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Chris Satchell says Xbox 360 with HDMI is just an experiment at the Microsoft HQ

Last week, pictures of a prototype Xbox 360 with an HDMI connector and a new scaler chip surfaced on the Web. Some took this as a sure sign that Microsoft was surely tooling a new version of its gaming console with updated features and improved technology, perhaps in response to both consumer demands and pressure from competitors.

During an interview with GameSpot at CES, Chris Satchell, general manager of the game developer group at Microsoft, addressed the rumors of an HDMI-enabled Xbox 360. He starts by saying, “We're always working on prototypes and new technologies and just playing with stuff in Redmond to see what's interesting. I think at the moment we have the widest available connections on the system. If you want to get great HD, I think we've got a good solution for that.”

Satchell then sidesteps the question for a bit and talks about the wide array of standards available to consumers and how Microsoft is always keeping an eye on that. He then returns to the original question and says, “At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we're thinking about announcing.”

With the Xbox Live Video Marketplace and eventual addition Xbox 360 IPTV, owners of Microsoft’s console will quickly find their 20GB hard drives without adequate storage space in a hurry. Another one of the rumored upcoming upgrades to the Xbox 360 is a bigger hard drive, which has been hinted at previously. Satchell responds to the cries for a roomier drive with the following: “That's not really something we're looking at today. We're very open to feedback on it. As we produce these services, if we see an increase in pressure that's something that will be interesting to look at, but there isn't any announcement today about any new configuration that may or may not be happening.”

Satchell also mentions in the interview that Microsoft currently has no plans to offer an IPTV product directly, instead opting to allow its telco partners to set pricing and bundle options for the product’s eventual rollout.

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This isn't surprising at all...
By nerdtalker on 1/11/2007 6:02:40 PM , Rating: 5
What, am I missing something here? Did anybody seriously expect Microsoft to affirm the alleged upcoming new Xbox 360?

Doing so would pretty much cause sales of the current generation to essentially halt. Nobody wants retail shelves and warehouses choc-full of obsolete stuff that nobody wants; this is economics in action. Oh, sure the Xbox 360 with HDMI will happen, the mere presence of one existing with a physical port added to it basically confirms that a cable isn't feasible.

I'm not worried about this, they need to fix the issues they already have with their VGA implementation before they go on to digital.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By ATC on 1/11/2007 6:17:14 PM , Rating: 4
I completely agree. MS would be shooting themselves in the foot for announcing anything early.

They would continue to deny all this till a day before release maybe.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By TheDoc9 on 1/11/2007 8:26:30 PM , Rating: 3
Oh of course, that entire interview said absolutly nothing. What they did was tell people who can't read between the lines to go ahead and buy a system and not to worry - today.

I know If I had a product that was over a year old I would play with the configuration and add expensive parts and have professional test units built - just for the hell of it.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By Aikouka on 1/12/2007 8:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
That may be true... or there may be a different reason.

Usually when a company is testing something such as an overhaul or a second version of a system, they may go through changes throughout the cycle. It's similar to the initial design of a system, except there's less things that can be changed (since the requirements of the system are already set). But to avoid a Playstation 3 or a Fable esque situation, Microsoft doesn't want to affirm anything or else people will expect that what they see here is the next system. Then if Microsoft rescinds on any of those "promises", people will be a bit irate.

That's how I took this announcement. In other words, Microsoft doesn't want any problems with people expecting something and them eventually settling on something else.

By ToeCutter on 1/12/2007 10:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
Right on.

Look for a price cut to move old inventory before MS releases the HDMI Xbox 360.

When you combine the cost of an Xbox 360 plus HD-DVD, the PS3 and Xbox360 are essentially the same price, with PS3 offering both HDMI and 3x the HDD space.

It's impossible for MS to compete directly with PS3 w/o having HDMI available on Xbox 360.

HDMI is the ONLY reason I haven't popped for an Xbox 360. If MS can't deliver one with HDMI soon, I'll grab a PS3 as they've suddenly become available just about everywhere.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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