August 7, 2006 6:50 PM PDT

Microsoft shows off HD DVD drive for Xbox

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LOS ANGELES--Microsoft on Monday offered the first glimpse of an external HD DVD drive built for the Xbox 360 game console.

Kevin Collins, senior program manager at Microsoft, demonstrated the HD DVD drive, which he said is scheduled to hit store shelves for the upcoming holiday shopping season, to attendees of the DVD Forum here.

HD DVD for Xbox 360

The device--about the size of a hardback book--played "The Phantom of the Opera" as Collins pulled up a menu bar to display a few of its navigation and interactive features that can be called up on screen while a movie is playing. Collins said Microsoft's HD DVD drive will be among the least expensive of the HD DVD players, but he declined to disclose the drive's retail price.

"All the audio and video processing is done inside the Xbox," said Collins, who noted that research has shown that a majority of Xbox owners already own high-definition displays. An Xbox drive provides them with all the other equipment they need to watch HD DVD movies, he said.

"This gives consumers choice and keeps their cost down," Collins said

Microsoft has chosen to back the HD DVD format over Blu-ray. Both technologies are vying to replace the DVD format and are represented by consortiums that include electronics makers and Hollywood studios.

Video game machines may prove to be a crucial battleground for the two formats, some observers predict.

In November, Sony's PlayStation 3 is expected to debut equipped with a Blu-ray drive. In contrast to Microsoft's strategy to go with an external drive, PlayStation's drive will be built in.

See more CNET content tagged:
HD-DVD, Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation, Xbox 360, Blu-ray

95 comments

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No HDMI?
Apparently this add-on will not have an HDMI output but will relay the video through USB to the Xbox for processing and displaying using the Xbox existing component output.

Given that component output does not support HDCP, I wonder what will happen when the movie studios enforce the ICT token which prevents protected movies from being displayed through component in high definition? On current HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players, once that happens users will have the option to move over to HDMI if they haven't done so yet but with the Xbox add-on they might have to get a new player.
Posted by open4free (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I will wait until standard is achevied
Not sure, don't even own a HD TV, but one thing I know for sure, that "I" the consumer will not get stuck with hardware that will be absolute.

There are two competing standards for the HD drives, and I am not buying either one, until one become the dominant standard, then I'll buy a player and DVD Movies.

Until then, this is a waste of my time and money, and I am not falling for it.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Link Flag
Movie studios won't be enforcing HDCP any time soon
Movie studios won't be enforcing HDCP for atleast 5 years. In other words we'll be seeing high def output from component connections for atleast a few years. Enforcing HDCP right off the bat will hinder the adoption of these next gen formats. Also, we'll be on the next round of videogame consoles when movie studios begin to enforce HDCP for high def output.
Posted by Maxwell Studly (97 comments )
Link Flag
This is also a problem for the PS3
Since the low end model of the PS3 doesn't have HDMI either. That means that the most popular Blu-Ray player and the most populare HD-DVD players both lack HDMI.

Movies companies aren't stupid enough to ignore this fact and not only that, Sony owns a few large movie studios and they themselves are not including HDMI to their units. (low end PS3)
Posted by Don Key (186 comments )
Link Flag
Ms will simply make a new cable
If Hollywood decides to enable the ICT, MS will only have to start manufacturing a HDMI cable. It would be HDMI to whatever the connector that MS uses to connect to the 360. Just like the S-video cable is.
Posted by JU1CYFRU1T (2 comments )
Link Flag
This is great news!
Not only can I get my gaming experience interrupted by my Xbox 360 when it overheats and shuts down, or by the aircraft engine-size fan sound that it generates, but I can now get my movie experience interrupted, too! In high-definition, to boot! Thanks Microsoft. Please fix the basics for Christmas!
Posted by serrytemel (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Why not get yours fixed
Mine is silent and works fine for hours even when the ambient temperature is over 35 degrees C. The DVD drive spinning makes more noise than the fan.

Yours must be one of the tiny percentage of faulty ones - send it back and get it fixed.

No point in moaning about something that is your problem and not everyone else's
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
XBox 360 doesn't support HD-DVD
so I can't see the point of buying a player.

It only supports HD over component video, and most HD-DVDs have copy protection software that prevents the movie being shown in a resolution above that of regular DVD players if you don't have the required hardware on the player (HDMI).

They don't even support DVI so unless Microsoft get their butts into gear and produce a compatible hardware upgrade, as well as the necessary HDMI compatible audio/visual cable, buying an HD-DVD player will be a complete waste of money.

In fact the HD-DVD player, with its twice the cost HD Movies ($30-$60 per HD-DVD), actually outputs those movies at a slightly lower than progressive scan resolution. So you'd actually get a better picture from the inbuilt DVD player than the HD-DVD player (not that most people would notice, but technically that would be the result).

Unless the device includes the required HDMI compatibility don't buy this - you're wasting your money.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Errm yes it does. This is an HD DVD Player and it already plays HD content
HDMI is completely irrelevant. A component video output is easily capable of equivalent picture quality. DVD studios have already made it clear that they wont turn on restrictioons that remove HD outputs from component video connections.

To do so would be completely pointless as a) it would mean that lots of people wouldnt buy that movie. and b) HDCP (the copy protection part of HDMI) was cracked years ago and you can easily buy removers for it anyway so even with a fully protected digital output it is easy to get perfect unprotected copies. Therefore protecting analogue outputs is a waste of everyones time
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
do your homework...
You are a fool. HDMI is NOT necessary for the HD resolution. Regarding the copy protection....yeah, that was the original goal but do a little research on this subject. You CAN do HD resolution via component because these copy protection schemes will not be utilized until at least 2010 (if ever).

Your "required hardware" regarding HDMI is simply false. Keep up with the changes here buddy!
Posted by badflounder (6 comments )
Link Flag
You are describing blu ray...get it right
Blu-Ray has copy protection. HD-DVD Doesnt. Blu-Ray needs HDMI, HD-DVD uses DVI or HDMI. Blu-Ray costs are 30-60...HD-DVD is 25-40. Before you go spouting your Sony Blu-Ray fanboy comments, make sure you know what you are talking about....
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
Link Flag
Um, where have you been
Actually you are wrong. While you are correct about this technology, the media industry, in a rare, logical and beneveolent decision, has decided not to implement this because something like .25% of US households have TVs capable of support HDMI and HDCP. Because this feature is not implemented, there will be no problems displaying full HD content (for a while at least). Also, this could somehow have been worked out by MS so the Xbox HDDVD drive will always output in HD. Anyway, no point in speculating until more info is available.
Posted by jmanjohns2 (25 comments )
Link Flag
Restrictions relaxed regarding HDCP outputs
HDCP is the acronym you are looking for. High-Definition Content Protection.

HDCP Restrictions Relaxed (somewhat)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.google.com/search?q=hdcp+restrictions+relaxed" target="_newWindow">http://www.google.com/search?q=hdcp+restrictions+relaxed</a>

Both the Blu-Ray BD-ROM and HD-DVD groups have relaxed their restrictions on non-HDCP outputs. Many, many people both inside and outside the industry convinced both camps to take a more relaxed output display route.

So, their HD-DVD player should be able to play the HD-DVD movies without worry.

Regardless, it is essentially a movie player addon. I would be surprised to ever see a game in that format on the Xbox 360.
Posted by techprogress (15 comments )
Link Flag
Actually...
<p>1. There is a DVI output cable available for the 360. You can get a DVI to HDMI cable to run the video to an HDMI input. You'll need to run the audio separately, but it can be done.</p>

<p>2. High definition content will only NEED to be sent through HDMI to be viewed in full resolution sometime after 2010. Companies aren't forcing the compliance yet because they want to speed up the adoption rate. By the time you're required to send the signal through HDMI to view content in Hi-Def, the Hi-Def players will probably be cheap enough that you can just pick one up at Best Buy without breaking the bank.</p>
Posted by mycnetname43 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Are you sure?
Not trying to attack you, but I think your assessment may be incorrect. Here's a clip from an article written today:

"But what about the digital copy protection?
Sadly, the movie studios are so paranoid about piracy that there has been talk of hobbling HD playback on the component output which would have a big impact on picture quality. This copy protection is referred to as ACSS. Happily, none of the studios have used it yet, and there is allegedly an agreement in place that it won't be used until 2012. It would be commercial suicide as HDTV has been around for a while in the USA, and none of the older HDTVs support HDMI. The 'hobbled' HD picture resolution would be 960x540 - not much better than a well-encoded PAL DVD, and a quarter of the 'full fat' display." (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=144354" target="_newWindow">http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=144354</a>)

The digital protection and restriction to HDMI is a possibility in the future, provided the immense issues with personally-ripped DVDs infringing on the current commercial market, but ACSS protection honestly can't be featured into the equation soon or it will consequentially defeat HD-DVD and Blu-ray via their own paranoia. Technology is always advancing, but this bit simply can't till the rest of the tech world catches up as a standard.
Posted by mprez333 (1 comment )
Link Flag
ajbright
With respect: You mix half-truths and untruths with lack of knowledge of even the simplest aspect of this hobby and produce confusion for people unable to decypher the mess. There is no such thing as "progressive scan resolution." There are various resolutions in both progressive and interlaced modes with 720P considered to be the lower limit of high definition. Your confusion there makes your point meaningless. "Most HD-DVDs have copy protection software that prevents the movie being shown in a resolution above that of regular DVD players if you don't have the required hardware on the player (HDMI)." Not true at this time and I doubt ever in the life of one's display. Do you just make this stuff up?
Posted by Mesand (1 comment )
Link Flag
And the Xbox 360 is one of the reasons why
There are thousands of HD consumer devices that dont support HDMI signals. The Xbox 360 is yet another such device ansd exactly the reason why the movie companies wont turn off HD over component any time soon. Not if they care about sales anyway.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Looking at those...
...images reminds me of the early days of DVD. Had my VHS Player on the bottom and my DVD Player on top. Although I support HD DVD over Blu-Ray, I like many consumers will not be getting involved. Maybe once everything is offically digital we will have a industry standard.
Posted by bobj123 (94 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Isn't it a bit big?
That looked like a fairly big box to do something so simple! From the pictures that thing looks to be the same thickness as the 360 and when laid out on the third picture it stretches past the back of the 360! That is huge and total overkill for what it actually does.
Posted by grandmasterdibbler (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DO you own an Xbox 360?
It's already relatively small. The drive looks like a standard DVD drive in a plastic enclosure, nothing surprising there.
Posted by Soulwolf (43 comments )
Link Flag
Then Xbox 360 price will be same as PS3 !!!
Even if it is not as same, it will be hard for Microsoft to price the external HD DVD for under $200, which means with the external HD DVD drive, the Xbox 360 will be same or higher priced than the PS3. Which negates Microsoft's advantange as a lower priced console than PS3.

Either way, by the time you add all the accessories to Xbox 360 to make it equivalent to PS3, it will be higher priced than PS3. Besides, the 360 doesn't have the Cell processor.
Posted by lakemotion (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Xbox 360 same price as PS3?
No, actually it won't. In this situation people that actually own an HDTV have the choice of buying the HD-DVD drive. If you don't have an HDTV and want a PS3 you still have to pay a few hundred dollars extra for a feature that is useless to you.

Also, the cell processor is ridiculously hard to develop for and will take years before developers can get used to it. Sony recently said that 10,000 dev kits have been shipped. So why are only a hundred games being developed right now?

Also, there are only 24 Blu-ray movies available. Kind of a waste of an HD drive especially since games only take up 7-8 gigs of space at most.
Posted by Nobi-Wan (1 comment )
Link Flag
What if?
What if I don't care about the cell processor, HD games/movies/graphics, DRM, or the higher priced units? Where does the PS3 win then? Just the harddrive?
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
But only if you want it to be.
With the PS3, you are "forced" to buy a blu-ray player (as its built in). Since neither Sony or Microsoft, plan on using the hd-dvd or blu-ray for video games at this juncture, the only choice that people have to make is, "Do I want to be forced to use blu-ray, or do I want to have a choice?" As for your other comment about how the 360 doesn't have the cell processor, that is like me saying, "The PS3 doesn't have a triple core processor." Apples and oranges my friend, apples and oranges.
Posted by doobzilla (1 comment )
Link Flag
MS gives you the choice
With the addition of the HD DVD drive, the total price for a 360 with HD movie playback may be close to (or higher) than the PS3, but at least MS is giving us the choice. With Sony, you don't have a choice, you pay $600 for the premium player, whether you are strictly a gamer or not. It's better marketing, and it allowed MS to get a full year head start on Sony.

Good job MS!
Posted by JU1CYFRU1T (2 comments )
Link Flag
Forget the drive.. where can I get the faceplate?
That is all I want to know. What a nice Halo faceplate that is.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I will wait for the standard
I hope that Blue Ray becomes the standard, but I will wait. Microsoft is playing the we will kill the competition game again, but I am not convinced that they can kill off Sony and Blue Ray.

2 years from now I will be able to make a decision as to which one to buy.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is a very bad idea.
This is probably a stupid thing for Microsoft to do - adding a HD-DVD drive to the Xbox360.

It saddles the Xbox 360 with a drive that may or may not be a dead format within 3 to 4 years. The media industry that puts info on optical storage medium can not be financially viable in the long run with two competing formats - it took almost more than 3 years for VHS to be the dominant standard for magnetic video storage. I see support for HD-DVD for a year or two, if HD-DVD loses the format war, but it leaves the person who invested in the drive with media that becomes junk after two years when the Xbox 360 is gone.

The HD-DVD peripheral is definately going to add $150 to $250 to whatever Xbox 360 package - anyone considering buying the 360 with the HD-DVD kills the price advantage that Xbox 360 has over PS3. Almost everyone who bought an Xbox360 took the Premium package at $399, add the HD-DVD peripheral and the cost will be $100 more - making this equal or more expensive in price than the $499 basic PS3, which is the equivalent of the Premium 360 package.

Another gripe I've got is that this add-on gives Xbox360 users a headache as to where to put the HD-DVD - so the power and data cables can reach the right outlets without to much trouble in regards to distance (from the 360 and an outlet) and the usual cable mess. As a guy who bought a lot of Sega Genesis periphrals (Sega CD and 32X)- I speak with experience.

People who buy a PS3 runs the same risk regarding their movie library being obsolete but the thing is that Sony and anyone who makes games for the PS3 will be putting their content (games) on Blu-Ray discs.
Microsoft did not pledge to fully support the HD-DVD format to its fullest potential - it's being touted as an optional device to only play HD-DVD movies, there is nothing on Microsoft's website that says that games will be created to take advantage of the HD-DVD format and its this part that kills the format for me as having a viable future.
Granted this sounds like I'm in the PS3 camp - I'm not - to me, it doesn't matter if Blu-Ray does not make it as the next movie media DVD standard since it has a future as a better data storage media than either DVD or HD-DVD, PC or Mac compatible computers - this is what I'm rooting for (plus I'm really sold on Nintendo's Revolution (don't say Wii)).
Posted by techned (200 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Remember Sega CD?
If this doesn't smell like a potential flop, I don't know what does. Sega CD wasn't that big of a hit, and I don't think this will be either. Expensive "upgrades" for game systems are not all that popular.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Didn't the SEGA CD play games?
I remember the SEGA CD very well. It played some really good games. Since the HD-DVD player for the 360 doesn't play games it's not a valid comparision.

Thank you, drive through.
Posted by Don Key (186 comments )
Link Flag
360 sucks, no Cell, no bulit-in HD
That's the bottom line folks. 360 is Playstation wanna-be made of PC parts.
Posted by lakemotion (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who's copying who
From what I have seen, PS3 is doing everything it can to be like it's competitors, not the other way around. The fact that the others don't use a cell processor will be just one more thing in their favor.

What difference does it make whether the HD drive is inside or outside the system? Not everyone is interested in HD movie formats this early on.
Posted by Soulwolf (43 comments )
Link Flag
idiot...
Take your head out of Sony's butt for a second and do a little research.

The PS3 higher ups have already STATED PUBLICLY that the PS3 is a COMPUTER. So which one is PC parts then??? Also, the 360 ATI card, processor, etc.....cannot be had in a computer.

You are simply a Sony fanboy. To each their own....if you like the PS3 then good for you. But do yourself a favor and at least research things before you make idiotic "360 sucks" comments. No cell??? Well your precious "Cell" isn't even designed for gaming. Again, do ANY amount of research on the subject and you'll see it is geared towards home entertainment..ie, blu-ray. Will it game? Yes. Is it as efficient as the 360 in gaming? No, unfortunately not.
Posted by badflounder (6 comments )
Link Flag
360 vs PS3
I've seen several obvious fanboy comments here about both systems.

As an gamer and owner of several systems, (NES, SNES, N64, Original Gameboy, Gameboy Advance SP, PSP, XBox, and PS2) I like to look at things as openly as possible.

I'll go find the link when i get off work if I have to, but one thing needs to be said of the PS3 that no fanboy is going to say: Sony lied about the PS3 specs. I remember the nice spec sheet they gave out at E3 05 and said that they would have all of it in the final PS3 preview at E3 06. It seems they are missing a lot of things on that list.

Also, Neither Microsoft or Sony won any points at E3 06. Nope, the honor of having hours long waiting lines to check out games went to Nintendo.

Is the Wii as powerful as the 360 or PS3? Obviously not. Will it sell? I think it will for the sheer fact that it will have an online service, a hard drive, and has a fresh new look at playing games.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone here is an avid gamer or not, but Sony is losing the exclusive rights status to some of their upcoming PS3 games as developers are finding it easier to work with the 360 dev kits.

an example? Assassin's Creed is one. It was listed as PS3 only and is now listed as in development for the 360.

another? Condemned, Criminal Origons. It was being developed for the PS3, but the developers had too many issues with the dev kit and chucked the project and gave 360 exclusive status to that game.

Add to this the fact that Sony is clearly mimicing Microsoft wit hthe pricing scheme (something they mocked at E3 05 and afterwards and said they'd never do.) as well as Nintendo with the limited tilt functions of the PS3 controller.

Sony also said that they had to take the rumble feature out to make room for the tilt sensors. Seems funny that Nintendo's controller, which is thinner and smaller, has both rumble and full motion sensitivity. (Maybe Sony should just own up that they lost the lawsuit and cant include rumble technology unless they license and pay for it like Nintendo and Microsoft.)

Alas, in the end I think Sony will still be the market leader in games. They just won't have as much of a lead over Nintendo and MS.
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sony didn't lie - They omitted the Truth and why PS3 is always #1
Seriously - they skirted the whole thing about how different the $499 and $599 systems are. In the E3 press junket the only thing that Sony said that was the difference between the two systems was that the $499 had a 20 Gb drive and the $599 had a 60Gb drive, in the pamphlets they gave to the press did they actually specify that the $599 system only had the CF and SD memory port, the Wi-Fi, and the 60Gb drive.
To be honest, I was a bit peeved about the whole thing but considering what MS is giving for the 360 - it's not a bad deal, especially now that they're going to give a HD-DVD drive to only play movies (that will add more than a $100 to the total Xbox price, especially to those who bought the hard drive option), where the PS3 will not only play Blue-Ray movies but also games created for that media.

The one thing that has me not wanting to buy a PS3 this X-mas is that -

1. I really want the Nintendo Revolution (I'm excited to play duck hunt again and the idea of playing video golf without forking over $60 for a useless peripheral is cool) - I like the controller idea, especially the nunchuk joystick and sensor stick for FPS games (I will be in Heaven if they put a Doom translation on Revolution).

2. I want to see if the whole Cell and Blu-Ray will pan out the way it sounds like it should on PS3.

One of the things that I noticed is that MS is trying to prevent Sony on the exclusive release of specific games, especially Grand Theft Auto - but I think MS really missed the boat again on what software to beat Sony on not getting an exclusive, which I seriously believe is Square's Final Fantasy. GTA and other successfull franchises like Onimusha, Resident Evil, Madden, and etc. did not sell the Playstation - it was always Final Fantasy and the only Final Fantasy product that MS got is only a sequel to the online game, not the RPG series.

Everybody remembers Final Fantasy VII - this was the game that cemented Sony and Playstation to gaming - it is the game that Square has been trying desperately hard to replicate its success. Final Fantasy X came close (still it paled to FF VII, in terms of story and direction) and sealed the fate of Sega's Dreamcast, despite Shenmue being more advanced in terms of its gameplay (My POV)and being close (but definately more than a hair) in graphic resoltion.
This is the game that will make or break PS3 - the next Final Fantasy RPG game, this is the game where Cell and Blu-Ray are going to have to convince people that PS3 is better than 360, otherwise if FFXII (or will it be FF XIII) plays like something that could have been just as good on 360 - than Sony wasted a bucket full of money for nothing.
Why?! Sony made this big deal that Cell can generate orchestra level music (without a synthesizer) in real time, while keeping track of million of polygons and "collisions", and a bunch of processor intensive tasks, with all the stuff that Cell "supposedly" can do it's going to need a medium that has more storage capacity than regular DVD for the games its supposed to run like The Final Fantasy RPG series, which has always been considered the "benchmark" of Playstation - the software that uses the Playstation hardware to its fullest potential, this was evident in FF VII and it was hyped about in FFX in regards to the "Emotion" chip - no less will be expected for the next Final Fantasy RPG for PS3 - count on it.

Microsoft can stop Sony from getting all the exclusives or try to beat Sony on the amount of exclusives it can get but Xbox has yet to get a game, either within MS or a third party, that can deliver the goods while testing the limits of its hardware and Halo doesn't count since you can play that game on the PC (even its sequel, which will be coming out on Vista).
Sony has been smart about the Final Fantasy RPG - it is a "True" exclusive, inwhich you need a Playstation to play it - it won't be on PC or any other gaming platform ever, and the franchise is always reinventing itself, in terms of story, graphics, and gameplay mechanics, the whole game itself being dependent on the platform (Playstation) it is being developed on, unlike other franchises which are made in a certain mold (using either the PS2 as an average common standard or the Gamecube as the lowest common standard) that can be ported; the only game that was ever custom made for each platform was "Splenter Cell: Chaos Theory" which was given rave reviews and a best seller but I find it rare that developers will spend that much amount of time and effort to do that again, especially considering how much they shrunk the E3 event because of budget constraints.
Can a Final Fantasy RPG be ported to multiple platforms? - of course but ff Sony ever loses this exclusive, this will be the time that Playstation stops being the number one game machine and they're not that stupid.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
Link Flag
%@#& This
HDMI, HDCP, HD-DVD, Bluray... I normally love the latest technology, but I am sticking with DVD as long as I can. Luckily, Wii has DVD capabilities so I can skip out on these two consoles while I am at it.
Posted by airwalkery2k (117 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No it doesn't
Nintendo only hinted that there would be some type of DVD playing peripheral to connect to the Revolution (will not use Wii).
The Revolution will (currently) only use a propriety mini-disc, which will be slightly larger than the one used for Gamecube.

It's been stated that Nintendo doesn't want to be in the Home Entertainment biz - just gaming.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
Link Flag
No HDTV now... but maybe later?
The customers that are hit the worst with this decision are the people who do not own an HDTV now but may in the future.

The PS3 hurts these people (which are the major majority). The Blu-ray player is ONLY useful with an HDTV so the consumer with an SD set is forced to pony up the money for the movie aspect even though they won't use it.

This is where choice is good. They can purchase the system now and upgrade when their needs dictate it.

The PS3 scenario you described *only* works IF you are a current HDTV owner (which is the minority)
Posted by Don Key (186 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What a mess
There's no way I'd buy a second optical drive as an add-on to a
game player anyway (what the heck are they thinking?), but
ignoring that, that thing is ugly.

There's no way that they can price this low enough to overcome
its drawbacks.

1) it is going to muddy the price argument vs the PS3

2) it's a really questionable investment for someone who wants
to play high definition movies, since it's tied to a game player
that will at some point be replaced or retired by its owner.

It's not like they can take a loss on this like they can on the 360
hardware and somehow make it up on software licensing fees --
they'll be competing with electronics vendors on their own terms
this time around. It probably can't be as inexpensive as it needs
to be to matter.

Given that there's never been a successful optical drive add-on
to a game player despite several attempts (and all of those also
played "improved" games), I'm just not seeing how this will be
anything other than a flop.
Posted by ciparis (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
almost forgot: still no HDMI?
One thing that could make the device more attractive would be
to have it use HDMI, preferably also allowing that port to take
over the normal 360 output as well.

It's one thing (aside from the noise and occasional game or
network crashing) that annoys me about my 360 -- I don't want
to watch high definition content on my HDMI-equipped HDTV
over analog component cables.

Has it been confirmed that it won't use HDMI?
Posted by ciparis (41 comments )
Link Flag
Actually the Sega CD was a success
If you consider that the device was really a pure add-on option, since the majority of Genesis games were on cartirdges, than the Sega CD was a success.
The Sega CD library contained such great hits like Lunar 1 and 2, Slipheed, and . . . I forgot but it was such a cult classic "Blade Runner" based game.

The Sega Cd add-on was a good peripheral since it did bring in a new dimension in gaming where actual recorded voice and even CG rendered scenes to gaming which was then restricted by the hardware limitations of cartridge gaming.

My arguement to the 360 having a HD-DVD peripheral is that it will only play movies and does not add anything more to the gaming experience than what the current DVD drive does for the 360 (except make a 2 disc DVD game to a single HD-DVD game). Plus it adds the ugly part of locating the device - the hassle of cables and putting both the 360 in an area that is both well ventilated and spaced.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
Link Flag
Lower the price and maybe people will care...
No one cares about HD DVD on a product that costs
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/422/43/" target="_newWindow">http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/422/43/</a>
$500 to $1000 when you add up the accessories you need and a couple of games. Make the Xbox 360 affordable first, then charge a lot for these items later on. If folks want it, then so be it.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HDTV and Xbox 360
I bought a Philip 37" LCD HDTV, but I was surprised to find out that MS has no support for HDMI connectors, which makes no sense to me, still go to use cables.

I did the enxt best thing and bought a pair of Monster cables, those are higher quality and for the audio it uses fiber optin, instead of left and right channels using two cables.

Funny that many HDTV are out there with HDMI connectors, but thing supports it.

We'll see I guess.

Halo 2 plays very well on the HTDV, can't wait to play Gears of War.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree, we are not wasting are money by waiting ...
Every time that we buy something "high-tech," we get burned with the price, AND the early versions of whatever it is don't have the perfomance of something that goes through development. I paid $435 for a DVD player in January of 1998 and I thought I had the best! Now the ones at Wal-Mart can run circles around it!
Posted by kbkachur (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Man are you in the wrong
Now i work in retail selling video games and accessories i have been to the last 3 E3 events i talk on a regular every week with my sony rep, PS3 will fail as a gaming system and BLU RAY player for the reasons of 1. the price of the system either model are to high and the opening titles are not going to WOW anyone. 2. blu ray is not even released a player yet and the one they are showing from samsung cost nearly $1000 not worth it in the long run. 3. hd dvd has already released 2 players both around $500 and the movies cost no more that $24.99 they also have signed contracts with all the latge movie companys minus sony cause of blu ray but they are more affordable then blu ray and have a much larger and better selection of movie titles to choose from. so yes the hd dvd players and the xbox 360 are better than blu ray and the PS3 also the external hard drive will be $200 or less and makes the 360 cheaper than the PS3.
Posted by evor10 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
For someone that works in retail
you sure don't know you stuff.

"hd dvd has already released 2 players both around $500 and the movies cost no more that $24.99 they also have signed contracts with all the latge movie companys minus sony cause of blu ray but they are more affordable then blu ray and have a much larger and better selection of movie titles to choose from. "

You have the backwards. Blu-ray has more studios signed to it than HD-DVD. Don't believe me here are FACTS.

"Seven studios currently back Blu-ray, while three support HD DVD, and two of those also support Blu-ray. Only Universal Studios supports HD DVD exclusively. "

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/HD+DVD+debut+ups+ante+in+high-stakes+game/2100-1041_3-6062089.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/HD+DVD+debut+ups+ante+in+high-stakes+game/2100-1041_3-6062089.html</a>
Posted by BCF1968 (839 comments )
Link Flag
HD DVD via VGA CABLE
Here's the big picture: Since i already own an XBOX 360 i've been waiting on the day that the HD DVD DRIVE would be avaialble, for whether we choose to admit it or not we now live in a the
HI DEF era hence the choices we must now make.
So whether you have Xbox or PS3 you have both formats and the ability to play hi def video games. So come along for the ride i have.
Also Microsoft has a VGA Hi Def cable that sells for 40 bucks that connects to that PC connection on alot of the recent Plasma,LCD, and DLP rear projection sets that trust me will give you 1080 in all it's glory if your set is so equipped so you will not miss that HDMI capability TRUST ME!
Sometimes when i'm wathing all this HI DEF Content i can't help grinning like that guy in those "ENZYTE" commercials.
Posted by dgtlmn (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
HDMI will be available and Component is 1080i anywho
I was talking to a microsoft rep the other day, I work at Futureshop and he said there accessories partners like madcats will be releasing it..
Posted by athuff (2 comments )
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HDMI will be available and Component is 1080i anywho
I was talking to a microsoft rep the other day, I work at Futureshop and he said there accessories partners like madcats will be releasing it.. Also out of the box it's compenent and optical ready.. so 1080 video and dolby digital audio.. you can get a 360 with 5 games one hd dvd, the hd dvd player, the media center remote, wireless controller and harddrive for less then the price off a gameless ps3 (which only comes with rca cables btw) enjoy it..
Posted by athuff (2 comments )
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