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,
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."