Microsoft Will Not Include HD-DVD Drive in Future Xbox 360s

With the uncertainty surrounding the issue of which next-gen DVD format will prevail as the dominant player in the electronics and game industry, Microsoft has decided that the best move is to not act too quickly, by stating that they will not commit to any plans which will offer an onboard HD-DVD player in future versions of the Xbox 360. Presently, Microsoft does offer the option of an external HD-DVD player, which retails with an MSRP of $199.99. The player does not play games, and is only utilized for HD-DVD movie playback.

Scott Henderson, Director of Platform Strategy at Microsoft, told Ars Technica that, "[we] don’t want to charge customers $200 extra for something that may be the next Betamax." The decision can be seen as a cautious business strategy in avoiding a potential disaster in aligning with only one next-gen DVD format. It also works as a shot against Sony, which has already taken the plunge and gambled that the Blu-ray tech offered in its PS3 will become the industry standard.

Regardless of which next-gen DVD format ends up as the winner, the interest in new DVD technology has been subdued, at best. While the technology jump from VHS to DVD–in terms of quality–was huge, some are wondering if the incremental improvement in quality from standard DVD to next-gen DVD is really worth it. But the bottom line for Sony is clear–regardless of what the general public feels about next-gen DVD standards, Sony’s PS3 is committed to the Blu-ray format and is banking that the increased storage capacity of Blu-ray over HD-DVD will give them an edge over their competitors.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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