Microsoft is usually king of the content acquisition deals. They get more content like Netflix sooner and usually in better forms than the competition. That's why it was so weird to see the PS3 getting Amazon Instant Video before the Xbox 360. The Sony faithful can no longer hold the Amazon flag over their castle anymore, however, as the service has now made its way to the Xbox 360.
The service is essentially the same as it is on the PS3. Users can buy and rent the massive collection of movies and TV shows available to users through Amazon and watch them in hi-def on the Xbox 360. Amazon Prime members can also access the large catalog of instant streaming titles which puts it directly in competition with Netflix. Unlike the PS3, the Xbox 360 version requires that users have a Xbox Live Gold membership to use instant streaming.
The Amazon Instant Video app also got an Xbox 360 centric facelift with its conversion to Microsoft's console. It now sports a Metro interface in line with the rest of the console. It goes without saying that the app also supports the Kinect accessory for gesture and voice recognition.
Amazon is also introducing a new feature to its Instant Video service alongside the arrival of the Xbox 360 app. It's called Watchlist and it basically allows users to create a list of things they wish to watch at a later time. When the time comes for the family to sit down to enjoy Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny, they can easily find and start watching the holiday classic in seconds.
If you're an Xbox 360 owner and find the choices offered by Netflix and Hulu Plus just not doing it for you, Amazon Instant Video might just be your ticket. They offer a lot of series, especially through the service's buying and renting feature, that other services don't have. For instance, the first season of Game of Thrones is available at $2.99 per episode.
Amazon also recently inked a deal with Paramount that will see the studio's numerous films coming to Instant Video. If you ever wanted to have a marathon featuring the likes of Mission Impossible, Forrest Gump and Mean Girls; now is your chance.
As mentioned, users can also access instant streaming alongside buying and renting videos through Amazon Prime. Prime is $79 a year and gives you access to instant streaming and free two-day shipping. I'm going on to my third year of being an Amazon Prime member now and it really does pay itself in free shipping costs over the years. If you're only going to use it for the video, however, I suggest you stick with Netflix.