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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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