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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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Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???
By spinn3rs on 8/13/2006 5:30:19 AM , Rating: 2
It makes no sense unless i am absolutely crazy for HD movies which havent yet hit the market in a large scale. IMO someone could wait for another 2-3 years when the technology will be cheap enough and eligible to the general crowds. Spending $200 to a drive that is useless without an XBox is kinda stupid. Conventional DVD market is still on the lead and i dont see the reason, why not watching a movie on my DVD player and "suffer" from the poorer DVD quality in order to save myself some money.
Even if the device is hacked down and can be used as a HDDVD device attached to a PC, still, i wouldnt waste $200 just to watch HDDVD movies on my 20" LCD monitor unless my PC is hooked with a big a** 50" LCD TV (which in that case if i have the money to buy such a TV i wouldnt mind spending some more money to get the Drive)
Still that wouldnt be convinient as i should fireup my XBox (or PC as stated above) each time i wanted to watch a movie (and serious film fans prefer buying systems dedicated to their purpose - definately not game consoles with an add-on HD player)
It follows the same strategy as mobile phones with camera. Sure its nice having a multipixel camera on my phone but if i wanted to go around and take pictures i would buy a digital camera.
(btw i do NOT own either an XBOX or a PS)




RE: Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???
By XtremeM3 on 8/13/2006 7:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
I really wish people would just read some of the above posts. I find it humorous for people to post asking the same questions answered above.

Take exhibit 1 here..."spinn3rs" - aside from the clever usage of a 3 to represent the e in the word "spinners" has contributed what to the discussino here? He has posed the question "Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???" Then before waiting for the answer...comments in that "it makes no sense", "it's kind of stupid", etc. You can see where this is going...apparently "spinn3rs" isn't concerned about the answer...and no matter what the answer would be he's not going to care because he's already made up his mind. So I'm probably wasting the life on my keyboard for nothing, but it's provied by the company, so who cares right?

"spinn3rs"

Why would someone have to be crazy for HD movies to buy one? I'm not crazy about HD movies and I'm thinking about buying one. Cuz 200 bucks just isn't that much to me. I already have a 360 and HD compatible projector so I don't think 200 bucks for HD-DVD playback ability isn't that much (deja vu here...i've heard this arguement before...holy hell it's a few posts up!) Granted, that's my opinion. But hey your name is "spinn3rs" you probably have cash...or just wish you did.

I don't know how else i can explain this. I tried with paragraph after paragraph above...not a person seems to understand...

THIS IS MARKETED TOWARDS XBOX 360 OWNERS WITH HD COMPATIBLE TV'S. THAT'S IT.

Incase you didn't know...that's still a pretty big market. I wouldn't mind having it. As well as a market that seems to like new things and can afford them. It's a great market to sell things too.

Maybe you find it stupid because you don't have a 360...that's cool. I agree that it would be a bad purchase for you. I doubt you'd get much use out of it. But you left out the "for me" statement. You just said it's stupid. just like someone else above. It's stupid...to you. I could say it's stupid to pay 500 bucks for the toshiba hd-dvd player when someone already has an xbox360 and could pay 200 to do the same things right? Play HD-DVD movies is what we're talking about right? Sooo someone has a 360 and an HDTV...goes into best buy and says...give me an HD-DVD player they ask, do you want the $200 one or the $500. You would say the $500 one right? Sweet. I got a house I wanna sell you...

This is avoiding the quality issue as it's unknown the quality of playback of the 360 vs. the toshiba (unless i've missed that on the web somewhere)- obviously if there is a huge (for some people any) difference in picture or sound quality, it would benifit those that care about that to just cough up the extra 300 bucks and go for the higher quality.

side note-i bet my 360 powers up faster than the toshiba HD-DVD players :)

off topic - camera phones are actually usefull. Yeah a dedicated camera is better but how many times does the "omg i wish i had a camera" statement come out. Not a whole lot, but when it does, i have a camera :) (i thought they were stupid too but suprised how many times i've actually used it - concerts, clubs, after hours parties, etc..again it's opinion and based on personal experience.)

To the guy asking about HDMI

I dunno. I'd like to see it available. Although it's not needed right now, it would be nice for it to be an option, and will more than likely be needed in the future (atleast some sort of digital interface)

*I have got to find something better to do than post on daily tech when i'm bored at work.....but there are so many narrow minded people running around the internet screaming "that's stupid" - "who in their right mind would do that" etc regarding so many things (no my life's quest is not to justify the 360's add on HD-DVD player) that it just bothers me. People can't see past their own lives and realize that other people's lives, opinions, needs, wants, etc are different. I've lived all over the world and my needs/wants have changed, My salary has been up and down like a rollercoaster. There were times that 10 bucks was a lot to me, and times that i could impulse buy something that was thousands of dollars without blinking an eye (not on credit, that doesn't count). It's one thing to say "I wouldn't use it", or "I don't like it because it's external" but the arguement of "stand alone hd-dvd players already exist" is not a good one in my opinion. This is meant to be a cheaper alternative to those who already have a 360. It's not there to get people to buy 360's to use a HD-DVD players. Again, it's a market I wouldn't mind having.


RE: Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???
By spinn3rs on 8/14/2006 6:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly my point XtremeM3
Yes, i am not expecting an answer and
Yes you are wasting your keyboards life.

By the way next time reply to people referring to you. I didnt mention you nor i quoted something from your post.

Since you are referring to my name, i have an average budget as most of the people in here. Its your name xtremeM3 (the only M3 logotype that comes to my mind is the BMW's sportscar) that implies you have money.
So what do you know about me?...NOTHING. So stop judging me. All my statements were general so my opinions.

HD DVD Is a marketing move as you already stated by Microsoft which will probably sink as so many consoles expansion devices in the past. No i wouldnt go around buying any HD DVD players because:
1) Its too early and the technology is not mature enough
2) Its cost inefficient as prices are still sky high
3) The price doesnt YET worth the gains for the picture quality

About the mobile phones:
Sure its convinient having a camera on the phone but thats NOT its main purpose as its not XBOX's purpose playing HD movies. Imagine instead of cameras being integrated to phones, having to carry them separately. Would you buy one?

About your last statement about narrow minded people:
i am not narrow minded. I love technology but i also keep my feet on the ground. Hell, i wouldnt mind having the technology either but i think i can wait a bit longer for my benefit.
I could easily say you are the one who is narrow minded. I posted my opinion freely. Its my right to do so. As it is your right to doubt me. But dont judge nor insult me.

And if your job bores you so much... QUIT IT


RE: Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???
By XtremeM3 on 8/15/2006 1:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
I actually did just quit. I got a new offer and accepted last night (sorry i had to mention that because I found it funny that you said that and all of this just occured, I really did just accept the offer yesterday)

I have no problems with people stating opinions. But they should be stated such. Although there was a survey recently that something like 70 or 80% (maybe more??)of what was written on the internet is misinterpreted when being read. Largely due to lack of tones used in verbal converstation that could not be effectively expressed in written word. Anyway, i'm getting off topic. Back to opinions and the debacle that is the add-on HD-DVD player for the 360.

Also, what is the average budget of a daily tech reader? I missed that when I signed up. I'm sure there are people here that make more than me, as well as people that make less.

As far as general statements...

quote:

Spending $200 to a drive that is useless without an XBox is kinda stupid.


That seems pretty specific. Maybe it's a comment that's part of that large percentage of misinterpreted statements. I dunno.

quote:

1) Its too early and the technology is not mature enough
2) Its cost inefficient as prices are still sky high
3) The price doesnt YET worth the gains for the picture quality


These are neither right nor wrong. All your opinion. I could have totally different views on those (I partially agree with #1, don't with #2, don't with #3) but that's my opinion on the technology and how much it's worth to me.

The narrowminded people that I am referring to are those that think their situation applies to others as well. Most people don't realize it, but statements to the effect of "It costs way to much no one would buy it" or "It would be stupid to spend so much on that" are narrowminded. Statements of "It costs way to much I wouldn't buy it" state opinion. For me the addon sets me back a couple hours of work, not a big purchase to me. For a person who it sets back a few days or a paycheck - It's different. For me it's worth spending the money to get the picture quality increase. You wouldn't spend a couple hours of works pay to increase the image quality of movies? That's what people are not thinking about. They see the cost affecting everyone the same, but it doesn't. I've been on both sides of the coin and I know not everyone can afford it, and it's just not worth it to some. But don't blast those that do buy it(or in this case, intend to), you don't know their reasons or situation.

I will apoligize if I offended you in the earlier post, I should not have just called you out but it was the last post in the comments and I was frustrated and still working on my first cup of coffee yesterday. My bad.

Jeff


RE: Why would anyone buy an addon HD DVD player???
By spinn3rs on 8/15/2006 4:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
I am sorry to hear about your job.
I didnt mean to blast anyone and im really sorry if that came out this way. I only wanted to emphasize my opinions and i might have used the wrong words to do so and i apologise for that.
Also, i wasnt expecting a direct reply when posting my comment with such a tough criticism about it. But i can defenatelly understand why is so, after being frustrated on the first cup of coffee at work :o)
Have a nice day

???st?f????


By spinn3rs on 8/15/2006 4:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm no unicode character encoding in the forum

???st?f???? = Christophoros


By rushfan2006 on 8/15/2006 3:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
I said it was stupid above because the only thing the HD-DVD allows you to do, is just that , play movies. If MS announced they'd produced HD-DVD games well then my whole point is shattered in a million pieces because THEN it would be worth a purchase more (I'd still wait for price drops though).

My point is why spend the money twice to watch HD-DVD movies (A) Of which aren't and won't be out in the mainstream kind of numbers that reg dvd movies are for quite some time and B) God knows when a format will be delcared the official victor Bluray or HD-DVD), merely because of the cool factor of it being the "new thing"? Merely because you have no patience?

You rant that you essentially think its stupid and pointless for people to be opposed to the player add on idea, yet I find it the opposite. In other words, you mean its SMART to waste money on something just because you have an impluse to buy it since you have no patience? You mean its the more SMART decision to invest $200 to watch movies on a game box in a format that you have no idea is going to stick around or not?

Then the meat of my personal argument of this things stupidity...if you are that into HD-DVD movies in the first place, that leads me to conclude A) You have invested in a quality HD-TV right? and B) You really like the surround sound experience that HD offers as well, right?

Well, I happen to be the same way. I enjoy the HD movie experience at home a lot. Because I do - I want a QUALITY component system that is a dedicated player and has all the features in it that a mere little "toy" HD-DVD addon player won't have. There is more to a player, for a high end system anyway, than just the ABILITY TO PLAY THE MOVIE AND SHOW IT ON YOUR TV! Why do you think folks with high end equipment drop a ton on high end component DVD players and receivers? DVD players can be had for $80 now....you can get receivers for $200 that even suppoint DTS nowadays....go into a speciality HT store and talk to a sales person that "you don't need a HD-DVD player...because you have the x360 addon one" --- they'll try not to laugh in your face.

So yeah, an addon player that CAN NOT play games on a GAME CONSOLE but just Movies...is a stupid idea in my opinion.

Sorry I don't throw my money around in the trash or something on any novelty idea of the moment.


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