Print 64 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Feb 25 at 3:22 PM

Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on gets put out of its misery

It looks as though Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on is the latest victim of HD DVD's failure in the marketplace. Microsoft announced today through its Gamerscore Blog that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player will no longer be manufactured.

The move to discontinue the Xbox 360 HD DVD player comes just weeks after Microsoft lowered the Toshiba-manufactured player’s price from $179 to $129.99 following mass defections to the Blu-ray standard. The drive was priced at $199 when it launched in late 2006.

Toshiba officially signaled the death of the HD DVD format on February 19 after it faced defections from Netflix, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. The company suffered an even bigger blow in early January when Warner Bros. decided to abandon HD DVD to focus on Blu-ray.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Toshiba Corp. President and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida earlier this week. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality."

Although Microsoft will no longer provide the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, the company is committed to continuing standard product support and warranty support for the add-on. Given the latest bit of news from Microsoft, expect a fire sale on Xbox 360 HD DVD players in the coming weeks as retailers rush to kick them off store shelves.

When it comes to the Xbox 360 platform, Microsoft simply stated, "We do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace."

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There will be a new add on.
By Domicinator on 2/23/2008 9:58:15 PM , Rating: 3
According the usual "anonymous inside sources", MS already has a BluRay add on ready to go. You usually can't go by that, even though the gaming media seems to report things like that as fact, but I would actually be surprised if they DIDN'T release a BluRay add on, just so people know it's an option. It's not a bad thing to have, in my opinion. They could totally market it to their advantage if they did a price drop on the 360. With PS3, you're forced to pay the extra for the BluRay feature. With the 360, you're not.

I don't really care who "wins" the console war. How do you even judge that anyway? The PS3 fanboys really shouldn't be doing a victory dance right now. The PS3 is selling as a movie player to most people, not a gaming machine. It worked with the PS2 because there were actually good games for the PS2. It doesn't work for the PS3 because it doesn't have a very impressive catalog yet. If I were a non gamer and I was shopping for a BluRay player and saw that the PS3 was the cheapest one they had, I would probably buy it just for the movie playback. I don't know where we all de-railed and thought that movie playback was the most important part of a console. It's not. I want to GAME on my console.

Now for Microsoft, could they have picked a WORSE time to be short stocked almost everywhere on 360s? It's a good thing that they had a great GDC this year and built up some more buzz for the 360, but seriously, they're making it really easy for people to not buy the 360. You can't find one anywhere!!! The only current gen console you can find in stores right now is the PS3. The Wii is almost never in stock, and the 360 has had availability issues since the beginning of January. Sure, the online places are starting to get them back in stock, but you still can't find them in the stores. I even called some places today to see if it was back in stock yet. The answer was a resounding "no". Not even the Elites are in stock in most places I called.

My personal opinion: MS needs to get a BluRay player out there for the 360 and they need to make it coincide with a price drop on the console. Sony needs to add some games to their library, and their GDC showing was pretty anemic. I think the PS3 is in danger of going down in history as a BluRay player, not a gaming machine.

RE: There will be a new add on.
By BansheeX on 2/23/2008 11:12:17 PM , Rating: 5
The PS3 is selling as a movie player to most people, not a gaming machine.

Did you just say that over 50% of people who buy the PS3 buy it as a movie player only? That's utter nonsense.

It worked with the PS2 because there were actually good games for the PS2. It doesn't work for the PS3 because it doesn't have a very impressive catalog yet.

Fanboy alert. Subjectivity overload. You must believe that the 360 doesn't have a very impressive catalog of games either, considering that most games are CROSS-PLATFORM RELEASES and exclusives represent a very small number of games. Even then, reviewers everywhere seem to disagree with you, as the PS3's exclusives have gotten very high scores and the system lacks shovelware, making its overall library most impressive:

As for your odd perception that the PS2 did so much better, keep in mind that:

-the PS2 did only marginally better than than the PS3 in its first year (10 million vs 8 million) while being half as expensive at launch.
-First year PS3 sales MATCHED the 360's first year sales, and the PS3 accomplished its number WITH competition while MS accomplished theirs competition-free. Overall sales favor the 360 only because of its extra time on the market, and all present indications are that the PS3 is going to outpace it at some future point.

RE: There will be a new add on.
By jabber on 2/25/2008 5:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed, they will already have had one all made up and sitting in their R&D lab for proabaly the past year.

Remember folks all the HD-DVD drive is, is a standard PC data drive in a external case with a IDE/SATA to USB adapter. All MS has to do is buy in a load of BD data drives, maybe adjust the firmware, drivers and change the front tray logo and they are good to go hardware wise. Probably a weeks work!

This could also be bad news for Sony. After all then both consoles would have BD capability (though one wouldnt be able to take advantage of it for gaming but who knows). A lot of folks with a 360 may have been tempted to buy a PS3 as its a decent BD player for BD use, now they would have another option of the 360 specific vesion. However, the added bonus for the MS drive would hopefully be you could take it with you and plug it into your laptop etc. if you went away.

Personally I'm happy with DVD and can sit and wait the whole HD thing another couple of years at least.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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