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Microsoft: Xbox Video support finally comes to Windows Phone 8 “later this year”

Recently, Microsoft announced some further changes to the Zune Marketplace motivated by the company’s move away from the Points system for payments. The modifications mean that any purchases through Zune for video or music will begin to end in just a few days (though Zune Pass subscribers can still stream or use their credits, thankfully).

Interestingly, a little footnote about Xbox Video went unnoticed by many including ourselves, which has some widespread implications for current customers. It notes that “Starting later this year you will be able to access Xbox Video on Xbox One, Windows Phone 8, and any web browser”.

That’s a big deal because as of right now, you can’t transfer previously purchased videos from Zune or the Xbox 360 on Windows Phone 8. Likewise, you can’t buy videos either on the phone for somewhat obvious reasons.

We covered this issue back in November of last year as we observed Microsoft’s somewhat misleading characterization of three screens and video content (see above). Now, one year later and it looks like Microsoft will finally make amends.

Error when trying to copy over purchased video content

The ability to also watch that same video content via the web should also not be dismissed. That too could be quite useful when traveling or visiting a friend.

If we had to guess, the support for Windows Phone 8 will come via the GDR3 update that is coincidentally due before the end of the year. Currently, there appears to be a “media rights” verification issue that is not amendable via the current operating system, requiring a system update to enable playback of purchased video content.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks, Matthew W., for the tip!



There are 68 comments. Sign in to comment

Credo93 says:

Hi Daniel, what app are you using on that picture at the top? Or is it just a screenshot from a Windows 8 (RT) device? Because i can't see those three dots ...

Camaroon says:

This might be a silly question but will this allow you to watch videos you have store on a home computer on other devices?  Or just access the ones you purchase through the market?  I.E. I have movies stored on the hard drive of my Win8 machine at home.  Will I be able to watch that through a browser or WP by streaming it?

jabtano says:

I was going to ask the same question, but I have a feeling that it's going to be through the market.

theefman says:

There are apps like Tversity that allow you to do that now, this will be only for your purchased Xbox video content.

If you're looking for an easy way to do that, I'd highly recommend the excellent Plex app.  You install a media server (free) on your home computer and then install the Windows application (free) or mobile device app ($5) to watch it over the internet.  It's based on XMBC but much easier to use, IMHO.

Camaroon says:

You know, I've been meaning to set up Plex for a while now but I keep forgetting to get around to it.  Thanks for the tip!  I was just kind of hoping that Microsoft would build this functionality into their apps natively, that's the only reason I was asking.  Have you had good luck with Plex?

Adiliyo says:

I love plex, I use it on my win8 tablet, my windows and android phones, my android tablet and a few rokus. The best and easiest media streaming app.

AriesDog says:

If it allows you to stream your Xbox Video library over WiFi that could be a big deal.

Jeff Kibuule says:

I really wish that Xbox Video and all other video services supported Ultraviolet so that I can take a Blu-ray disc and convert it into an HD digital copy for just $2. I'm not going to completely re-buy my movie collection on a digital service that's locked to a single platform. 100% waste of money if that service goes belly-up.

cdbstl76 says:

I couldn't agree more! I would also like to be able watch videos from Amazon Prime...not currently supported for W8 or WP8

Josh Harman says:

Why not just rip the disc and save it on your PC?

Chris_Kez says:

Theoretically, the Ultraviolet approach gives you a legal way to access that content on a broad range of devices at home and on the go, in high quality and through a nice UI. Most importantly for a lot of people, you won't need to fiddle with programs to break DRM, transcode videos, or set up remote access to a home media server. These things seem trivial to enthusiasts but 95% of people will not make it past a google search for "watch my DVDs (or iTunes movies) on my phone". That's the reality.

AriesDog says:

If only Flixster updated their app to reach parity with the iOS and Android versions we could access Ultra Violet content. Download the app and then send feedback that you want that feature.

That's some good news for sure. I wonder with the three screen and cloud future if they will amalgamate some of their subscription services. I think it'd be great to see an Xbox entertainment package that would include music, video, and gold into one simple payment... Of course this means they would have to introduce a video subscription service, but stranger things have happened.

theefman says:

Finally. Avengers on my (future) 1020!

jbigelow says:

I've bitched up a storm many times about Microsoft releasing WP8 without XBox Video so now that they are fixing it it's time to give them their kudos. Streaming over the web is going to be a nice perk too.
Now if only T-Mobile would get off their asses and push GDR2 to my HTC-8X, still no sign of it. If I have to wait for GDR3 for XBox Video I probably won't see it on this device until next year.

L2nak says:

Lol fuck the kudos. They announced this WITH WP8. And when do we get it, a year later? Nokia is right, someone is fucking up at Microsoft cause their turnaround time is too damn long for a company with their amount of resources.
Head must be pulled out of ass.

Aaron M says:

I'm with you.  MS doesn't deserve kudos for bringing a feature to market 1 year later when it should have been included from the very start.  They announced their 3 screens strategy like 5 years ago and they still haven't gotten there yet.

edoug says:

Probably summer/fall of next year at that!

Well this is great news if I can watch a movie I purchased on my X1 on my phone when I'm traveling. Love it!

Microsoft should expend the scope of xbox video to allow users to upload their own video clips from PCs and phones, make comments, and make the experience seamlessly across TV, PC, tablet, and phone. Functionality wise, it should have whatever YouTube has + whatever xbox video already has. With xbox membership, Microsoft already has a sizable user base but somehow they nevers leverage it to make it into a true social network that goes beyond just xbox.

fwaits says:

XBox Video should evolve into what iTunes, YouTube, and Twitch all do.  That would be incredible.

xkimo says:

Zune was almost there!  I still use Zune. My contract is up in December and if they are not close to where they were with Zune, all of this makes it so easy to switch to a similar size phone. Something that has an expandable card slot.

HIllste1 says:

The future is amazing. Buy and watch a video from your phone. M

awesmdiver says:

Until the studios and the players (Microsoft, Amazon, etc.)  allow me to purchase a video and share it with my family (mulitple accounts), I'll continue to buy Blu-Rays and rip them myself for complete control on what I want to do with them. 
Also, even with my time involved it is still cheaper to purchase a hard copy than an electronic one more most of them tie.  Go figure.
Jeff, don't count on a video in the clould service like music anytime soon.  The studios still have their heads up their asses.  But that said, I use Plex and enjoy my ripped movies on my phone, Surface and just about anywhere else I want to play them.  It is a godsend with kids.  And who said Ultraviolet will be around in the future?  Also, charging $2.00 or more to convert your video is a total rip-off I'd prefer a small monthly fee as I have over 2000 movies. ;-)

Jeff Kibuule says:

The $2 just simple disc-id matching to give you a cloud license. I strongly suspect Microsoft implementing this on the Xbox One because it would be boneheaded not to. Stick in disc, ask "Hey, pay $2 and you get a digital copy you can play at any time on any Microsoft platform" and watch the usage of Xbox Video rise up and up.

awesmdiver says:

i understand the concept, just saying $2 is a ripoff as there is nothing they need to do related to your video, it is already been converted and stored for anyone with the same movie.  A monthly fee like Netflix is more palatable for pricing and is acutally a better business model for MS as it becomes a subscriptioin service which is where eveyone is heading anyways.
But again, until I have share a video with multiple people on multiple devices it is not for me.  Hopefully, part of what they wanted to do with the XBox One will bring this functionality but all the boneheads on the Net that didn't understand the concept killed that for now.
Still cheaper to purchase and rip your own as long as DRM is not flexible.

MaulerX says:

It's about time. I have alot of content purchased via Xbox Video so this is actually great news.

jasqid says:

"later this year" scares me. I'm still waiting on GDR2. I will be surprised if I see this come across before the end of the year. Unless they are incorporating that in GDR3.

tk-093 says:

About time they fixed this.  Yet another example of the silos that exist/existed at Microsoft.   Let's create WP8 in a bubble and pretend Zune never existed.... 

Daniel you are awesome finding this out now I'm able to go back to buying movies on Xbox for the pure reason to view it on my WP8 I was so sad when I couldn't add my videos on WP8 but now I truly can't wait

How are they going to bring it to windows phone, when the Windows 8 version is a train wreck? Fox one of them first, before you try bringing it to another. I like a lot of Windows Phone and Windows 8, but by far my biggest disappointment and most inexcusable mess from the transition is Xbox Video and Xbox Music. You had the ground work layer out for you with Zune. Why rip it apart unless you had a plan to far surpass where Zune was. And before you say it do, it isn't even 10% of what Zune was.

fwaits says:

Windows 8.1 addresses a lot of this.

Selfie13 says:

Very well said

wendoman says:

80% WP users doesnt care about XBOX Video because zero availability of any XBOX, ZUNE or Bing services in their countries. Damned Microsoft.  

MVogelezang says:

I am still hoping they will create a subscription model for this like Netflix....


ricsip says:

Cannot care less about that DRM-injected, US-only sh*t.

Selfie13 says:

My cable bill already runs right at $200 a month, of coarse it includes internet and phone, but I don't plan on ever purchasing any video content through this service, but I also welcome it to the platform. What I'm waiting for is the Xfinity TV app and HBO GO so that I may watch what I'm already paying for on windows phone. In recent talks with Comcast via twitter and email, I was told that the Xfinity TV app is being worked on and in process, but no timetable. This is the video service I really want.

mukulvdhiman says:

anyways.. not coming to india anytime soon..

big dooze says:

Am I being punk'd???

GP07 says:

I really want to use Xbox video and music but they don't support my market yet, or maybe never will. I'm pretty close to losing hope of ever getting it here.

HeyCori says:

Long overrdue.  Now lets get syncing Xbox Music between WP and other devices sorted.

bAN01TgAZ says:

I rent/buy on 360, zune auto downloads and i use a usb to drop into /phone/videos

Good to hear were finally getting a native app

phasar says:

So do you have to buy an Xbox in order to purchase movies on your phone, or is it like Android and IOS where you can purchase whatever you like without any ties to a console?

gtbuzz says:

It's tied to your Microsoft account.

pulkit10 says:

Hugely surprising how it took them this long. A complete and profound display of Microsoft's incompetence. Google and Amazon were late players to the video online rentals...Microsoft had set up shop right after Apple. How do you go from that position (with all the framework laid out in Zune) to being behind everyone else in launching a video rental service for your own platform is beyond me. Even Google, with its historic incompetence at dealing with media houses, got its act together.

I'm baffled as to why they just didn't rebrand and repackage Zune itself. Why'd they even try to fix something that wasn't broken? Or was the temptation to waste resources just too much for their media division?

An absolute shame for the world's biggest software corporation.

T Moore says:

It just says Xbox One. It says nothing about Xbox 360.

No word on expanded codec support.  Guess I'll be waiting for VLC to show up to help me play mkv.  Or avi for that matter. 

mwgeek says:

I'll believe this when it happens

Nakazul says:

I'm not sure I understand everything. I bought some movies on the Xbox 360. I se them in W8 currently. Will I loose this movies when they finally change this? Sorry, I don't really get it.

Some movies are Xbox exclusive, but if you see them in the W8 app they should show up in WP8. I imagine you'll have the option to stream or download movies and tv shows just like the W8 app. 

Nakazul says:

Yes, I can choose to stream or download. Thnx for clearing that up.

AhmedEltawil says:

Well, they never said anything about transferring videos between devices, only the ability to access Xbox Video content. That's mainly a given I would think.

WP95 says:

Haha, no idea why this hasn't been in the store already

Eh, I'll believe it when I see it.

What is preventing them from bundling xbox music and video service into one monthly/ yearly fee? i dont have xbox video so i dont know how it works to be honest.

izzykahn says:

So, WP users will have something like iTunes & google play where we can buy and watch video content on our phones, right? If so, this= awesome!!

moocoo101 says:

It's time that support fr xbox videos came to wp8! I'm on the go a lot and that was the biggest issue for me!  I rented tons of movies on my android and apple products and then I was stuck with netflix... Fwp. lol

alissa_914 says:

I have version 8.0.10512.142 and it's not here yet.  I don't know if that's GDR3 but if not, I hope we'll get it when the Nokia 1520 comes out.

cspencer4253 says: