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Microsoft XBox (Games) Hardware

HD-DVD Confirmed For Xbox 360 260

Posted by Zonk
from the more-shinies-for-the-shiny dept.
JorgeDeLaCancha writes "Microsoft has recently confirmed plans to bring an external HD-DVD drive to the Xbox 360. This has been previously speculated numerous times, with Bill Gates himself stating 'future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capacity of an HD-DVD player.' Do consumers even want another format war?"
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HD-DVD Confirmed For Xbox 360

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  • This makes total sense. Many people are using their current box as a Windows Media extender. Personally I hate the Windows Media box since it locks you in, but this will feed right into the wants and desires of those users. And on the format war side of things. I think Microsoft is going to brute force the format they want, and this is just one of the ways they are going to try to do it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:38PM (#14401037)
      Why would anyone buy an HD-DVD player that has to be connected to an XBOX360 instead of being directly connected to the TV?

      Especially when everyone knows that console add-ons are notoriously overpriced!
      • Why would anyone buy an HD-DVD player that has to be connected to an XBOX360 instead of being directly connected to the TV?

        1. HD-DVD-ROM opens the possibility for HD games, as ZiakII pointed out [slashdot.org].
        2. A separate HD-DVD Video player means another set of outputs, and it's a lot harder to get switchboxes for HDTV than for SDTV. (Nintendo fanboys might argue the opposite, saying something about console hogs and their 12-hour Meg Ryan marathons.)
        3. It might be cheaper, as an HD-DVD-ROM drive would need only to read da
    • At first, I thought that this external drive was a bad idea, but in a way it makes a lot of sense.

      For example, lets say that Bluray wins and HD-DVD tanks. There's nothing stopping Microsoft from making a Bluray (or perhaps a bluray HD-DVD combo) drive down the line. The same could probably be said for the PS3 if Bluray tanks.

      The only thing that I wish these consoles had is user replaceable Internal Drives. CD/DVD drives seem to be the weak link in all of these consoles and it would be nice if it was user r
  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:33PM (#14400980) Homepage
    No, of course consumers don't want another format war. However, consumers don't get to directly decide which formats companies choose to put forth. Just because consumers don't want a format war doesn't mean they won't get one.

    Of course, they can always end one very rapidly by not buying one format.
    • Wrong question (Score:4, Insightful)

      by killmenow (184444) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:09PM (#14401336)
      The question ("Do consumers even want another format war?") makes a false assumption. Although it's off by only one single letter. The right question is:

      Do consumers ever want another format war?

      And the right answer is: no
    • These days it's the buyers at Costco and WalMart who decide what format is going to win.

      Ninety percent of the folks wandering around with their humvee sized shopping carts don't even know they're buying, only that it runs their humvee sized kid's new video game.
    • Wait, we're wondering if consumers who bought an XBox while PS/2 and Gamecube already existed will want a format war?
    • Why do people on Slashdot keep bitching about a "format war?" It's called competition in a free market, this freedom of choice thing you guys keep talking about.

      The better format--be that image quality, more supported titles, cheaper players, whatever--will win out. That's how it's supposed to be, and that makes it better for consumers because both formats will try to undercut each other, which means cheaper prices and better players.

      Stop bitching about a format war! Welcome it!
      • Competition is great but this is an example of the classic market failures. A format is little more than a platform for doing something else, as such there are tremendous network effects (the platform is more valuable the more people who use it). Other examples of this are telephone systems, operating systems, etc. The winner could be complete crap, but because it became the popular choice switching costs are exceedingly high (you have to create or transition your content if it is even possible). Busine
    • Cool! The Xbox360 comes with a Gamecube?
    • To be fair, the GCN power brick should have been in that shot too. It probably adds another 25-35% to size of the system, and isn't that much smaller then that of the XBox 360's. Of course, the XBox is a larger system, so it less of an exuse for large external PSUs.
  • by Stuupid (942726) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:37PM (#14401023)
    the PS2 has a harddrive but nobody uses it. The device didnt ship with the product so, to reach the widest audience, games are created with the assumption that it isnt there-- wont the same thing happen for this drive?
    • by OverlordQ (264228) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:50PM (#14401158) Journal
      the PS2 has a harddrive but nobody uses it.

      You sure about that? I knot a lot of people who use it play their uh . .. *cough*backups*cough*
      • I believe nobody uses it should have said no PS2 games use it (or atleast very very few, FFX is the one exception that I know of)
        • by Hes Nikke (237581) <{moc.etantog} {ta} {todhsals}> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:30PM (#14401554) Journal
          no PS2 games use [the PS2 Hard Drive] (or atleast very very few, FFX is the one exception that I know of)

          FFX runs just fine off it's one DVD. (that game is HUGE - i'm working my way through it right now) FFXI otoh requires both an internet connection (i think even broadband) and a hard drive. thus, there is no way to run that game on a slimline PS2 - like mine - without some hardware hacking - something i can't afford to do to my PS2 atm. GTA:SA takes advantage of the HD, but runs just fine (if being able to hear the constant disk access across the room can be considered fine) without an HD. i'm pretty sure there are 4 or 5 other games that do the same... FFXI was the only game to out right require a hard drive though.

          Also don't forget that Sega shipped 2 upgrades for the Genisis/Mega Drive that both totally and absolutly flopped - the SegaCD/MegaCD, and the 32X. Nintendo started to get into the act too with the 64DD before they realized that it would kill them like after market upgrades killed sega. Microsoft isn't learning from previous industry mistakes. thats really really bad.

          i'm giving 2:1 odds* that the next microsoft console has upgradable RAM.

          *sorry, all betting is closed
          • i'm giving 2:1 odds* that the next microsoft console has upgradable RAM.

            Sadly you may be right, though constant ram is generally a selling point to console developers. Either way I do remember N64's graphic chip upgrade that was actually used, though it was included in some games and cheap by itself.
          • Don't forget that sattelite upgrade for the SNES in Japan and also the famicon disk system for the NES oh and also that crazy karaoke addon for the dreamcast, the broadband upgrade for dc. I think the only real successful upgrade was that RAM upgrade for the N64.
    • The above post is absolutely true. Optional components are largely ignored by 3rd party manufacturers. Until an Xbox 360 actually SHIPS with an HD-DVD included, the software support will likely be very light indeed.

    • I don't agree. I realize that optional items that interface with games are not likely to be programmed for. However, an external HD-DVD player doesn't do any game interaction. It is simply a way to play media/games on the machine. A hard drive (which MS was stupid not to include) is different in that a game can use it (write data to it). Unless were talking about an HD-DVD (re)writable drive, only games that want to be on the HD-DVD would even care that it is there.
    • It's not for games (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hudsonhawk (148194)
      It's for watching movies. No one has to support it. This is a convergence thing, most HDTV's only have a single DVI or HDMI input on them. It makes sense to have a single box that provides all your HD content since it's so much easier to run out of inputs.
       
      I like it because it will take up one shelf in my entertainment center instead of 2 (console + HDDVD player).
      • This is a convergence thing, most HDTV's only have a single DVI or HDMI input on them. It makes sense to have a single box that provides all your HD content since it's so much easier to run out of inputs.

        Funny how that works, You might think we just need to see more inputs. Especially HDMI with its USB like connector, should give HDTVs plenty of room for 3 or 4 of them. All-in-one has never been a recipe for getting a good choice of best of breed technologies, more often than not it just leaves you stuck
    • Say, a game that nearly everyone will get. I'm thinking along the lines of Halo 3.
    • Your knowledge of history is astoundingly short.

      Here, sonny, let me correct your statement for you: "The 2600 has an alpha-numeric keypad but nobody uses it. The device didn't ship with the product so, to reach the widest audience, games are created with the assumption that it isn't there--won't the same thing happen for the ROB Family Robot on the NES?"

    • ...The device didnt ship with the product so, to reach the widest audience, games are created with the assumption that it isnt there-- wont the same thing happen for this drive?

      All good points, and you're probably right when it comes to Marque title that want the broadest possible exposure. But I think the 360's HD will fair better. Some thoughts:

      • Already more 360 hd's have been purchased ps2 hd's... which is significant given the fact it's only been out for a month.
      • There are already a few examples o
  • by Control Group (105494) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:39PM (#14401040) Homepage
    So...MS is selling a system that already has two price points: one for the basic system, and one for the system including the HDD. And now they're planning to also sell yet another add-on device - moreover, one which won't even enhance the gaming experience, but simply had movie playback functionality?

    Who do they think is going to buy it? It's one thing when people decided to get a PS2 because they didn't have a DVD player. It's another thing entirely to expect people to buy an expensive add-on to an expensive system just so they can have a sub-par player of movies sold on an expensive medium.

    MS should either have waited until they could cram the drive into the console, or cut bait on HD-DVD entirely. Their current strategy is a born loser.

    And I say this as someone who likes the XBox, and fully intends to get a 360 at some point in the near future. I can't wait to see what the average "I AHTES TEH M$!!!11ONEONEONE" thinks of this...and I'm not even going to bother mentioning the...er, dubious...claim that the 360 is going to be the fastest selling console of all time.
    • So everything was cool until they announced an add on that's optional?

      Why the all or nothing conclusion here? Why should they have waited to put it in the 360 or not do it at all?

      For those complaining about the HD DVD HDMI requirement only guess what, here's your component solution.

      • Because add-ons to consoles don't sell. If MS wanted to go with HD-DVD on the 360, they needed to put the drive in the console. Alternatively, they could just satisfy themselves with time-to-market, and forego the advantages of HD-DVD. Their current plan is to half-ass it, and I'm asserting that it's a bad plan.

        Also: as far as the game console is concerned, everything is still cool, in my mind. I just think the HD-DVD add on is doomed. The console will do what it will do, and the add-on won't change that. T
        • DRM isn't the area of concern I was addressing. I was refrencing the issue of people HD TVs that do not have HDMI inputs.

          Sure, it could be a failure on the sales front but it's an option. I don't see it costing MS much as if the components don't sell they just don't manufacture as many.

          I think Microsoft made the best move they could in that with a battle over formats it's a pretty large financial risk to commit to one format. If Blu-Ray wins the format war could not the 360 offer that as an add on? S

    • by GeorgeMcBay (106610) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:09PM (#14401340)
      This isn't quite the average console add-on. Usually it doesn't make sense to make them, as you state, since very few people buy them. You get a catch-22 where developers don't support it because there is no market, and no market ever appears because developers don't support it. Well, there will be HD-DVD movies regardless of what Microsoft does with the 360 (because lots of stand-alone players will support it), so the standard chicken & egg problem doesn't apply here. This looks like a fine add-on, IMO.


      Also, a lot of posts here (not the parent one specifically) seem to imply that Microsoft are being dicks for going with their own proprietary format (when HD-DVD isn't even a Microsoft-centric technology, though they obviously have reasons to back competition to Sony's Blu-ray). I must assume these people haven't read much about the next DVD format war since, while HD-DVD is a long way from being open, it is not nearly as horribly DRM-infested as Blu-ray is going to be and really is a better choice for the consumer.

      • by Control Group (105494) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:36PM (#14401623) Homepage
        Sure, the drive will provide movie-watching functionality, but I question the size of the market that will a) want HD-DVD capability (soon, that is; new formats generally take a little while to catch on while equipment drops in price), b) own a 360 (while this is probably significant overlap with the previous group as technology-lovers, it's still smaller), and c) prefer a game-console add-on to a stand-alone player.

        Admittedly, this is partially based on the assumption that a stand-alone player will be more functional than the HD-DVD abilities of the 360. Given the history of consoles and movie playback, I think it's a pretty safe assumption, but maybe MS will nail it this time.

        Come to think of it, I wonder how well the DVD playback add-on for the XBox sold? The market for DVD players was already pretty mature when it was released, of course...but at the same time, it only cost $20...
      • http://slate.com/id/2110495/ [slate.com]

        I'd like to see you respond to that. What's better about HD-DVD? It won't be "nearly as horribly DRM-infested" but I can be pretty fucking sure Microsoft isn't going to back something that can be cracked with much ease. That besides, I don't bother backing up my DVDs for personal use. If I'm backing up DVDs it's for illegal use. I don't know anybody who bothers backing up their own DVDs for personal use. HD-DVDs won't let you, and Blu-Ray won't let you. Not out of the box. There'
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:40PM (#14401057)
    I know it hasn't even come out yet, but Microsoft is sorry to have to announce a shortage of the HD-DVD drives for the Xbox 360. Please be patient, our gnomes are working as fast as they can to get more out by the end of this year.
  • Do consumers even want another format war?

    Thats a pretty silly question. Did they want the first big format war (VHS vs. Beta)? Was there an popular demand for the 8-track versus cassette battle? Were folks riotting until there was a firm distinction between DVD+R and DVD-R?

    Noone WANTS a format war. They do tend to gravitate towards the simplest and most practical technologies, though. Thats for for sure. When Microsoft includes HD-DVD with the 360, average Joe consumer will care. MS
    • The only thing keeping this battle from being won already is where the porn industry stands.

      You know, I keep reading this and I just don't think it's true anymore. It may have been the deciding factor in VHS vs Beta, but time moves on and now I would suggest that online access would be the more common way to get that kind of stuff. I don't think the porn industry will have that much to say in this particular fight.

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • "Noone WANTS a format war. They do tend to gravitate towards the simplest and most practical technologies, though. Thats for for sure. When Microsoft includes HD-DVD with the 360, average Joe consumer will care."

      I don't follow you. Why would an Average Joe support HD-DVD over Blue Ray or vice versa? Average Joe hasn't heard of the format war. Average Joe doesn't know the difference. Average Joe accepts what is in front of him for what it's worth. If he doesn't know better, he doesn't know what he's
    • VHS vs BetaMax?
      Sheesh! Back in the day, we had Gramophone vs Victrola, and that was enough for us!

      Now get off my lawn, you damn kids!
  • HDMI Output? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by calibanDNS (32250) <brad_staton@nOsPAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:43PM (#14401088)
    Will there be an HDMI output cable for the Xbox 360 then? AFAIK, HD DVD requires HDCP which requires HDMI (or a DVI port that supports HDCP). Just curios - anyone have any info on this?
    • They should release one in the near future. I know i've read (in the UK's EDGE Magazine I believe) that the 360 is capable of outputting to HDMI/DVI, just that Microsoft haven't put out a cable yet. I'd expect it to happen around the same time as this drive, so Spring?

      I must admit, I'm not buying one until they support the DVI-I or HDMI ports on my HDTV. I have neither VGA or Component Video sockets.
  • I'm confused.The XBox 360 only outputs component for HD. Either this HD-DVD add-on outputs HDMI (or DVI/HDCP) on its own, or Microsoft is planning a DRM war with the media companies. What's going on?
    • Microsoft has previously claimed that they could do HDMI or HDCP or something like that with nothing but a cable. If the video connector is equivalent to a DVI connector with both digital and analog output on it, then this may actually be true.
    • No.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bmajik (96670)
      the X360 A/V architecture is pretty open ended. For instance, you can get a VGA pack for it to drive VGA displays directly.

      I can't say for sure that an HDCP/HDMI output box is a sure-thing, but there was a lot of flexibility designed in up front, so i think its very possible.

      • Re:No.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maynard (3337)
        VGA is analog output with a separate sync signal, while component is basically RGB with sync on green. So it's not surprising that it would be easy to support both component and VGA. Supporting digital DVIw/HDCP is another matter entirely. As I pointed out to drinkypoo in a prior reply, the Wikipedia Xbox entry makes no mention of DVI support. Whether it is accurate is another matter entirely. Seems like an open question well worth answering...
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:46PM (#14401120) Journal
    So we have a plan for an external drive, so I guess the plan for an HD version of XBOX 360 with and internal HD-DVD drive sometime in the future have been dropped. Since it is external I guess they actually will make this device just for the PR to suck some wind out of the sales for PS3 and Blu-Ray.

    But if you can slap on an external HD-DVD you could probably slap on an external Blu-Ray. A year from now if Sony and Blu-Ray have won the format war with only Blu-Ray movies readily available, will Bill bite the bullet and also make an external Blu-Ray available? Would Sony let them? Could Sony prevent it legally?

    • "A year from now if Sony and Blu-Ray have won the format war with only Blu-Ray movies readily available, will Bill bite the bullet and also make an external Blu-Ray available?"

      Of course.

      "Would Sony let them? Could Sony prevent it legally?"

      Why wouldn't/would they? Blu-Ray would mean more money for Sony's coffers.
    • The reason Microsoft has announced this player is three-pronged; First of all it's meant to bolster the HD-DVD effort by showing there will be players, to potentially dissuade someone from buying a Blu-Ray player earlier.

      Secondly, it's meant to push some people off the fence if they are wavering between buying a 360 with no HD media support, and buying a PS3 later...

      Lastly it's meant to placate the 360 owners that are going to be pissed when (and that is a when) Microsoft releases the 360 with HD-DVD built
  • And thankfully, they won't get much of one. HD-DVD has won. Anyone who buys bluray will just be buying an HD-DVD and repurchasing all their media in 3 years. Bluray is dead in the water thanks to microsoft's vista terms. (Ouch how it hurts to say thanks to microsoft, and for using their monopoly power no less!)
  • It looks like this HD drive is for movies not for games. Even if it is possible to have games that use the HD-DVD player, no game will be made for HD-DVD because there won't be a sufficient install base to market such a game. A good reference point is the PS2 hard drive, there really wasn't much use of it except by Square who bundled it.

    Why would anyone buy the HD-DVD drive? Because a $99 add on HD drive to your 360 will be cheaper than a $199 or $299 standalone HDDVD player. The math is pretty simple. Fro
  • Cost? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Puhase (911920)
    With any newly released format drive, the cost will be astronomical. Remember when DVD drives were released, and then DVD-writables? Until the technology is cheap and plentiful, these drives are going to cost a lot on both the producer and consumer end. Does anyone think that MS is going to bite the cost and sell it on the red? Do they really think they are going to make money this way? I understand that Sony is also including their technology in the PS3, but they don't contract out for their production so
  • I'm not too sure... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:49PM (#14401154) Homepage
    ...this is quite as bad an idea as it might first appear.

    First runs of new format players are pretty expensive. From the earlier article on here, the cheapest HD-DVD player is about 500 dollars. Given that it's just the drive, and doesn't need all the bits the Xbox already has (for converting the signal to different displays, power supply etc) it should be smaller and cheaper than a full player. Yes it's an addon box, but it's probably the cheapest way for someone with a 360 to get HD-DVD as well.

    Of course, PS3 will have a BluRay player built in, but will be more expensive than the 360 is now, never mind any possible price decrease between now and then. Time will tell, I suppose!
  • How much will the thing cost? From the sounds of it, these HD DVD players are going to be expensive...is this going to cost as much or even more than the XBox itself?
  • Including the part about the inferior technology winning. I like Blu-Ray, but PC's have a lot of leverage. As does Microsoft. It has been proven what Microsoft wants, Microsoft can usually get (game studios like Rare and Bungie being two big gets I know of offhand). And if they want HD-DVD to beat out Blu-Ray that badly, it will. An industry standard is more then a game studio of course, but you'd be a fool to think that Microsoft couldn't use their ties to almost every electronics company that dabbles
  • I'm not sure that many of us consumers would "want" another format war, no. I'd suspect that a large number of us aren't particularly interested in a new format at this point, either. I'm not sure I see a major market driver here for acceptance of EITHER format - HD still isn't ubiquitous enough yet, and even in that (relatively) limited market I'm not sure that there's enough demand for higher fidelity (the only real consumer-marketable advantage I see to the format beyond the data storage expansion) to
  • Add-ons = failure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tashpool (919935) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:54PM (#14401204)
    I've been into consoles for over twenty years now and can not think of a single time where an add-on device has been successful. My guess is they will sell this as a movie only product since developers will significantly segregate themselves by supporting this.

    But this is microsoft though, they may try to take a Halo game and put it on HD-DVD to try and push it since they can lose money left and right to force their way in.

    • I've been into consoles for over twenty years now and can not think of a single time where an add-on device has been successful.

      Don't you remember the Colecovision Expansion Module #1? [vidgame.net] It let you play Atari 2600 games on a Colecovision console, and was pretty successful because it increased the CV's software library and allowed 2600 owners to move to a better system while still retaining their investment in 2600 games.

      ~Philly
    • Just a guess. I have no idea how well it sold.
  • I cannot find this quote in the article:
    "... future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capacity of an HD-DVD player."
    Where was this? I'm confused whether they mean that only the future version of the Xbox 360 will be able to use the external drive.
  • HD-DVD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VMSBIGOT (933292) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:56PM (#14401221)
    I would guess that the drive would be for movie playback. I, for one, will still purchase a seperate player for whatever format wins. I personally think using a game system for movie playback is dumb, but there is a % of people who will use it for that. I really can't see people buying either a 360 or PS3 just to watch movies on.

    The drive itself won't be for games, as really, the need is not here yet. How many games, besides FF style games need multiple discs? Even newer games, like NBA Live 2k5 are CD-style on the PS2 (Blue discs), so I would agree that, for the time being, a DVD is plenty of space. For a few select games, there will be some disc-swapping going on, but really, I don't remember the uproar about FF needing 4 discs and to be swapped durring the game.

    On a PC, thats a little diffrent story. With 200+ GB drives becoming standard, software developers will grow to fill the space quicker then on the console. Thinking offhand, it would be nice to have a single disc for things like encyclopedias, maps, and MSDN. Even today, its rare to find a game that requires more then a single DVD (minus games like Command & Conquer that use multiple discs to allow game play on multiple machines)

    I guess at this point, its way to early to claim either side has won, buts its funny to hear the FUD being thrown around (Sony, I am looking at you about the whole 1080p "True HDTV" thing)
    • I personally think using a game system for movie playback is dumb, but there is a % of people who will use it for that. I really can't see people buying either a 360 or PS3 just to watch movies on.

      People don't buy it for the movies, but they're a nice extra. I play games practically every day, and watch a movie maybe once a month. It's not worth me getting a separate system to watch movies - but if the games console will let me do it, I'm interested.

    • "(minus games like Command & Conquer that use multiple discs to allow game play on multiple machines)"

      Since when did C&C let you play the one game on multiple machines? I know I've tried to get network play using the different discs in Generals, but the game is coded to detect the two installations with the same registration key and block connections between them. I always thought the separate discs were to separate the different groups of missions.

      Have I missed something here (it's a genuine questi
  • by Hella Guapo (943503) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:57PM (#14401229)
    It looks to me that by the fact that M$ is planning on releasing an external HD-DVD, that means they won't be caught with their pants around their ankles when Blu-Ray wins the format battle. All they would have to do is release an external Blu-Ray drive.

    I think that is why they didn't try to squeeze the drive into the package of the next version (XBOX 361?).

  • Core, Premium and HD Premium? Because I can't see MS *not* releasing an HD 360 at some point, with the HD drive built in. Granted, I don't have much interest in watching HD movies, but what concerns me more is if some games end up coming out on multiple discs on DVD, and one single HD. I hope at least MS makes the drive fit as neatly onto the 360 as the ill-fated Sega MegaCD did onto the Megadrive/Genesis.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:01PM (#14401279) Homepage
    Hell most production companies are not even moving to HD yet. 99% of all commercials are still SD and every single Production company from commercials to cableTv to even episodic (no not the very few that are in HD because they are high profile) are mostly ignoring a move to even creating HD content for another 3 years. Besides high bandwidth HD content that needs bluray or HDDVD is not the only game. mpeg4 and Microsofts own offering can put a full movie in HD resolution and clarity as well as all the other goodies in a single dual layer DVD easily.

    I would love to sell all the production gear and get a bunch of XL1HD cameras replace all the AVID stations with new Apple HD editing stations but the demand for HD content from the people that pay for it (companies wanting it produced) is less than 1 tenth of 1 percent. we get more wanting it shot on film than in HD or any aspect ratio other than 4:3. Granted we only do commercials here.

    The need for HDDVD on a gaming system is even less. Almost all games dont even use a complete dual layer DVD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Add another life certainty to the list of death and taxes: all Digital Rights Management and encryption schemes will [eventually] be compromised.

    Early in the Xbox 1's deployment, Microsoft claimed that the "Xbox ... has military grade security." Perhaps Microsoft should have consulted the U.S. military and inquired about the number of security protocols which have been either upgraded or entirely abandoned, based on their obsolescence. As everyone knows, the first Xbox's security measures were defeated with
    • Pretty good post from an anon coward...

      Reading this thread has given me a few thoughts, and your post is broad enough that I can make them all here:

      Regarding limiting capabilities... Microsoft is currently doing a dance with the media companies. Microsoft wants badly to be in on this game, but the media companies can basically make the rules because they control the content. I have no doubt that some of the decisions Microsoft is making are done to keep the media companies happy (hence no ability to copy
  • I'm starting to think that Microsoft doesn't understand the point of having a console system. They're single-handedly ruining the whole concept.

    Apparently Microsoft's strategy is not to put DRM into existing PC's. The strategy is to put DRM into the Xbox, sell the Xbox to all the suckers out there, then gradually make the Xbox as much like a PC as possible. Then make people believe that if they have an Xbox, they don't need a PC. Once they've replaced the PC with the Xbox, Bill gets all the lock-in, D

  • Yet another word that dehumanizes people and reduces the customer-to-business relationship to a mindless economic equation.
  • Dreamcast (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PhotoBoy (684898) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:18PM (#14401439)
    All this talk of add on drives reminds me of the Dreamcast and the persistant rumours of a DVD drive.

    Before the PS2 was released there were so many people saying they would wait for the PS2 because it was also a DVD player that rumours began floating around that either a new Dreamcast with a DVD drive or an external drive would be released.

    The DVD drive was never officially announced though, whether it was just a rumour or something based in fact I don't know. What I do remember was instead of it helping people to commit to buying a Dreamcast it just made people decide to wait for one with a DVD drive. Given that the rumour acted as a spoiler on sales I often wonder if it really came from Sega or actually Sony...

    So with the 360 we have a white console with VGA out and Sega games launched roughly a year before the next Sony console. It would be perfect deja vu except I'm sure Gates' pockets are deep enough to fund the 360 no matter what.

    Anyway, I'm dubious as to how soon we'll see an HD-DVD drive for the 360, this announcement strikes me more as a way to hook those saying they'll get a PS3 because of Blu-ray.
  • It's an external drive - presumably it'll use a standard interface (SCSI or IDE - who cares?).

    I suspect that it'll be possible to connect either item of hardware via the same interface. Now, the existence of drivers, DRM, media to use either type of drive - that's another story.

    Television manufacturers wisely avoided this by using a standard interface which would work with either Beta or VHS. ;^) I suspect something similar applies here.

  • by Gogo0 (877020)
    Does anyone remember when game consoles were for playing games, not for making you a pawn in a scheme to not only invade your living room with a particular brand name, but also to propogate a specific format of media that has nothing to do with games?
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:37PM (#14402257) Homepage
    Early speculation was that the shortage of Xbox units was "managed" by Microsoft. But the shortage continued through the Xmas season. Microsoft missed the Xmas shopping season. That's a disaster for a toy. No vendor does that on purpose.

    Somewhere, there was a schedule slip. A bad one.

    Check what's happening on Ebay. Early on, Xbox units were selling at high premiums. That's over. Core systems sold for $330 today. At $355, core systems don't sell. That's an unopened price; used systems are down to $200 or so. Many speculators who bought systems for resale are still trying to unload them, and they're not making money when they do.

    This is not a "must have" product any longer.

  • "Games made for HD-DVD won't even work for early adopters of the 360. Those of you who shelled out $399, or worse, $700 or more for an ebay'd 360, will have to come back and buy an aftermarket HD-DVD player for God knows how much "

    HD-DVD will be supported for movies, not games. This way a 360 owner can keep 1 box in his living room to play 360 games, xbox1 games, DVD movies and HD DVD movies.

    There is no plan to create GAMES on HD DVD's.
  • It looks like holographic storage may be the winner. VHS lasted 20 years. DVD lasted 5 years. Even when Blu-Ray replaces DVD, it's going to be the shortest lived format ever.

  • Of course, the addon HD-DVD drive isn't meant to be used my consumers today. It is cleary intended to be bought years after the Xbox 360's lifecycle is over, and will sell for outrageous prices on eBay since nobody bought them orginally and few are on the market. Remember the Dreamcast Broadband Adapter [ebay.com]? Same principal here. (I'd recommend buying three or four of them, and keeping them MIB.)

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