LIVE AND KICKING

Sony and Nintendo have made big strides over the last year in downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 (Sony) and the Wii (Nintendo).

But Microsoft’s Xbox Live service got there first — and it still holds a comfortable lead, both in quantity and quality of content.

Not that Microsoft is coasting. Xbox Live hosted the exclusive launch of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned,” which broke all the service’s single-day records when it was released in February.

And the company is making another big online push over the next two months with its “Days of Arcade” promotion.

The series of new releases begins this month with Electronic Arts’ “Hasbro Family Game Night,” which is actually four separate games: Scrabble, Yahtzee, Battleship and Connect Four.

Subsequent weeks will bring the puzzle games “Flock,” “Lode Runner” and “Puzzle Quest: Galactrix”; the six-player racer “OutRun Online Arcade”; the indie-developed hack-and-slasher “The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai”;and “Uno Rush,” the long-awaited sequel to Xbox Live Arcade’s best-seller.

VIRAL VIDEO

Xbox Live is also dominating the competition with its Video Marketplace, which now has nearly 30,000 movies, TV episodes and music videos available for download.

But Sony’s PlayStation Network is working hard to close the gap, and the recent addition of NBC Universal gives PSN content from all the major Hollywood studios.

Grace Chen, PSN senior manager, says “we’ve seen huge growth since July,” when Sony began its video download service. The NBC Universal deal pushes PSN’s video offerings to about 6,000.

— Associated Press