Xbox Video is Microsoft’s one stop destination for all things movies and TV shows on Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows 8 PCs. Now the service is expanding, but with one very big caveat.
Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox Video Web app today ahead of the launch of its Windows Phone app. With the Web app, you’ll be able to watch your purchased Xbox Video content on any browser that supports Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in.
That’s all well and good, but what about that “one very big caveat?” Well, the Web app won’t play video in HD. The same goes for the upcoming Windows Phone app. Why is that the case? Microsoft only offers the explanation that HD playback is only available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and the Windows 8.1 app. There’s really no reason that Microsoft can’t offer HD playback on browsers so it really seems like they’re reserving HD playback for their own consumer products and services.
While it’s certainly a bummer that Xbox Video doesn’t have HD playback on the Web, the app will be your best friend if you’ve bought into Microsoft’s collection of services, like Xbox Video and Xbox Music. All the movies that you’ve bought on your Xbox 360 are now available to watch on the Web at no extra charge. That’s certainly a good thing. It’s just a shame that Microsoft had to be a scrooge and keep HD playback exclusively on Xbox and Windows 8 devices.