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Someday, these two may become one
Toshiba and Microsoft cooking up new HD DVD-enabled Xbox

For better or worse, some consumers are purchasing a PlayStation 3 not for its gaming abilities, but rather its Blu-ray Disc movie playback functionality. While Sony’s gaming division may prefer that its customers be gamers, the bottom line is that those interested in just Blu-ray Disc movies will give Sony another notch in the sales and installed base column – a phenomenon not unlike with DVD during the launch of the PlayStation 2.

With high-definition format crown still up for grabs, both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc camps are doing whatever they can to gain the advantage. Microsoft and Toshiba, the two main pillars of HD DVD, are reportedly working on a new entertainment set-top box that will integrate the gaming functions of the Xbox 360 and the movie playback functions of a Toshiba HD DVD player, according to Smarthouse.

The new device is supposedly being developed in response to Sony’s myriad of entertainment features on the PlayStation 3, driving the sales of Blu-ray Disc software.

Oddly enough, a recent study says that most gamers are clueless about the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 high-definition features, bringing into question the argument of consoles driving high-definition media sales.

“An Xbox with a built in HD DVD drive is critical,” a senior Toshiba executive in Singapore told the website. “They and we are working onit. It also has to be more than a gaming machine. Microsoft recognises this.”

As a full-featured entertainment hub, such a product would appeal to a broader market than just those in Microsoft’s current Xbox target audience. In fact, a Toshiba machine with similarly wide capabilities may hit the market. “A version of the device may also be sold under the Toshiba brand name,”added the Toshiba executive.

While current Xbox 360 owners may add HD DVD playback capabilities to their consoles with a $179 add-on drive, overall penetration of high-definition movies into Xbox gamers has been less than stellar. With an estimated 155,000 units HD DVD add-on drives sold in the U.S. through mid-year, Microsoft and Toshiba maybe looking into ways of getting the high-definition gaming crowd into movies.The answer may be in Sony’s strategy.

Sony has once dabbled before in releasing a consumer-centric entertainment machine based on its games console. Released only in Japan, the PSX was a set-top box with PVR and PS2 capabilities built-in. The PSX was reserved for the higher-end home entertainment purposes, but never quite found its market.

Xbox 360 gamers afraid that a new machine would make their current systems obsolete have little to worry about, however, as Microsoft has said on multiple occasions that its Xbox 360 games will never require an HD DVD drive.



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:O
By Mgz on 10/22/2007 9:41:59 AM , Rating: 0
this confirmed that Sony made the right choice in the beginning the include the Blue-ray drive in the PS3 then.




RE: :O
By mdogs444 on 10/22/2007 9:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
No it does not. Its only seems that way if thats the way you want it to be.

There can be various different reasons they would do this.....but you are just trying to make a PS3 point on purpose as opposed to looking at the big picture.


RE: :O
By mcturkey on 10/22/2007 11:20:27 AM , Rating: 3
That decision will not be confirmed as correct until many years from now. PS3s are not moving off the shelves very quickly due to the price point caused by the expensive BR drive, among other reasons. Neither HD or BR are appearing to go away anytime soon.

If, in two or three years, BR has won thanks to PS3 sales, and the system is holding a healthy slice of the market, then we can say it was the right choice. At this moment, indications are otherwise, but it's too early to say for sure.


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