Microsoft’s new gaming console XBox 360 apparently comes with an online downloads store, one part of which is the so-called XBox Live Video service that allows users to rent digital downloads of TV shows and movies.
XBox Live Video was launched just yesterday, and initially features 48 movies. Among them is Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, which is in some ways interesting considering that it is fairly different from the rest of the movies available, a full list of which you can see here.
I don’t know much about XBox or modern consoles in general, as my gaming days are more or less limited to Commodore 64. Therefore, I have no idea what the quality of these downloads is, and all I know is that the prices are between $3 and $6 per rent, depending on the age of the film and whether you are renting a high definition or regular movie.
However, considering that so far more than six million XBox 360 units have been sold according to Wikipedia, and that the XBox Live service has more than four million subscribers, Dreams now certainly has the potential of reaching a whole new generation of audiences. This is especially true considering that only so few movies are initially available.
Yet, one is of course tempted to ask whether this is going to actually create too many new Kurosawa enthusiasts. I would imagine that something like Yojimbo or Sanjuro would have made an excellent first introduction for the XBox generation, while Dreams may not really be something that the gamers are looking for. Of course, in the end the choice of Dreams is most probably based on distribution rights, and little else.
It remains to be seen whether Akira Kurosawa News and Information is shortly taken over by XBox users.