Well, it's official: External HD-DVD drive for XBox 360

Microsoft just issued a press release with the following tidbit:

Building on Xbox 360 leadership in high-definition experiences, the company announced plans to deliver a new Xbox 360 external HD DVD drive in 2006. The new drive will offer millions of Xbox 360 owners the ability to easily enjoy HD DVD movies and will provide consumers with even more choices for experiencing high-definition content, in either physical or digital form.

What possible reason could anyone have for buying a HD-DVD add on to the 360 instead of just buying an HD-DVD player separately?

Presumably it would be cheaper. If that isn’t the case, well, I can’t think of a good reason.

It would have to be a damn sight cheaper to make me want to get one that has to be plugged into another system in order to function. Isn’t HD Video already compressed (and henced decompressed within the TV itself)?

I can think of a couple…

  1. cheaper
  2. lets you use the xbox live notification stuff, voicechat, etc
  3. TVs and receivers have limited numbers of HDMI/component/DVI plugs

Probably a lot cheaper, as the decompression can be done by the considerable power of the Xbox. All the add-on would basically need to have is a laser and a connection to the rest of the Xbox, the stuff already there would do the rest.

Uh… What?

All consumer digital video is compressed - uncompressed video is insanely large. The X360 should be able to decompress HD-DVD quite easily, saving on some components. TVs do not decompress video. they merely accept and decode certain types of video signal.

Comments of “Peter Moore,” “Dreamcast,” and “DVD Add-On” are running rampant at GAF.

…and all this time I thought MS was serious in trying to win the console wars this generation. Ah well. There’s always 2015.

They never said they wouldn’t release a 2nd gen x360 with HD-DVD built-in.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Why didn’t they just postpone the launch until 2006 so that it could be included in the machine?

Come on dude, we’ve been all through this. Say what you like about Microsoft, but one thing you can’t argue against is that they did an incredible job on this launch.

I guess so, but Jesus…after the ridiculous shortages, the clear need to postpone the launch so they could get some true next gen games on the system and now this HD-DVD add-on, there were a million reasons to wait.

Because the rest of the hardware was ready, they wanted to hit xmas, they wanted to have a healthy installed base before the ps3 came out, and the storage medium doesn’t actually affect the console’s gaming capabilities at all?

I don’t know why I keep getting sucked into these xbox360 threads… I have no intentions of buying one until it can be fully modded and XBMC works.

Yeah, just avoid getting to market early for an addon of questionable value.

Actually wait, is it possible that the HD-DVD drive is for only viewing movies and that all games will continue to use DVDs as its sole format (at least for the next few years)?

Because that’s the only way I think this whole debacle could semi-work.

Of course.

Bleah! The last thing I want to see while watch a movie is constant little reminders that so-and-so just logged on or an invitation to chat. During a game sure, but not during a movie. I’ll stick with a regular external unit which I’m sure I WILL get as soon as they are available.

They better start lining up some movie studios, because it’s damned sure that Sony won’t be releasing any of their studios’ films on HD-DVD.

The head of Warner was right. Microsoft and Sony pulled Hollywood into the videogame machine wars.

I really don’t know how this is going to be resolved because it looks like neither side is backing down. Oh well I guess we’ll all have to have a PS3 and and an X360 and some movies will play in one machine and others will play in the other.

In other words, totally fucked-up bullshit.