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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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RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By clairvoyant129 on 8/9/2006 12:58:21 PM , Rating: 3
That's what HD-DVDs are for... to play movies. What did you expect?

You're the "stupid" one.

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By robber98 on 8/9/2006 2:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
Orly? HD-DVD is designed for play movie only? WOW

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By rushfan2006 on 8/10/2006 9:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
Orly? HD-DVD is designed for play movie only? WOW

LOL...know the real WOW here is the consistency with which everything has to be spelled out on this boards or people just don't get it.....

In relation to the HD-DVD player for Xbox 360 and in relation to Xbox 360 games, yes the players only purpose is for movies. Microsoft has stated this time and again, have they not?

HD-DVD is general, of course they are for more than attention to the topic of the article though...its talking about Xbox 360.

And before you go yammering about how the drive can work with a PC....that's fine...where are the HD-DVD games for the PC...and don't tell me about anything unless you can prove there is MASS quanity from MANY game publishers who are producing such titles at LEAST within the next year.

1-6 games won't make me go ga-ga over HD-DVD for PC.

Finally its a READER not a writer....if it was a WRITER than you'd have a MAJOR point over me.

But that's not the case, now is it?

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By epsilonparadox on 8/10/2006 10:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you harping about PC games w/ HDDVD. By the time the game publishers adopt HDDVD/BRDVD for games we'll have moved to digital distribution. If you could connect the drive to the pc, you can attach it to a TV and watch HD movies.

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By rushfan2006 on 8/10/2006 2:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you harping about PC games w/ HDDVD. By the time the game publishers adopt HDDVD/BRDVD for games we'll have moved to digital distribution. If you could connect the drive to the pc, you can attach it to a TV and watch HD movies.

You didn't understand my post apparently. I wasn't "harping about PC games w/HDDVD". I was only bringing it up because someone else made the comment the HD-DVD drive (XBox one) can be used with a I was being pro-active in defending myself from folks bringing up a rant about how you can use it for games that's all. I happen to agree with you -- as bandwidth increases I tend to thing digital distribution will gain more and more popularlity with the publishers than any other single form of media - HD, Bluray or otherwise. From the publishers standpoint it just makes too much sense for it NOT to go that way.

As far as the connect it to a TV to watch Movies -- you are more wrong than you obviously know.

How exactly is JUST the Xbox360's HD-DVD drive, as a stand alone unit, suppose to play movies when directly attached to a tv (ie. no xbox360 at all in the equation). That is afterall, exactly what you just implied. You do realize that the all the decoding and processing is handled by the Xbox 360 unit, the drive is media the input device to get the HD-DVD information to the xbox 360 for processing. In other words...the Xbox 360 HD-DVD is a "dumb" unit. Its not meant as stand-alone. Why do you think if you can hook it up to a pc you can hook up to a't think the PC think just might work because the idea is the PC is doing the video processing work/decoding (with the appropriate software of course).

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By rushfan2006 on 8/10/2006 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
EDIT: Unless you mean connect the drive to the pc and then the pc to a TV....;)

RE: IMHO - This is stupid.
By rushfan2006 on 8/10/2006 9:38:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's what HD-DVDs are for... to play movies. What did you expect?

Wait....HD-DVDs are for playing movies? Holy crap...thank you for shining down on me with your radiant wisdom! Whew! I was growing a tumor thinking about that one on my own. ;)

No kidding captain obvious, that HD-DVDs are for movies. Its still STUPID IMHO and here is why I come to this conclusion....

1) Hasn't Microsoft Announced time and again that NO games will be made to take advantage of the HD-DVD unit for Xbox?

2) If you can use it with a PC that's pretty good. However still no games? They are BARELY producing "regular version" games in DVD don't tell me that HD-DVD games for PC are being turned out in large or anything soon...certainly not within at least the next couple of years.

2a) Since I know how much analness this forum crowd can bring....."large numbers" doesn't mean just a few titles here and there....large numbers mean approaching the availability and quantity of current game versions (ie. the "regular, non-HD DVD" titles)....Anyone who invests money in a format to play a few titles and that's silly if you ask me.

3) Its stupid because anyone who is really looking forward to HD-DVD technology for movies...including the majority of the population will invest in a premium dedicated HT quality HD-DVD (or Blu-ray..whatever your flavor) system for their high end HDTV and surround sound components. I honestly don't see the logic therefore in paying for HD-DVD twice. Ooooh let's pay $200 now, because I'm impatient and I want to brag to my friends that I have HD-DVD.....and then after I want to experience it big time...I'll pay for another HD-DVD player that is higher quality for my HT system....I just don't see the logic in that...Do you think any serious HT junkie is going to have a Microsoft Xbox 360 HD-DVD player as the center piece to their $3000 HDTV and $2000 DTS (or better) surround sound system. Not to mention that would just "look" childish and silly.

So yes. It is stupid. 'nuff said.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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