Print 37 comment(s) - last by therealnickdan.. on Oct 25 at 3:55 PM

Toshiba says no to Xbox 360 HD DVD inclusion

Last Friday, Australian website Smarthouse claimed to have word from a Toshiba representative saying that Microsoft and Toshiba are working on an Xbox 360-based entertainment machine that will incorporate an HD DVD drive.

The information ran contrary to what Microsoft has said in the past regarding the never including an HD DVD drive in the Xbox 360 for cost reasons, and that DVD media is still perfectly adequate for this generation of games.

The speculated machine discussed last week, however, supposedly would not be a strict gaming machine, but rather a home media box.

UK-based Stuff spoke with a local Toshiba contact regarding the report and received a denial of development for any such product. “It’s got nothing to do with us,” said the Toshiba representative. “But we know Microsoft doesn’t want to include the HD DVD drive so as not to limit the user’s experience.”

With the rapidly falling prices of HD DVD hardware, it’s conceivable that Microsoft could add an HD DVD drive in a variant of its Xbox 360 console at minimal charge. The added ability to play HD DVD movies would provide a strong bullet point feature to match-up against the PlayStation 3’s Blu-ray Disc playback. Furthermore, with the addition of HDMI in all new production Xbox 360 consoles (though still lacking proper lossless audio output), Microsoft’s machine is one step closer to becoming a full-HD DVD standalone replacement.

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Strong bullet point, I think not..
By gradoman on 10/24/2007 2:05:29 PM , Rating: 5
The added ability to play HD DVD movies would provide a strong bullet point feature to match-up against the PlayStation 3’s Blu-ray Disc playback.

How would it have been a match-up? It would be there only to play HD-DVDs, which are being outsold by Blu-Ray -- it wouldn't even be used for games. And how much would the 360 cost with the drive built in?

Let it stay the way it is, cheaper and not locked into a "format war".

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By therealnickdanger on 10/24/2007 2:15:40 PM , Rating: 5
Let it stay the way it is, cheaper and not locked into a "format war".

Exactly. If anything, Microsoft can offer an external Blu-Ray drive, or eventually a combo drive. Users that want high-def movies can have it and users that don't, won't have to pay for it.

People get all excited for stuff like this on paper, but in application, it just isn't cheap enough (yet). PS3's slow sales are proof enough of that.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By mdogs444 on 10/24/2007 2:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will never offer a blue ray drive for the xbox 360. Toshiba may offer a combo player, but you will never see a dvd player by Microsoft promoting a sony proprietary format.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Spivonious on 10/24/2007 2:41:39 PM , Rating: 4
If HD-DVD ends up going the way of Beta-max, then you can bet your ass that Microsoft will come out with a Blu-Ray drive.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By mdogs444 on 10/24/2007 2:47:25 PM , Rating: 1
better chance of sony offering an HD drive in the PS3

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By 16nm on 10/24/2007 3:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
So guys, what if HD-DVD drives were more or less as cheap as DVD drives. Then would you mind having it in your XBOX 360? I would think not.

So if Toshiba feels that they must come out and denying this rumor then it most certainly is true. Expect the HD-DVD integrated XBOX 360 in the future.

By kkwst2 on 10/24/2007 4:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It seems like vehement denial by a corporate spokesperson is better than a confirmation.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By airsickmoth on 10/24/2007 6:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think the key factor missing on the Xbox is that it doesn't output 8 channel uncompressed PCM over HDMI.

I think what Toshiba would really want, is an Xbox 360HD that is fully HDMI 1.3a compliant.

Because right now there is no way to enjoy the HD audio, like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD, on the 360. It all gets downconverted to regular DTS.

I think Toshiba would be much more happy if they could slap TrueHD logos on the HD-DVD drive and encourage people to buy that instead of the cheaper HD-DVD players they make.

With HDMI 1.3a, TrueHD decoding, network connectivity, and all the hard drive space available for downloadable iHD content, the xbox would make a killer HD-DVD player.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Noya on 10/24/2007 11:07:41 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, like Toshiba really cares if a x360 offers full, uncompressed audio. They just want massive sales to win the format war.

By omnicronx on 10/25/2007 10:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I think the key factor missing on the Xbox is that it doesn't output 8 channel uncompressed PCM over HDMI.
This is my #1 problem with the HD-DVD addon for the 360. Fortunately for me, I (along with 99.7 of the rest of the population), do not have a DolbyTRUEHD/DTSHD receiver.
It took years for people to upgrade to Dolby digital5.1 receivers, how long do you think it will take TrueHD? Toshiba/MS should focus on getting HD-DVD drives out there for as cheap as possible, and not HD-audio, which wont become mainstream for a few years after HD-Video itself.

If you are that much of a fanatic/audiovideophile that you by no uncertain terms need uncompressed 7.1 audio, then you should not be buying a 360 drive anyways ;)

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Mitch101 on 10/24/2007 3:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
I think it might be worse for Sony if Microsoft offered a Blu-Ray internally on a 360 then there might be no reason at all to buy a PS3. The PS3 has no killer games but one. The blu-ray drive is the only function that gives the PS3 possible promise.

People believing that the Blu-Ray will win the format wars will buy a PS3 because the PS3 is cheaper than the set top players.

If Microsoft offered a Blu-Ray in a Xbox 360 for the same price there might not be any reason at all to buy a PS3.

Of course this will never happen because Blu-Ray gives Sony money and by having a format war it adds uncertainty to buy a PS3 should Blu-Ray fail to win the war. Your then stuck with a game machine that doesnt have any killer games.

If the 360 doesnt get an internal HD-DVD then I will be putting a Media Center PC in the living room. Game over for whatever format becomes the winner.

By mdogs444 on 10/24/2007 3:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sony cannot even sell a PS3 at a low price point because of its Blue Ray drive. In fact, no manufacturer is selling a Blue Ray player cheap becuase of its cost.

Why in the world would Microsoft want to adapt the Sony method of creating a console that would be the price of a PS3 or even more? Thats why the PS3's number are so low to begin with.

So in short, one could make the argument that HD-DVD will win, the Xbox 360 is the console with the best games, and that its middle price point is where it needs to be. What does that say? It says already that some believe there is already no point to buying a PS3.

But this is all hypothetical on HD-DVD being around long enough to win, which as of right now, is no more relevant than BD is to sticking around for the long haul.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By therealnickdanger on 10/24/2007 4:25:06 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will never offer a blue ray drive for the xbox 360

You may eat those words some day. You should check facts instead of posting your feelings. I don't know why people confuse PS3 VS 360 with Blu-Ray VS HD-DVD and Sony VS Microsoft. Whereas Sony is and probably always will be exclusively Blu-Ray, Microsoft's involvement with HD-DVD isn't exclusive and not nearly as strong as their desire to ensure that their customers get the best features. If Blu-Ray completely trounces HD-DVD in the coming year, you can bet Microsoft will release a Blu-Ray add-on in short order. And when they do, you can be sure that Microsoft will play it as just another strength of their console and their desire to give the consumer choices.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By drinkmorejava on 10/24/2007 4:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of what Microsoft would want, do you realize that Sony would never allow Blu-Ray to be licensed to MS? There not going to allow a console competitor to have something that makes their product more appealing. The whole point of the console wars is to provide something that the others cannot.

By darkpaw on 10/24/2007 4:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
The media folks at Sony always call the shots over the electronics folks (see all the failed ony devices due to DRM, odd formats, etc). If the media people at Sony thought selling Blu-Ray drives in the 360 would sell more Blu-Ray media I think they'd be all over it, regardless of what the console division had to say.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Oregonian2 on 10/24/2007 8:29:52 PM , Rating: 3
Of course they would. Heck, Toshiba, who makes the HD-DVD system is now going to be the maker of cell processor ICs that power the PS3!

Good grief!


P.S. - U.S. automakers have long bought parts from their competitors. I know Chrysler automatic transmissions at one time (may still, I haven't a clue) were sold to either Ford or GM to be put in their vehicles.

By MGSsancho on 10/25/2007 3:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba also was one of the companies that designed the cell (Rambus for IO, IBM, Sony, and Toshiba)

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Locutus465 on 10/24/2007 8:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
You realize what you're quoting is more than a year old and from a source no longer affiliated with MS (for good reason, QA anyone?)

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Locutus465 on 10/24/2007 8:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
Having posted this, yes if blueray wins the next x-box will almost certainly have blueray... It doesn't seem like MS is ready to quit on HD-DVD though.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By omnicronx on 10/25/2007 10:36:59 AM , Rating: 2
The Xbox360 will never have a BD drive! The next version may if the format war is 'over'. But i wouldn't count on it;

TOTAL HD-DVD sales: around 2 million,
TOTAL BD sales: around 3 million, .

With numbers like these, picking a format winner is like picking the world series winner before the season starts... Anything can happen, Anyone can win

By therealnickdanger on 10/25/2007 3:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
You guys are just so certain... despite the fact that Microsoft has openly discussed just the opposite. The fact that the quote is "old" and from a source now with EA doesn't matter. If you think about it, that quote was from a period when HD-DVD was still "winning" against Blu-Ray, so it holds even more weight now that Blu-Ray is leading.

By Oregonian2 on 10/24/2007 8:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
"never" is a long time!

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By xphile on 10/24/2007 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that's wrong, it IS cheap enough already. Microsoft have been selling external HDDVD drives at way less than set top units for quite some time. Why? Because they have exclusive partnership arrangements with Toshiba and they could build them in bulk for a lot less than anyone else could.

Now the prices are dropping on set top boxes and the cost to MS is becoming even less still, and effectively for Microsoft it isn't going to cost them much more to put in an HDDVD drive than a DVD drive.

And whatever extra it does cost, MS and Toshiba both have huge vested interests in sucking up any loss for a while to get back on a level footing - feature wise for MS and unit market share wise for Toshiba.

They could easily do it at the same price level as all the current SKU's. They added HDMI and they will certainly do it again for high def, they simply can't afford NOT to.

By omnicronx on 10/25/2007 10:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
Except for causing confusion, I see no reason why if HD-DVD drives are as cheap as you say for MS to produce, why they would not have an internal drive for the 360. They could merely swap out the DVD drive, and take the extra 'few' dollars extra it costs to add in a HD-DVD drive as this would give them a major advantage over the PS3. Chances are though, this is just not the case, DVD drives are cheap to make and with MS already taking a hit on every console sold, I really doubt MS is ready to shell out the extra $50+ (which is probably a more accurate number) per console.

Chances are MS's view on this is; not having the drive keeps the price down, if you really need HD-DVD then buy an external drive. From the number of people buying an HD-DVD drive, it seems most people are a lot more interested in the games, rather than the ability to play high def movies.

RE: Strong bullet point, I think not..
By Flunk on 10/24/2007 2:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
Even if Microsoft and Toshiba already have them in production the PR guys are quite often the last to know. No use in telling them things they might accidentally leak is there?

Never trust marketing or sales people, they only know that they have been told by people in the know (or relayed over many people) and parrot it back over and over.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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