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HD-DVD Confirmed For Xbox 360

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-shinies-for-the-shiny dept.

Microsoft 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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Burnable DVD's (0, Offtopic)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400966)

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

Re:Burnable DVD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401012)

Burnable DVDs, not sure what you mean by this? Burnable HD-DVD?

Re:Burnable DVD's (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401136)

I think he's referring to the soup of DVD(+/-)(R/W). It is just a mess for people to deal with and sure to burn bleeding edge adopters thus slowing adoption rate.

HD-DVD + Blu-Ray combo drives (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401343)

I think he's referring to the soup of DVD(+/-)(R/W). It is just a mess for people to deal with

Which brings up an interesting point. The market's "solution" was to start selling dual-format DVD burners (+/-). There was a price premium over the single-format DVD burners, but now you can get them for around $30-$50, and it seems that most burners are dual-format.

I wonder if we'll end up seeing a similar solution in the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war, where companies start selling dual format drives. It would appear that's a solution the customer is willing to accept, even at a higher price point.

Re:Burnable DVD's (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

This makes total sense (2, Insightful)

IntelliAdmin (941633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400967)

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.

Yes, this makes total sense (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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!

Re:Yes, this makes total sense (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401134)

Why would anyone buy an HD-DVD player that has to be connected to an XBOX360 instead of being directly connected to the TV?

My personell guess is that some of the newer games will require the HD-DVD player, and the new versions of X-B0X 360 will come shipped with this.... only time will tell though.

Three reasons for external HD-DVD-ROM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401333)

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 [] .
  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 data, not to decode video.

First post (-1, Troll)

wobedraggled (549225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400969)

Dumb move

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401083)

I suppose your 'dumb move' comment is referring to titling your post 'first post' and subsequently getting modded OT ?

With this announcement, now I will consider buying an XBox.

Re:First post (1)

wobedraggled (549225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401427)

So, you arer going to buy an xb360 now that they are adding on an external drive?!!?! 2+2 does really equal 5 I guess.

actually it is a questionable move (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401130)

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.

It is a really dumb move (1)

two_tone (74882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401165)

Remember the sega genesis external cd/dvdrom? sega does not make hardware for a reason anymore, they lost their pants on that move

All the more reason.. (0, Troll)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400976)

All the more reason not to buy a launch unit. That way, you're not stuck with some bullshit external HD-DVD drive, and you'll be able to get the console in black [] , like god intended.

wrong link (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401035)

This [] is what I'm talkin' about.

Re:wrong link (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401104)

That could just be a photo of a debug unit or something, as they are black AFAIK (the Xbox logo in the pic is wrong, so I doubt it's official).

Although Xbox development units were translucent green, and that was released as a special edition, so a black SE isn't that far fetched.

Re:All the more reason.. (1)

spge (783687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401090)

That bullshit external drive will be potentially a lot easier to ditch and upgrade when the standards all change 5 minutes later. Rather that than buy a whole new console, IMHO.

Re this article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14400978)

Why do you enjoy slurping on schmegma covered uncircumcised cocks? Are they tasty to you?Of course they are!!! TripMasterMonkey WUZ here

Do consumers even want? (4, Interesting)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400980)

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.

Re:Do consumers even want? (1)

spge (783687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401139)

The reason format wars are annoying is that early adopters get burned. At least the drive is external, so there is scope for upgrading just that, and not the whole device. Consumers could nix a format by ignoring it, but why bother? It's rare that one format has particularly more interesting features than another in practice (for non-hacker types). The obvious solution is to wait and see what happens but, if you can't bear to do that and have pots of cash, buy easily-upgradable gadgets.

Wrong question (3, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 8 years ago | (#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:Do consumers even want? (2, Insightful)

Basehart (633304) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Sega CD anyone? (-1, Troll)

thekel (909848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400991)

I don't know what they are thinking with the two different packages (hard drive/no hard drive) and now HD DVD. Why do they expect developers to up and support hardware most customers won't have? Why will customers want to spend more money on hardware developers won't support? Hopefully they will bring it in at a good price point compared to 1st gen HD-DVD players.

Re:Sega CD anyone? (2, Informative)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401029)

AFAIK Microsoft have said all games will be on DVD, the HD-DVD drive is for movie playback only I guess.

What format war? (-1, Flamebait)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14400993)

History shows when there are competing media standards, if Sony is the producer of one, it will be the one to lose.

Sony wants to be like Apple, where everyone pays a few coins more for their stuff. But even if it is higher quality, the general public wants a cheap price.

Re:What format war? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401262)

Yeah, like the PS2 lost so heavily to the nintendo.

Oh wait...

Re:What format war? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401329)

Oh wait.. nintendo turns a profit.

Do consumers even want another format war? (-1, Redundant)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401002)


Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (4, Funny)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401019)

Re:Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401114)

That's about the same size as the power supply for the dual 17" LCDs on our Bloomberg terminal, which is fine, since it never gets moved. In the context of a console, however, that would pretty much preclude me from taking an Xbox 360 to a friend's house or even to another room if someone is using the HDTV for something else.

Re:Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401341)

Exactly. Everyone I know with an XBOX hooks it up and never moves it. I ask if they want to bring over their xbox? year right. That thing weighs a ton. I on the other hand have not problem unhooking my GC and bringing to a friends house. I often offer to do it. Since it it quite small and light, and also because there are a ton of games that are really fun in multiplayer. I don't really know of any XBox games that are really fun on multiplayer for anything other than hard core gamers.

Re:Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401226)

Whoever modded this troll needs to lighten up, it's an obvious joke...

Re:Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401391)

Cool! The Xbox360 comes with a Gamecube?

Re:Just what the xbox 360 needs ... (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401540)

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.

Same thing as PS2 Hard drive (5, Insightful)

Stuupid (942726) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:Same thing as PS2 Hard drive (3, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401158)

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*

Re:Same thing as PS2 Hard drive (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401363)

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)


Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401191)

The parent makes a VERY valid point. Someone with mod points, and common sense please correct the mod on the parent - please.

Why is this a troll? WAKE UP MODS! (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401195)

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.

the mods are on crack today (0, Troll)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401251)

That post was hardly a troll. Can someone please explain how on topic posts can be modded 'off topic' and how non troll posts can be modded 'troll'?

Perhaps in the middle of 2006 all the good posts will get modded down and the goatse ones will be at 5. It can't get much worse than this, after all.

Re:the mods are on crack today (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401375)

I've got mod points and all I see is a bloody war between MS fanboys and people who are genuinely reading the posts and understanding there meanings. I'm of the latter dispostion, but I'm not using them because the problems seem to get fixed as fast as I can check what they've been modded. That, and I'm not too concerned about it seeing the redundency of the grandparent post in the rest of the posts.

Re:Same thing as PS2 Hard drive (1)

bv728 (943505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401218)

My understanding of Microsoft's goals is that HD-DVD drive is unlikely to be used for games anyway (i.e. Microsoft has no plans to support it for games use), and will likely never be part of the core system; they are under the general impression that multiple DVDs aren't as big an issue as streaming ability for many developers, and until HD-DVD speeds up a bit, it's less suitible for general gaming use than modern era DVD drives.

Re:Same thing as PS2 Hard drive (2, Interesting)

SdnSeraphim (679039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401534)

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.

'Cause external add-ons are always market wins (4, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401040)

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.

Re:'Cause external add-ons are always market wins (1)

Morinaga (857587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401318)

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.

Re:'Cause external add-ons are always market wins (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401520)

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. The only possible connection is people believing the add-on is a precursor to a version with built-in HD-DVD, and therefore waiting on that to come out. Given the time span involved, though, I doubt anyone willing to wait that long was going to be buying any time soon, anyway.

Oh, and as far as the component solution: no. MS claims they can provide the necessary DRM while using normal cables.

Re:'Cause external add-ons are always market wins (4, Interesting)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:'Cause external add-ons are always market wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401351)

"I can't wait to see what the average "I AHTES TEH M$!!!11ONEONEONE" thinks of this"

You'll probably find that we think MS's continued fuck ups with this console are hiliarious.

Would it be safe to buy a Sony DVD Technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401054)

With this whole DRM fiasco I guess it's a good move on Microsquish's part but other than that I have a feeling that even this technology is going to be DRM'd up the whazoo.. Anybody think Sony might incorporate the Blu-ray player into the game console right at the start?

Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive shortage confirmed (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive shortage confirmed (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401409)

You mean "elves". I doubt they want to validate GNOME [] 's influence any further. ;)

WANT a format war? (1)

Bradee-oh! (459922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401062)

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 better do that before PS3 comes out or consumer opinion will be lost.
The only thing keeping this battle from being won already is where the porn industry stands.

Re:WANT a format war? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401350)

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.


Re:WANT a format war? (1)

dpofs10 (943514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401399)

personally, I prefer my porn dvd resolution or below

That's just odd (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401064)

Microsoft's been talking about this HD-DVD addon for a long time, yes.

But I thought the entire point of saying "it's coming" but not having it launch was that the HD-DVD addon was going to come out two or three years into the 360's lifespan, so it the HD-DVD support could be released when the technology was mature, ready, and affordable.

You know, instead of the HD-DVD expansion being announced like a month after launch, so it looks like Microsoft is thrashing around wildly and planlessly, like Sega at its low point in the mid-90s only really rich.

Is this HD-DVD addon even going to really cost any less than an HD-DVD player will in two years? For what reason would anyone buy an XBox 360 HD-DVD drive instead of a standalone?

Here's m$ forcing what they want down our throats (1)

spyd4r (769980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401070)

if they really want to be fair they should sell either an external HD-DVD and Blue-ray player, or make the external support both formats. But the kings of hatred wont do that.

Re:Here's m$ forcing what they want down our throa (1)

spyd4r (769980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401145)

p.s. i could see sales slowing down even more as people wait for a new revision with the HD-DVD built in. as other people have said, who wants another external component.

What a load of crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401373)

if they really want to be fair they should sell either an external HD-DVD and Blue-ray player, or make the external support both formats. But the kings of hatred wont do that

You have to be kidding me. You know that we are talking about the video game console market, a market that is almost completely entrenched into the concept of locking people into proprietary hardware. Are you also saying that Sony should either scuttle the idea of having a BR player internally on PS3 and make the drive external (say through iLink) or have an option for either format. I think not. But you call M$ "the kings of hatred" because they settled on a format years ago? You don't like their choice in formats, don't buy their console, simple as that. No one is forcing jack down your throat other than yourself.

Destined to fail? (0, Troll)

PhakeDC (932887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401071)

SEGA had already tried the hardware add-ons approach and failed miserably because of it. What makes Mr Gates think this time a combination of OPTIONAL harddisk and HD-DVD drive would actually work? Gamers got deeper pockets in this century or what?

Re:Destined to fail? (1)

CheechBG (247105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401300)

Umm, actually, yes. Given inflation and all that, I believe the median income onf "gamers" has increased from the time that the NES/SNES came out pretty gradually from then to now.

I have no references for this, it's purely IMHO. I point to proof as the gaming explosions worldwide and also the fact that consoles are "multifaceted" (DVD, and so on) and not just for those pretty little cartridges anymore.

Re:Destined to fail? (1)

bjheu (854460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401449)

Yeah but they already took care of that by raising the price of the games.

Next rev of the 360 (-1, Offtopic)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401072)

So I wonder if this new model of the XBox360 with the HD-DVD will be more expensive than the current 360? Its already $499 for the non-core model I believe.

For existing users, this really sucks as I would think you would want your DVD player integrated into the unit, rather than having yet another external add-on.

Re:Next rev of the 360 (1)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401272)

its $399 for the Non-core, and worth every penny.

HDMI Output? (4, Interesting)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:HDMI Output? (1)

spyd4r (769980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401122)

good question, maybe they'll have a new AV cable to support HDMI/DVI. atleast i hope they were smart enough to think of HDMI needs of consumers these days.

Re:HDMI Output? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401237)

Naah, they'll just do the innovative thing and downconvert the signal to ordinary video, so everyone can enjoy it.

Doesn't the 360 only support component out? (3, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401103)

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?

Re:Doesn't the 360 only support component out? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401247)

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.

Hmmmm... wikipedia disagrees (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401325)

The always canonical and true Wikipedia has an entry on the XBox 360 [] which makes no mention of digital DVI support. See the "AV Connection" section. Are you disputing the veracity of Wikipedia?!?!

Not a bad idea? (0)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401119)

A lot of people dont realize that HD-dvd and blu-ray are new media, and therefore they will be pretty expensive until they become popular (just like dvds remember?) sony's blowing out of their ass all their games will use blue-ray, thats just not possible what do you think is going to be the price tag of the first blue ray game? how much will it cost to produce? will you be happy buying a $80-$90 game?

However in the long run, theres a good chance HD-dvd, blue-ray will become a popular formats (maybe in a year or two), and since consoles have a good 4 year run, is not a bad idea to offer the second batch of consoles with it or as an attachable device, you wanted it? well there it is, although just like sony ps2 hdd probably only a few games will use it. (at least until it becomes popular) yeah sony made the right choice by adding it, but they didnt added the HDD and probably they will have to the same stunt than ms and add it as an attachable on the long run.

Plans, Plans, and more Plans (oh and PR) (3, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401120)

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?

Re:Plans, Plans, and more Plans (oh and PR) (1)

F_Scentura (250214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401167)

"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.

That's not the plan (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401236)

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 in around the time of the PS3 launch.

I'll make a further prediction that Halo 3 will be released at the same time, in an HD and non-HD version with some extras on the HD one.

no consumers don't want a format war (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401137)

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!)

Re:no consumers don't want a format war (1)

ets960 (759094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401551)

I don't understand your reasoning... 5 out of 6 of the big movie companies are supporting Blu-Ray, and I think 3 of them are exclusive with Blu-Ray technology. Universal is the only company that is exclusive with HD-DVD. I think the only thing that HD-DVD can have going for it is the fact that they're trying to release it first. Are you saying that Vista is only supporting HD-DVD, and therefore Blu-Ray is going to be dead? Keep in mind that a lot of people are going to be using these drives only to watch movies connected to their HD TV, so I don't think many people care if it's connected to their computer yet.

HD drive is for movies not games (1)

truffle (37924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401141)

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. From Microsoft's perspective it extends the capabilities of the 360 as a media player. I expect we'll see more such accessories, in fact while it may not be announced today there is no reason why a Blu-ray drive couldn't be added to the 360.

It would have been nice if the 360 shipped with an HD-DVD drive so games could use the extra disc storage space, but that opportunity has passed. Given the choice to stick with DVD technology, this addition of an HD-DVD unit is a smart move on the part of Microsoft.

Re:HD drive is for movies not games (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401453)


First of all, when was this price announced?

Second of all, what about the cost of the original console? A minimum of $300 for the console and $100 for the drive gives you a $400 hd-dvd player.

Cost? (2, Insightful)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

I'm not too sure... (2, Interesting)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401154)

...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!

Format War, Format War, lol (1)

manowarthegreat (884657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401162)

I don't think you need to worry about a format war if the only things that are being released on the two formats are video games for two separate systems. It's not like people were having "SNES Cartridge vs. Genesis Cartridge" debates.

And the cost? (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401163)

How much will the thing cost? From the sounds of it, these HD DVD players are going to be this going to cost as much or even more than the XBox itself?

Am I missing something here? (1)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401164)

An external HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360...

So that'd be- an HD-DVD player?

Re:Am I missing something here? (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401278)

Not really, as I doubt the drive will have the hardware for stuff like decoding the video etc., it'll probably be similar to an external DVD drive for a PC, when combined with a PC it's a DVD player, but on it's own, its a paperweight.

This sounds like VHS vs. Betamax all over again... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401174)

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 in computers to bend the market in their favor.

"Want" another format war? (1)

ischorr (657205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401178)

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 justify yet ANOTHER format.

I mean, jeeze, looking around my local video rental house, probably about half the shelf space is still allocated to VHS.

Even amongst the techno-savvy (the primary early-adopters of the formats and te consumers who are most likely to drive acceptance of either format), there are folks like me that are worried about the limitations in fair use and usability that content providers are trying to embed inside HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The restrictions are a bit more watered down than what had been proposed for each originally, but like most /.'ers I'm not particularly fond of technology that very intentionally limits my usage, choice, etc.

Add-ons = failure (3, Insightful)

tashpool (919935) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Add-ons = failure (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401361)

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? [] 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.


Where is this quote?? (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401213)

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 (3, Insightful)

VMSBIGOT (933292) | more than 8 years ago | (#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)

Re:HD-DVD (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401433)

You have it backwards. Capacity doesn't adapt to games, games adapt to capacity. When CD's were the only form of media, games were small enough to fit onto one or two cd's. When DVD's came out, developers realized that they could use those instead, and made more detailed maps and more gameplay, frankly because they were no longer limited to the capacity allowed by cd's. DVD's allowed more storage, and the game makers took advantage of it.

M$ didn't close the door on Blu-Ray (3, Insightful)

Hella Guapo (943503) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?).

So that'd be three tiers... (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401269)

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.

Posturing and nothing more (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401279)

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.

Xbox 360 Multimedia Limitations (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401298)

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 within its first year on the market. ft_Made_in_the_Xbox_Security_System []

This is not to say that Microsoft has not made significant improvements with respect to the Xbox 360's security framework, nor that the software programmers who designed the initial measures were at fault - Microsoft software engineers are a subset of the best programmers in the world. But any blueprint designed by fallible humans will have loopholes and areas of weakness to exploit.

Se, eventually, hackers will defeat the defensive routines built into the Xbox 360, allowing the piracy of copyrighted games and allowing basement-dwelling hackers to create homebrew software.

So why not remove at least some of the hacker's incentive to circumvent the hardware's built-in security?

The "Holy Grail" of the the hacking scene for the first Xbox was the Xbox Media Center (XBMC) application. Although Microsoft marketed limited "Media Center Extenders" to provide some additional [thoroughly limited] multimedia capabilities to the Xbox platform, the rogue hackers who created XBMC envisioned a multimedia powerhouse with support for all major audio/video codecs, allowing those who "modded" their consoles to utilize their Xbox as a first-rate multimedia center. In all honesty, no commercial enterprise has yet created software to match the capabilities of the underground XBMC project.

And now, four years later, Microsoft is making the same mistakes they made with the first iteration of their console.

The Xbox 360 is an absolute beast of a machine. With three extremely powerful CPU cores and a state-of-the-art Graphics Processing Unit, the Xbox 360 is the killer application to fuel American's current High-Definition craze. While the console has increased multimedia support [over that of the first Xbox], again, it is deliberately and significantly limited.

Want to stream video over your home network to your Xbox 360? Sure, but only if you have a PC with Windows XP Media Center Edition, and then only for certain Microsoft-approved codecs. [Note to Microsoft Vice Presidents: ignoring the XviD and DivX codecs will not make them go away.] Artificially limiting the multimedia capabilities of what could truly be the most significant piece of consumer electronics on the market will not reduce the incentive for hackers to add the capabilities which should have been designed into the console since its inception.

For example: the Sony PlayStation 3 console will have support for Blu-Ray High-Definition DVD movies, and this capability will undoubtedly ignite the next wave of Hollywood's eternal re-release of the same movies in higher-quality gloss. The Xbox 360 has this very capability, today, on standard DVD9 media, but Microsoft has deliberately omitted this feature. The WMV-HD codec can produce gorgeous High-Definition audio/video content, but despite pioneering the effort to have feature films released in WMV-HD format, none of the WMV-HD DVDs on the market work with the console. Despite the fact that the Xbox 360 is placed in the very heart of the home-theater space, connected to all of the consumer electronics required to demonstrate the capabilities of the WMV-HD initiative, you still need a Windows PC to play any of the WMV-HD DVD releases. This is the very definition of a wasted opportunity.

So, this leads to a question: why artificially limit the multimedia capabilities of the Xbox 360?

Well, certainly, Microsoft hopes to increase the sale of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, but the still-limited capabilities of this media-extender combination will not prevent homebrew hackers from hoping to create an "XBMC 360? application, subject to none of these artificial codec/streaming limitations. Well, one could argue that Microsoft is concerned that a fully-enabled multimedia Xbox 360 would result in console sales [at a substantial loss] without accompanying high-profit game sales. This may be a legitimate concern, but this thought-process ignores the fact that the console will be hacked, and hacked consoles will definitely result in reduced games sales [through rampant piracy]. Additionally, assuming a similar Xbox LIVE ban as existed with modified Xbox 1 consoles, this will entirely cut off the revenue stream from Xbox LIVE Marketplace and LIVE Arcade content microtransactions. In the very hopes of preventing this situation, Microsoft is actually making it worse.

Why not utilize this as an opportunity for revenue, rather than fight against inevitability? Unlike the imbeciles at Slashdot who pat each other on the back over their derisive regurgitation of tired internet catch phrases about "M$, the evil empire" [typical Slashdot post: "Honda unveils new humanoid robot..." First post: "Well, I for one welcome our new robot overlords." Score: 5, Funny], I understand that Microsoft has a responsibility to its shareholders. It is Microsoft's mission to maximize profit. [While the typical Slashdotter spouts on and on about open-source and how "software wants to be free", the truth of the matter is that most of them are tightwads who don't want to spend any money. If they genuinely believe that Grandma really wanted that DVD-R of Slackware Linux for Christmas, or that any non-geek should have Linux on their desktop (imagine Mom going to Best Buy and asking the salesperson which digital cameras have Linux drivers) then they truly are seriously self-deluded.] As such, I don't complain about the fact that a Microsoft Xbox 360 64MB Memory Card sells for $39.99 (when you can buy 512MB Secure Digital card for the same price) - Microsoft is making a smart business decision. The high profit of Xbox accessories helps to offset the prohibitive cost of the frighteningly powerful [and correspondingly expensive] console hardware.

So why not sell an Xbox 360 accessory that truly opens up the multimedia capabilities of the console? Price it wherever you like - there will be a market for (I promise). But don't shoot yourselves in the foot by creating the motivation for hackers to circumvent your security measures because of a deliberate artificial limitation of the console's feature-set. [Another example: to watch a video on the Xbox 360, a user has to have their Windows Media Center PC powered up, as well as their Xbox 360 console. The PC's power supply uses 450 watts, and the 360's uses 160 watts. Why not allow a user to copy that video content over to the Xbox 360's hard drive, and then switch off their Home Theater PC, resulting in less-noise, better performance, and a greener earth? Or why not sell an attractively-designed Xbox 360 keyboard/mouse combo which ships with an internet browser application for the console? Do the department heads over at Microsoft not realize the potential for Internet Explorer 360 on a 55? HDTV screen?]

The Xbox 360 represents Microsoft's best hope for penetration into the living rooms and hearts of consumption-addled Americans. Microsoft has first-mover advantage against Sony in this generation, and we know that we can entirely discount Nintendo from the multimedia space. Right now, the race for the pre-eminent set-top box is Microsoft's to lose.

And they're doing it again.

EDIT: With regards to the HD-DVD drive:

An add-on aftermarket accessory will not be able to compete against the PS3's built-in Blu-Ray drive. History has shown, decisively, that external drive peripherals are a market failure.

This is why Microsoft needs to target the strengths and capabilities of the Xbox 360's multimedia capabilities (rather than artificially limiting them) if it wants to make significant inroads and entrench itself before Sony's launch.

So how is the Xbox different/better than a PC? (1)

Shamashmuddamiq (588220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401356)

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, DRM, and control he wants, and he never needs to change the PC at all.

If you'd told me 5 years ago that you were going to buy a system where you have to buy add-ons to play the best games, where you had to worry about worms and trojans, you had to make sure all your hardware and software is compatible and up-to-date, and you had to pay royalties to Microsoft, I would have said "oh, you're buying Windows." "Nope," you reply, "I'm buying Microsoft's video game console."

physical HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14401384)

...and will provide consumers with even more choices for experiencing high-definition content, in either physical or digital form.

Physical HD content? Are they talking about the real-life experience (aka, the world you interact with when not sitting in front of a TV)?

I am a customer, not a fucking 'consumer' (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14401425)

Yet another word that dehumanizes people and reduces the customer-to-business relationship to a mindless economic equation.

Dreamcast (2, Interesting)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.
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