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Word on the street is that it will retail for around $200

Microsoft has again showed off its standalone HD DVD player for the XBOX 360. Whereas Sony decided to include its Blu-ray drive as standard equipment on the PlayStation 3, Microsoft decided not to force HD DVD on customers and instead provides it as an option. For those that choose to pursue that option, word on the street is that it will come in at around $200.

While some consumers may scoff at a $200 add-on for the XBOX 360, one must consider that set top HD DVD players are retailing for $430 to $500 while Blu-ray players cost anywhere from $840 to $1,000. For those that have an XBOX 360 and want to add high-definition movies to their library, it's a relatively cheap (all things considered) and simple upgrade. "Here's what I can tell you for sure; it's going to be the cheapest HD-DVD player you can buy without a doubt, when it comes out. I think it's going to be a great value... Everybody is very enthusiastic with the direction we're going. There are still a few surprises left. And I don't want to spill the beans yet, but I think people are going to think it's a great value," said Microsoft Larry Hyrb (aka Major Nelson). The low price tag can be attributed to the heavy lifting being performed by the XBOX 360 rather than the HD DVD drive. "All the audio and video processing is done inside the XBOX," said Microsoft senior program manager Kevin Collins.

As for the hardback book-sized drive itself, Microsoft showcased the device running "The Phantom of the Opera." The design of the drive, which has the internal codename of Sapphire, was all done in-house by Microsoft while Toshiba was selected to manufacture the drive. It will feature two USB 2.0 ports on the back to make up for the one USB port that the device itself uses. It also features the same cut-out on the back as the XBOX 360 to hold Microsoft’s XBOX 360 Wireless Networking Adapter if you chose to mount it there. The HD DVD interface, while not yet finished, was also on display. Gamerscore Blog has images posted of how it will look including an animated gif of it in action. The new interface basically replaces the "old" Open Tray button on the dashboard with a hybrid button that can toggle between DVD and HD DVD options with the up/down arrow keys. The drive will also be software updatable via XBOX Live so as new features are introduced, they can be automatically downloaded and applied.

Microsoft has revealed that it has some surprises in store for gamers during the fourth quarter. We know that one of them is the aforementioned HD DVD player and Gears of War. Hopefully, this isn’t all that Microsoft is planning and we’ll have even more to look forward to as the holiday season fast approaches.

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$200 is still too much.
By Pugnate on 8/9/2006 5:12:54 AM , Rating: 1

Why the heck does every article sound like it is coming from a salesmen these days? I was reading PCG and a lot of the stuff on Vista sounded like they were trying to sell it to me.

And some of this is just classic:

[QUOTE]Microsoft decided not to force HD DVD on customers [/QUOTE]

So good of them not to [I]force[/I] anything on us. ;)

[QUOTE]one must consider that set top HD DVD players are retailing for $430 to $500 while Blu-ray players cost anywhere from $840 to $1,000[/QUOTE]

Thanks smart ass. So initially you make it a kind MS vs evil Sony, by saying how Sony is 'forcing' us to take a HD-DVD player, while MS is giving us the option of not taking it up the rear end, right?

But then you go on to admit, that a HD DVD player costs half the price of a Blu Ray. It is a difference of $500.

So let's do some math.

Xbox 360 = $400
PS3 = $500-$600 (probably)

Xbox 360 + HD DVD player = $600
PS3 (already includes the superior Blu-ray) = $500-$600

For a $500 PS3 you get a $1000 valued Blu-ray player, while for $600 with the Xbox 360 you get a $500 valued HD DVD player, that the 360 won't even be able to take advantage of in games. PS3 not only is going to be cheaper overall, but will actually make use of its next gen disc player.

For the record, I'd never spend more than $200 on a console. Why not get a PC by spending a wee bit more?

RE: $200 is still too much.
By tuteja1986 on 8/9/2006 5:32:34 AM , Rating: 2
You forget that Sony has to shove the blu-ray down people through because :
* Blu-ray wins = Sony remains same and becomes more arrogant
* blu-ray/HD-DVD both get equal market share = Sony is pretty much screwed and would be the Sony you know
* HD-DVD wins = Sony will not be able to handle the $300million - $400million on every 1 million PS3 sold
HD-DVD and Blu-ray both loose - people are happy with DVD and don't care about HD format and Sony is screwed with its financial looses :(

So Sony Blu-ray has to win or Sony is going the way of self-destruction.

Anyways if people remember that Console have really bad Video playback so i don't know why people would bother buying a PS3 for $600 when by early 2007 you could just buy decent $500 Blu-ray player.

RE: $200 is still too much.
By Loc13 on 8/9/2006 9:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
hmmm... has anyone seen a blu-ray playback on a PS3? where do all these claims come from? I'm not saying that it would be great to watch blu-ray disks on the ps3, but i think it's too early to judge at this point.

RE: $200 is still too much.
By dice1111 on 8/9/2006 9:56:31 AM , Rating: 2
Well if it's anything like the playback on the early released players, (although some blame is being put on Samsung's HDMI being faulty on their Blu-Ray drive) then HD-DVD is going to continue to win reviewers over.

RE: $200 is still too much.
By Teletran1 on 8/14/2006 6:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
AMEN to that. Its just a bunch of loudmouths that want to compare DVD playback on a PS2 to Blu-Ray playback on the PS3. Who says it will be bad? Isnt the Cell designed to handle media much better than the P4s or whatever they are that they cram in those set top boxes.

I can bet that the PS3 handles Blu-Ray better than the XBOX360 can handle HD-DVD since it was designed to play it from the start as opposed to some addon.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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