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Xbox Video Marketplace set to go worldwide

The recently announced Xbox Live Video Marketplace, which will allow Xbox 360 users to download movies and TV episodes to their console, will eventually launch outside the United States according to Xbox marketing manager Aaron Greenberg.

Speaking to at an event in San Francisco this week, Greenberg confirmed that while the current service - which offers high- and standard-definition movies and TV episodes from providers including Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and Turner - is for the US only, it will eventually have global reach.

"The platform is built," he said, "and we're able now to get more locally relevant content on the market as we span across the world."

The Video Marketplace has been widely compared to Apple's iTunes Store, which offers TV and movies as well as music for download, and Sony's PlayStation 3 is expected to offer a similar download service through the PlayStation Store.

However, there has been criticism of the Video Marketplace in some quarters - most notably from rival Sony - on the grounds that the ability to download content is only available to users who have a hard drive, thus forcing purchasers of the Xbox 360 Core Pack to buy a hard drive upgrade kit in order to utilise the service.

Microsoft's system also only has 13GB of space available on its drives, which means that only five hours of high definition video can be stored - and despite ongoing rumours of a larger drive for the Xbox 360, the firm is adamant that no such drive is on the cards just yet. Instead, Greenberg suggested that users could buy multiple 20GB drives and swap them around to store more content - although he admitted that such a scheme is "not a perfect workaround".

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.