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Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 game console may be updated in 2006 with HD DVD optical drive so that users could watch HD DVD discs promoted by the software giant, or may not, as the leading software maker not intends to release games in that format according to various publications around the Web.

A report over IGN web-site claims that Microsoft Japan representatives had suggested that HD DVD would be on the following-generations of the Xbox 360, but only for movie playback. The web-site further reports that Microsoft Corp. had confirmed that had entered final stages of negations with Toshiba over HD DVD-capable gaming machine, which is expected to come in the second half of 2006.

Some other web-sites, however, report that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is unlikely to face any changes and remain without the HD DVD drive.

While Microsoft can enable future customers with capability to view HD DVD, the game machine itself is unlikely to benefit from that, as games for the console are expected to be oriented on typical Xbox 360 devices that only support typical DVDs.

Microsoft Corp. has not comment on the news-story.

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