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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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Once a sucker.............
By kilkennycat on 2/25/2008 4:22:09 AM , Rating: 1
Under no circumstance buy a Blu-ray add-on for the Xbox360 unless you have money to burn. It will be as dead-end as the late-lamented HD-DVD drive. It will only play movies. It will need expensive internal smarts if it is to track the evolving Blu-ray standard - the PS3 drive gets these smarts "for free". And it will be dropped like a hot brick by Microsoft once they generate a version of the Xbox360 with an integrated Blu-ray/DVD drive. That version of the Xbox360 (Xbox720??) will be able to handle Blu-ray-size games while still being backward-compatible with current Xbox360 titles. Probably completely redesigned to eliminate the RROD and with a fully updated graphics core. (Remember that the core graphics design is now 3 years old...Dx9/SM3.0) Not long now to a product refresh if Microsoft wishes to continue to compete with the PS3. The Xbox360 hardware in its current form is effectively obsolete and carries the millstone of not yet properly addressing the RROD problems.




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