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Xbox Elite coming to Europe next month

Microsoft also plans Xbox Live video downloads

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elite console will become available in Europe in August, while its Xbox Live video download will be with us before the end of 2007, according to company executive at the E3 Media & Business Summit.

"Starting this fall, we're going global with high-definition downloads in Canada and Europe," said Jeff Bell, global marketing manager at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business.

Xbox Live users in the US can already download movies and TV shows in either standard or high-definition format, and Microsoft plans to make that service more widely available.

Bell did not offer a date for when high-definition video downloads will start in these markets, but he offered one clue. Microsoft will start selling the Xbox 360 Elite version of the games console, which has a 120GB hard disk, in Europe on August 24, Bell said. By comparison, the Xbox 360 console has a 20GB hard disk.

See our Xbox 360 Elite review

Bell didn't disclose European pricing for the Xbox 360 Elite, which is priced at $479 (£240) in the US.

Xbox Live currently offers 2,000 hours of video content for download, including 500 hours of high-definition content, Bell said, noting Microsoft has earned $125m in revenue from video downloads on Xbox Live.

The amount of video on offer via Xbox Live will increase through a partnership between Microsoft and The Walt Disney Co., which has signed a deal to make its animated features and mainstream movies available for download, Bell said, announcing that the first movies are currently available for download in the US.

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