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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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By sgtdisturbed47 on 2/24/2008 3:02:13 PM , Rating: 1
The PS3 isn't the primary support for Blu-Ray. Though Sony has a fat part in Blu-Ray, the PS3 console is in a different market than Blu-Ray players and movies. The PS3 is primarily for games (since its built-in Blu-Ray is sub-par compared to a standalone BR player), so Microsoft introducing a possible BR add-on won't effect the consoles themselves. It's an add-on. Microsoft was VERY smart in not having the HD DVD player built-in, because THAT would have affected the console sales.

I doubt Sony would go so far as to make such a statement as: "PS3: So good that even Microsoft admits the superiority of Blu-ray for its console", because the 2 consoles don't aren't focused primarily on what kind of movies they play, because like I said, nothing beats a standalone BR player.

By Deinonych on 2/24/2008 4:29:08 PM , Rating: 4
since its built-in Blu-Ray is sub-par compared to a standalone BR player

Upon what are you basing this claim? The PS3 is considered to be one of the better Blu-ray players on the market with its fast load times, excellent PQ and easily upgradeable firmware. The only real flaw it has regarding BR playback is that it won't output HD audio formats via bitstream.

By BansheeX on 2/25/2008 3:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft was VERY smart in not having the HD DVD player built-in, because THAT would have affected the console sales.

But it would have given consumers a much quieter drive and developers far more space for their games. It also would have prevented a bunch of people who bought the HD-DVD add-on from getting screwed, because when integrated, the console still benefits from the aforementioned space and acoustic properties despite the movie format failing.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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