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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 rushfan2006 on 8/10/2006 2:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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 PC...so 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 tv.....um....don'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....;)



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