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In an attempt to help Toshiba Corp. to promote HD DVD format, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced that it would reduce the retail cost of its add-on HD DVD drive for Xbox 360 game console by $20 and would also give five free HD DVDs with each time for a limited time.

Microsoft will charge $179 for its add-on Xbox 360 HD DVD player in the U.S., starting from August 1st and will add five free HD DVD movies for anyone purchasing the device between August 1 and September 30. The consumers will be able to choose five HD DVD titles for free from a selection of 15 popular titles through a mail-in offer.

“With the price reduction to $179, the Xbox 360 HD DVD player continues to be the most affordable way to enjoy high definition,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing, interactive entertainment business, entertainment and devices division at Microsoft.

In addition to the price-drop and promo campaign, Microsoft will also offer some free episodes of “300” and “Heroes: Season 1” in HD via its Xbox Live system.

Unfortunately, Microsoft did not say whether it has plans to slash the pricing of its Xbox 360 add-on HD DVD drive in other regions, which, most certainly, also demand more affordable high-definition video experience.

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