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Amazon and Microsoft just announced the first native Amazon Instant Video app for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, making it possible to watch videos from the Amazon service on the Microsoft console without a cumbersome workaround.

The app is particularly good news for anyone who already has a $79/year Amazon Prime service and a $60/year Xbox Live Gold membership.

Using the Amazon app on the console requires Xbox Live Gold, and Amazon Prime members will have direct access on the console, at no extra charge, to 17,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon’s online video catalog.

People without an Amazon Prime subscription will be able to watch, on the Xbox 360, movies and TV shows that they’ve purchased or rented from Amazon Instant Video. However, they’ll have to make the purchase or rental on a computer or tablet.

That’s because the Amazon Instant Video app doesn’t support buying or renting individual videos directly on the Xbox 360, as explained in this FAQ. Amazon’s entire library has 120,000 movies and TV shows for purchase or rental. (A subset of those titles represent the movies and shows available at no extra charge to Amazon Prime subscribers).

The announcement follows the release of a similar Amazon app for Sony’s PlayStation 3 console last month. Amazon joins video services including Netflix and Hulu on the Microsoft console.

Follow-up: Amazon Instant Video on Xbox Live: The good, the bad and the buffering

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