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Microsoft XBox (Games) Hardware

HD-DVD Confirmed For Xbox 360 260

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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  • by IntelliAdmin ( 941633 ) * on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:33PM (#14400967) Homepage
    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 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 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!
  • 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, dubious...claim that the 360 is going to be the fastest selling console of all time.
  • by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:47PM (#14401130) Journal
    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 ($500 as of now). A future Xbox 360 with a HD-DVD player will most certainly cost well to the north of $299 or $399. Xbox 360 game makers may well go for the lowest common denominator which will hobble the usefulness of HD-DVD on that system for a critical amount of time.

    Shades of the PS2 hard drive debacle.
    Consumers, hold onto your wallets!

    This makes things quite interesting for when the PS3 comes out with a Blu-Ray drive, which I'm sure will be sold at a near equal premium price. If the PS3 includes Blu-Ray as standard equipment and doesn't pull a "ps2 hard drive" flop, the PS3 will no doubt be well to the north of $399 but at least all users, including early adopters, will be able to play all PS3 games.
  • Cost? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Puhase ( 911920 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:49PM (#14401150)
    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 costs can be reigned in and margins met.

    That being said, I can imagine that if the peripheral for the 360 is significantly cheaper than the stand alone PC or home player drives, that this will push the MS agenda of creating a huge market draw for the 360 longterm while also promoting the HD-DVD format. And MS has always shown that they believe in the "spend money to make money" philosophy, so who knows?
    All I'm saying is that if you just shelled out $500 for a system and maybe a few "eh" games (still waiting on Oblivion), is a $200-$300 or greater purchase in your plans for 2006? Or maybe you're gonna get some more games.
  • 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.

  • 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)
  • 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?).

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Re:Burnable DVD's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:17PM (#14401421)
    Do consumers even want another format war?

    I still am waiting for a format for burnable DVD's.

    It's not really a format war if every DVD drive manufactured supports both formats. I used to think that, eventually, the industry would finally settle on one type of rewriteable DVD media (btw, I thought + would win), but it's now 2006 and there are no signs of either side giving in. Last year I've finally made my peace with this so called format war and bought a DVD rewriter. I've been happily burning my videos onto DVD and freeing tons of HD space in the process. Deciding on which type of media to buy isn't even really a concern to me anymore, I mean, what's the difference if every drive out there can read them both? Personally, I stick with + because it is technically superior. Anyway, people keep comparing the +/- to the old BETA/VHS debate, but there's one very important difference that many seem to overlook: the VHS and BETA players couldn't handle the competitor's format. As a result, consumers were forced to pick one over the other; and when they did, it was over for BETA. The +/- format war on the other hand, isn't likely to ever end because drives can easily support both types of media. With high quality drives from brands such as NEC going for approximately $40 bucks, just go out and buy one already and enjoy. There is no +/- format war.
  • by Basehart ( 633304 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:18PM (#14401437)
    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.
  • No.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmajik ( 96670 ) <> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:39PM (#14401655) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:41PM (#14401671)
    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!
  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:43PM (#14401690) Journal
    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.
  • It's not for games (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hudsonhawk ( 148194 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:46PM (#14401721)
    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).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2006 @03:07PM (#14402592)
    Isn't the porn industry backing HD-DVD? I'd bet on whatever they choose regardless of what the Hollywood studios support.
  • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @03:34PM (#14402896) Homepage
    ...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 of games that require non-bundled peripherals (Dance Dance Revolution is the best example, but there's also the eyetoy games and that wierd electric guitar game)
    • Microsoft is putting much, much more effort into making the HD worth getting than Sony ever did. Game demos, movie trailers, live arcade, etc. Personally, I think that game demos is the 360's dark horse "killer app". It's already motivated me to buy a couple games (and steer clear of some others... cough cough... madden.. cough).
    • I doubt will see top-tier games requiring the HD for some time (if ever), but as long as long as the installed base is high enough, we'll probably see niche games that use it. And provided that the DRM isn't cracked, there's nothing (technically)stopping a manufacturer from bundling a game with (or even pre-loaded on) a new hard drive. Doubtful, but they do it with dance pads so who knows.

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