On November 22, Microsoft is going to make the power of the Xbox 360's "digital-distribution capabilities" known.

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, on that date users of the console "will be able to purchase TV shows and download them to their gaming hard drive as well as rent and watch movies on their consoles."

Some of the content will include films and TV shows such as Batman Forever, V for Vendetta, South Park, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Robot Chicken, Vol. 1.

The will Xbox 360 will now go head to head with companies like iTunes and Verizon's VCast.

According to Scott Henson, Microsoft director of platform strategy, "there will be thousands of hours of television and movie content available on the console's virtual storefront, Xbox Live Marketplace, by year's end."

"The reason the Hollywood studios are excited to partner with us is because we have this 18- to 34-year-old demographic that's extremely valuable and attractive to the networks and content providers," Henson states. "This is a great opportunity to reach them in a different way. I think you're going to see because of that a lot of other studios jumping on board over time with additional TV shows and movies."

According to Henson the price for the TV and movie content will be "competitive with other digital offerings."

"TV shows will follow a purchase-to-own model," he continued. "Consumers can download a show as many times as he or she wants and from anywhere in the U.S., including on other Xbox 360 consoles."

Movies will follow the rental-download model while TV shows will be updated regularly and made available the after they air. "Once a movie is purchased and downloaded to the Xbox 360's 20GB hard drive, it remains there until played. Once played, the consumer has 24 hours to watch it."

The available content "will only play on Xbox 360 and not be transferable to a PC or other device -- at least for now."

Currently, Microsoft has moved "6 million Xbox 360 units globally to date and expects to reach a worldwide installed base of 10 million units by year's end."

Evan Jacobs