South Park on your XBOX 360

As much as MTVN has been busy trying to move gaming into TV shows and vice versa, they’re also exploring the possibility of distributing TV content by using consoles as a platform. I’m imagining some kind of Viacom/Microsoft variety of YouTube, where the former releases its programming over the latter’s infrastructure.

To call the arrangement genre-defying or generous would be an overstatement. Currently in its eleventh season, the free-be is only one episode (“Good Times with Weapons,” s08e01), offered for a period of two whole weeks. According to the press release, South Park episodes have been the most popular downloads on XBOX Live. The big kicker is that the latest season will be available “uncensored,” beginning March 13, which raises all kinds of interesting questions regarding the responsibility of putting a rating on this type of distribution. Do video games, as a distribution platform, adhere to the same rating system as broadcast? Says who?

In all, there’s about 1,500 hours of “premium entertainment content” available. Which is another way of saying re-runs. However, it does suggest that Microsoft’s strategy behind the XBOX has a lot to with making it the “center of the livingroom,” as Sony calls it. It will be interesting to see if these two giants will also become distributors, in addition to hardware/software manufacturers and content programmers.

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