 360 bundle targeted at mainstream, casual gamers.  The new selection comes entirely from Warner Bros and Viacom's Nickelodeon division.

More than 50 episodes of classic Looney Tunes episodes are available on a download-to-own basis, according to Microsoft.  The cartoons are available in HD.  This is the first time that such a big selection has been made available on a digital download platform, and it is also the debut of Looney Tunes in a high definition format.  

Also available today are around 50 episodes of Nickelodeon TV shows, including Sponge Bob, iCarly, and The Backyardigans.  It is one of the most visible pushes for Microsoft to reach a crowd not made up of shoot-em-up fans and instead go for a younger demographic.

Earlier this year, the software giant also announced a deal with Disney to provide full-length Disney films, some of which are high-def exclusives on the 360.

Though it is trying to steer away from the "Halo is all we have" image, the Xbox 360 was able to leap to the top sales spot in the US last month thanks to Halo 3.  An unprecedented 3.3 million copies were sold in its first five days, helping to catapault console sales to over 500,000 units.