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Microsoft will cut the price of its HD DVD add-on August 1

Microsoft introduced its HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 last November for a price of $199 USD. The Xbox 360 launched without a high definition disc player, so the USB-based HD DVD add-on gave Microsoft the additional firepower necessary to combat the PlayStation 3's standard Blu-ray disc drive.

Through the end of June, Microsoft had sold over 155,000 of the HD DVD add-ons and proclaimed it the "biggest-selling accessory" ever for a console.

Now, Microsoft has seen fit to reduce the price of its most expensive accessory for the Xbox 360. Effective August 1, the HD DVD add-on will retail for $179 USD. In addition, customers who purchase the peripheral between August and September 30 will also qualify to receive five free HD DVD movies.

"With the price reduction to $179, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player continues to be the most affordable way to enjoy high definition," said Microsoft's Jeff Bell. "From the beginning, we set out to offer Xbox 360 owners an unrivaled high-definition experience, with a choice of optical discs on the HD DVD format and digital downloads through Xbox LIVE Marketplace -- both of which have a selection of the best content Hollywood has to offer."

Microsoft will highlight the HD DVD add-on price reduction by offering the movie "300" on demand in HD beginning August 14 through Xbox LIVE. Also on deck will be a free download of the season one pilot of "Heroes." "300" and "Heroes: Season 1" will also be available on HD DVD.



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Uh...
By bkm32 on 7/26/2007 12:46:11 PM , Rating: 1
Two things:

First, how does offering "300" and the "Heroes" pilot as HD downloads "highlight" the add-on price-drop? IMHO, this move clearly states MS's overall strategy concerning HD content--MS wants to beat Blue-Ray and HD by offering the HD download service instead of discs.

Second, (and its a big one) overall cost:

For the Core:
@$299 (System w/o HDD)
+$179 (120GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$756

For the Premium:
@$399 (System w/20GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$677

For the Elite:
@$479 (System w/120GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$757

IT appears the Premium w/HD-DVD Add-on is the best value here relative to the 80GB PS3--just (gulp) $78 more sans 60GB in storage capacity and lacking HDMI.

Two of these options are nearly 160 bucks more than the 80GB PS3, and all are between $180-$260 more than the 60GB PS3. Granted, the different HDD options gives one between 40GB-60GB greater storage capacity, but is it worth between $180-$260?

I don't think so. Therefore, the X360 price drop still needs to happen soon (as in 60 days ago) to get under the overall cost of the PS3. However, even at $199, $299, and $379 for the Core, Premium, and Elite, respectively, the PS3 still costs less, and the PS3's Blu-ray drive can actually be used to play games with a capacity upto 50GB.

With $100 price drop:
Core:
@$199 (System w/o HDD)
+$179 (120GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$656

Premium:
@$299 (System w/20GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$577

Elite:
@$379 (System w/120GB HDD)
+$179 (HD Add-on)
+$99 (Wireless Networking Adapter)
----------
=$657

The only configuration that's less than the 80GB PS3 is the Premium ($23), but it still lacks HDMI and 60GB of HDD storage. That HDMI part may change with Halo 3 version, but who knows if that's a limited edition configuration.

MS will be in serious trouble if Sony brings the 80GB version to $499 after the 60GB version sells out. I know this conflicts with Sony's current position, but remember, the week before the announced price drop they denied any price drop. So, it could happen.

Of course, if MS wins beats both Blu-ray and HD-DVD (see point #1), then my second point is moot since the HD-DVD Add-on won't be necessary, unless you really have to "own" the disc, then MS is screwed. The best way for them (MS) to go would be to offer unlimited access to HD content once a consumer has "purchased" it. How they pull that off is beyond me.




"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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