Print 26 comment(s) - last by h0mi.. on Jun 27 at 2:44 PM

Xbox 360 HD DVD drive more popular than standalone drives

The HD DVD Group announced in April that it had sold over 100,000 players in the U.S. in its first year of availability. The numbers only represented standalone players, and did not include sales of HD DVD PC drives or the Xbox 360 HD DVD player.

A Microsoft representative told CNET UK that 155,000 Xbox 360 HD DVD add-ons have been sold in the U.S., making it the “biggest-selling accessory” ever sold for the console. By “biggest-selling,” Microsoft may be referring to the overall revenue, as it would seem unlikely that the HD DVD add-on would be more popular than extra controllers. Each HD DVD drive retails for around $200.

Even with the combination of standalone HD DVD players and the Xbox 360 add-on, the overall number of HD DVD-capable players is less than the total number of Blu-ray playing machines. The difference between those two, however, is that every HD DVD player or drive is purchased with the intention of playing movies. On the other hand, not every Blu-ray machine is (with the majority of them being PlayStation 3 consoles) purchased for movies.

Even though there is more Blu-ray hardware in the hands of consumers, the HD DVD side averages more movies sold per machine. According to CNET, an average of one disc per Blu-ray machine is sold, compared to four discs per HD DVD machine. Nevertheless, overall disc sales for 2007 are still in favor of Blu-ray.

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Very interesting article
By mdogs444 on 6/25/2007 9:11:33 AM , Rating: 1
I find these numbers very interesting, as well as some of the statements.

I guess I would like to see the number of stand alone Blue Ray players sold to make a direct comparison with the number of HD-DVD players sold.

While not supporting sony, or taking anything away from HD-DVD, I wonder if those numbers (HD-DVD 4 titles / player) are including those deals where they give away 5 free titles when you purchase the player.

Its a bit difficult to say which format will adapt in the long run, or if they both will continue to be adopted, especially with dual format standalone machines starting to emerge. Its probably at least another year or so out. When you can purchase good dual format players for $200>, and the total stock of HD/BD movies increase to the point where retailers have very large sections for them, perhaps it will start picking up. Also, I think it may be difficult for typical consumers to stomach when they find out that they need to upgrade to a 1080p TV in order to get the full benefits of the new format.

RE: Very interesting article
By CorrND on 6/25/2007 9:37:11 AM , Rating: 1
While not supporting sony, or taking anything away from HD-DVD, I wonder if those numbers (HD-DVD 4 titles / player) are including those deals where they give away 5 free titles when you purchase the player.

Honestly, I wonder who's buying an HD-DVD player and only getting four movies to play on it. Why plunk down $200 for the XB360 add-on or $300+ for an HD-A2 and only get four movies to watch? That's quite a waste of money. And considering that's an average, there are some people who have only bought 1 or 2.

RE: Very interesting article
By darkpaw on 6/25/2007 9:56:28 AM , Rating: 3
If I bought it, I'd probably own zero movies other then what was included. Netflix is way cheaper then buying.

RE: Very interesting article
By mdogs444 on 6/25/2007 10:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
Good call. Forgot about the online rentals. It is great - but unlike DVD, theres no disc-disc copying :-( (I know, shame shame!). So sue me!

RE: Very interesting article
By VIAN on 6/25/2007 12:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's definitely an average as I alone own twenty HD DVD titles.

RE: Very interesting article
By wallijonn on 6/25/2007 1:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why plunk down $200 for the XB360 add-on or $300+ for an HD-A2 and only get four movies to watch?

Ah, because you're more likely to re-buy the best movies you already own and you don't want to take a chance buying a crap movie, since you can buy the crap movie for $10 cheaper on regular DVD? You're more likely to want to buy the blockbusters in HD.

RE: Very interesting article
By Samus on 6/25/2007 4:20:42 PM , Rating: 3
I bought one just for my HTPC. I took it out of the case, chopped the sides off with a dremel because it was too wide, and got a $10 IDE controller board on eBay.

Works like a charm, although there isn't an eject button (I just do it in software)

Great HD-DVD titles span from Planet Earth to movies like The Fountain (amazing in HD) and V for Vendetta. It plays DVD's too, so it still swings both ways. Great value for $200 bucks and $30 for PowerDVD.

RE: Very interesting article
By h0mi on 6/27/2007 2:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that I doubt they'll only buy 4 movies ever. They've probably had the HD-DVD add on for a year or less and only have 4 titles so far.

I have purchased 1 title for HD-DVD so far (and got 2 free with my purchase of the add on). I'll buy Planet earth later this summer, and import T2 but otherwise, I'm not sure which titles I'll buy until I rent them first.

RE: Very interesting article
By masher2 on 6/25/2007 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
> "I wonder if those numbers (HD-DVD 4 titles / player) are including those deals where they give away 5 free titles"

The Nielsen figures do not include these. They do, however, include BD titles purchased using the price reduction coupons included in the PS3.

RE: Very interesting article
By OddTSi on 6/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Very interesting article
By Locutus465 on 6/25/2007 9:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
I like to think there are enough smart consumers (like me) who would rather go for the best thing they can afford (in my case a 50" 720P slim DLP) and be happy with that until the right opportunity comes along. Heck, I kept my plain Jane 28" JVC for 5 years and never had a real complaint with it (to this day). Only reason why I got the HD is because of a bonus I got at work.

RE: Very interesting article
By chick0n on 6/26/07, Rating: -1
Black version, please...
By CKDragon on 6/25/2007 11:10:53 AM , Rating: 2
If they would just release it in black I'd consider it. I didn't spend $480 for the black 360 Elite (and of course, for the 120gb HD & HDMI) just to have a white attachment on it.

Of course, the HD-DVD drive would still match my Wii. But it's the principle of the thing. :P

RE: Black version, please...
By Marcus Yam on 6/25/2007 11:37:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's also about the same size as the Wii. You could park your Wii right next to your 360 just to simulate what the HD DVD drive would look like next to the Xbox. :P

RE: Black version, please...
By CorrND on 6/25/2007 1:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
My god, the add-on is hideous! I've got it attached to my HTPC and it's embarrassing. My guess is that they cut a lot of corners, especially on design, to have it come in at $200 initially. There's no reason for it to be that expensive anymore.

RE: Black version, please...
By omnicronx on 6/25/2007 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Black version, please...
By Datalogger on 6/27/2007 12:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you on this... I had to paint my wifi add on black. $100 for something that needs painted. Awesome.

I could get the vinyl add-on but not sure I want something that looks like it has stickers tacked on. But they do have the matte black vinyl also, instead of just the gloss black that would match my PS3 (which looks nicer IMO).

I think the next step should be integration
By steven975 on 6/25/2007 6:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think if MS wants to win the "format war" the next step is to integrate the HD-DVD drive. I think that the costs will come down enough with the upcoming 65nm version that they could do this with NO price increase (smaller GPU, CPU, and smaller power supply, case, etc).

An Xbox360 with an HD-DVD even at the $399 price point will likely spur demand significantly (and many current owners will upgrade, too). Given the 360's already healthy month-to-month lead over the PS3 and the added value of a HD-DVD drive I think that a new version with HD-DVD will sell very well and eventually overtake put the HD-DVD format in the lead over Blu-Ray.

RE: I think the next step should be integration
By jadedeath on 6/26/2007 12:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
That's a bad idea:

1} because that'll add 200 bucks to the 360 price and they'll see their sales lead diminish and disappear entirely by the end of the year.

2} there will be FAR too much temptation with an internal HD drive to put games on HD disks, the second you do that you alienate the already established 11 million 360 owners that you have as an established base.

3} adding a drive into the 360 itself will just add to the already massive problems that the 360 is having with returns and people sending them in to get repaired, more components = more problems.

4} the drive is not made by Microsoft, it's made by Toshiba, if they threw the drive in the 360 they'd have to pay Toshiba for the royalties for the equipment, Toshiba might like that, Microsoft would not.


RE: I think the next step should be integration
By steven975 on 6/26/2007 11:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
It won't add $200. The current external retails for $200 already.

You'd be eliminating the retail margin, the redundant case and power supply, and removing the existing DVD drive. The net add to cost would probably be in the $70-80 area.

I think this would be offset by the reduction to 65nm for the GPU and CPU as well as the resulting smaller power supply and case that would ultimately be needed. I think once they do the 65nm revision, they could keep the same $400 price point. The $299 version would probably have the DVD drive only, though (if they did it).

Obviously, they'd have to keep the games on DVD, but the HD-DVD drive would ultimately help them sell more consoles.

By jadedeath on 6/26/2007 5:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
The external retails for 200 because Toshiba is undercutting themselves in order to gain market penetration.

If Microsoft were to make the drive external then they'd have to pay royalties to Toshiba for every 360 that they make because it's Toshiba's tech, not Microsoft's and that ADDS to the price.

Plus {as previously mentioned} the second you release a game on HD-DVD only you piss off the fanbase of gamers that you've developed already that has signed on to make your console a success.

At every turn, it's a bad idea for Microsoft to do this.


Still Selling?
By Mitch101 on 6/25/2007 9:33:09 AM , Rating: 2
I cant imagine many of these selling now that some set top HD-DVD units are priced about the same as the X-Box 360 add on. If I had a 360 I would most likely get the set top unit instead to avoid the wear and tear on my 360. These should be $100.00 add on about now.

RE: Still Selling?
By BladeVenom on 6/25/2007 10:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
The add-on player can be plugged into your computer.

RE: Still Selling?
By Mitch101 on 6/25/2007 11:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
Lite-On thought has one for $129.00 after rebate that is USB. Not sure if it will work on the 360 but if it does then its undercutting the Microsoft one.

Very good points!
By cdzie1 on 6/25/2007 10:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
These numbers are true in my household. I have both a PS3 and a Toshiba HD DVD player. I have 30 HD DVD movies and only 4 Blu-ray movies. I bought the PS3 for games, not really for movies.

to HD or not to HD
By HardwareD00d on 6/25/07, Rating: -1
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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