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Even though Microsoft Corp. is reportedly planning not to build-in HD DVD drive into its Xbox 360 game machine, the firm may still sell bundles consisting of external HD DVD player and the console, media reports suggest. It is not completely clear whether the decision is really cost-efficient, however, it indisputably provides Microsoft some production flexibility.

Microsoft will reportedly sell external HD DVD drive for as much as ?199 (approximately ?292, $371), which is substantially higher price-tag than expected originally. However, Microsoft is planning to bundle premium Xbox 360 game console and external HD DVD player “for under ?400” (about ?586, $746), reports GamesIndustry.biz web-site. The price of the bundle could even be lower than that of PlayStation 3, which supports Blu-ray disc player.

Earlier it was reported that Microsoft would sell the external HD DVD drive for $199. However, Microsoft is quoted as indicating that due to shortages of blue-laser diodes, Microsoft is reluctant to launch a hardware piece on the markets, which does not have enough movies, particularly, in Asia. Nevertheless, even though that there are virtually no HD DVD or Blu-ray disc movies in the European Union as well, the information reported above means that Microsoft will still make the external HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 available in the EU.

Microsoft is expected to launch the add-on HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 game console by Christmas for $200 (which is more than likely to transform into $199 when retailed), according to an earlier news-story. The drive will enable Xbox 360 owners to play high definition movies on HD DVDs, a standard that battles against Blu-ray for becoming the successor of DVD. The drive will feature H.264 video decoder from ATI Technologies, who developed visual processing unit for the gaming machine. It is projected that the add-on drive will allow Xbox 360 to compete head-to-head with Sony’s PlayStation 3 which offers rival format Blu-ray playback.

Sony recently decided to postpone the release of its PlayStation 3 game console in the EU due to production problems with Blu-ray drives and also cut the volumes to be immediately available at launch to 500 thousand. This may allow Microsoft to benefit, it manages to release enough external HD DVD drives for the Xbox 360.

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 09/11/06 04:18:42 AM
Latest comment: 09/19/06 09:38:33 AM
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1. 
The success of add-ons in the console market is guaranteed.

Sega CD, X32, Jaguar CD, ... :)

Actually it is a good price to get a HD-DVD drive if you've already got a 360, it'll make the format quite accessible to lots of people that might also have HDTVs with the 360 too.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 09/11/06 04:18:42 AM]
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2. 
That's right Donkey, because the 360's HD will not be for gaming it will still be inferior to the PS3 which is able to play games at 1080p. I know at the moment there is probably only one game confirmed that will be at 1080p. As programmers sharpen their skills they will be able to do more games at 1080p with more game physics and all the other stuff that comes with games but again more of it. Now that means more data onto disks which the blu ray discs will be able to handle unlike the ordinary DVDs which am sure will run out of space which most likely means 2 discs for games. Then the PS3 will stand out of the crowd and everyone will notice and that is why it will win in the end
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 09/11/06 08:20:33 AM]
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Jushk,

1080P and decent frame rates are currently still not there, considering that almost all the larger publishers are creating games for both x360 and PS3 I can guarantee you that 720 will be the norm. Can you actually tell the difference between 1080p and i ??

Considering the tremendous amount of power 1080p will require I think it is more hype than actual reality.

Also the Blu ray disks can hold more data that is a fact but the transfer rates are the same as the x360 dvd. I think that if Oblivion can fit on one DVD we should not have to worry about swapping out dvds with any games in the future..
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 09/11/06 09:42:36 AM]
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