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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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.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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