Players in Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming community can soon watch television shows and movies on demand in addition to playing games, the world's largest software maker said.

Microsoft said it reached agreements with NBC Universal., Walt Disney , Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and CBS Corp.'s Showtime Networks to contribute shows and movies to the software maker's Xbox Live service.

Under the agreements, Disney, MGM and Showtime will contribute programming to Xbox Live, an online service with about 10 million subscribers that is primarily used for playing videogames.

More than 500 hours of content, in both standard definition and high definition when available, will be offered including, bringing n shows like Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, to gamers.

The news came from Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, at this years International Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas. Before Monday's official open to CES, Microsoft told press that its Xbox game console

has sold 17.7 million to date.

In the U.S., through November, we did US$3.5 billion of business, Robbie Back, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. That's $1 billion more than Nintendo did on the Wii, and it's $2 billion more than Sony did on the PS3.

CES, the industry's largest event, takes place this week.

See full coverage from International CES 2008