Xbox Live adds Crackle and CinemaNow video apps

Xbox 360 owners have seen a number of new video apps released via Xbox Live since December 2011. Today, Microsoft's Major Nelson Twitter page officially revealed two more video apps are joining the family. US Xbox 360 users can now download the CinemaNow app while US, Canada, UK and Australia users can download the Crackle app.

CinemaNow offers users yet another way to purchase and download new TV shows or purchase or rent both new and older movies. CinemaNow launched in 1999 and now has over 14,000 movies and TV shows in its library. Best Buy purchased CinemaNow in 2007.

It remains to be seen if Xbox Live users will embrace a new video app that has features that are similar to other apps already available on the service. Xbox Live has its own Zune Marketplace. More recently it added the Walmart-owned Vudu video download service.

By contrast, Crackle offers a variety of older TV shows and movies. The big difference is that the movies and TV shows are available for free. The service also has a number of original shows ranging from sitcoms to dramas to reality shows. Crackle was founded by Sony in 2007 after purchasing the video site Grouper. Sony is, of course, one of Microsoft's biggest rivals in the game console business so it's a bit unusual to see a Sony owned subsidiary on a Microsoft-based console.

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