Xbox 360 to get HD-DVD, eventually

Microsoft has anounced that the Xbox 360 will come equipped with Toshiba’s HD-DVD drive when the drive is ready and from the sounds of it that won’t be until after the 360’s launch. Since this means that the standard media for 360 games will still be dual layered DVDs, will this even matter outside the arena of bullet pointed presentations?

I don’t think it will matter, but then again, I also can’t find the option for “don’t buy the 360 at launch and also don’t buy one when they add HD-DVD support.”

I’ll buy whichever one is more appealing to me in 3 or 4 years. The odds of me picking one up before then are essentially zero.

Sorry. It’s too late for me to change it. So much for my scientific poll.

Jerome proposed a good idea:

Ensure that the Xbox 360 DVD drive is removable if there will not be an HD-DVD drive at launch. Offer all users a free upgrade to a future HD-DVD drive that could be simply slid into the front of the Xbox 360 when the faceplate is off as easily as the 360’s removable hard drive.

If Microsoft promises this, problem solved!

Yeah, that’ll totally jive with MS’s concept of making the 360 unopenable and unmoddable.

How would having a removable hard drive affect anything else?

I also question their alleged “concept of making the 360 unopenable” since the hard drive accessories are supposed to have the full plastic piece with them, it won’t just be the HD itself.

If the games aren’t going to use the format, then I’m not going to wait to get an Xbox that has it. I don’t watch movies on my consoles; DVD players are cheap. If one of the hi-def DVD formats catches on, I’ll just buy a standalone player.

I don’t follow. Let’s say whatever new, hot, movie that you want to own has just been released on DVD and HD-DVD for approximately the same price. Your Xbox 360 plays HD-DVDs out of the box. Why wouldn’t you buy the HD-DVD version of the movie and watch it on your Xbox?

Because my Xbox 360 doesn’t play HD-DVDs out of the box, because (as I said) I’m not waiting for them to add that feature before I buy one.

Because I play games in a different room, with a different TV, than I use to do my movie viewing?

Because my Xbox 360 doesn’t play HD-DVDs out of the box, because (as I said) I’m not waiting for them to add that feature before I buy one.[/quote]

It was more the “I don’t watch movies on my consoles” point that I was interested in. I’m actually pretty excited about the inclusion of HD-DVD or Bluray next-gen because it will get me access to movies in High Def format long before I probably would otherwise. I don’t expect High Def DVD player prices to drop nearly as quickly as current DVD players. At launch, high def DVD players will likely cost more than a 360 or PS3.

I particularly like the idea of watching hi-def movies on the 360, because you can be connected to Live the whole time. So you can get a game invite or something and respond to it, if you want. Obviously, you can “appear offline” so you don’t get game invites or messages or anything.

Perhaps the PS3 will have similar functionality, but they haven’t really talked about their online plans.

I don’t watch DVDs on my current consoles because they are mediocre DVD players. Knowing that, I’m not inclined to buy future cosoles for that purpose, either. Your “they’ll be available (or at least cheaper) earlier than standalones” argument makes sense, but to be honest, I don’t plan to buy any high def DVDs until manufacturers settle on a format standard. For the time being, I have an upconverting player that gives me pretty impressive picture quality–not quite high def, but close enough that I’m willing to wait for the format battle to play out before I upgrade.

But its not “upgrading.” I too won’t buy a standalone player until the formats either merge or there is one clearcut victor. In the meantime, if I can purchase a HD version of a movie that I was already going to buy on DVD that will play perfectly on a machine that I already have in my home for gaming, then I see no reason not to buy the version with superior video. The only reason I wouldn’t get the high def version would be a substantial difference in extras (not likely IMO) or a large difference in price.

To each his own, I guess.

I think the point Ben’s trying to make is that he doesn’t care about any sort of movie-watching functionality for his Xbox 360. So if the choice is either buying one at release or waiting for HD-DVD support, he’d most likely choose “No” in this poll. I’m the same way. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having the ability to play HD-DVDs on my Xbox360, but not enough to postpone the purchase of a shiny, new game console because of it.

Sony obviously has a dog in the hunt for the next DVD format. So of course they’re going to use the huuuge install base of the PS2 and potential install base of the PS3 to try to drive the industry and consumers to their format. I’m sure they remember the losses on Betamax.

MS on the other hand only has their burgeoning alliance with Toshiba driving their adoption of HD-DVD. Sony is going to pick on XB360 if it uses regular DVDs or HD-DVDs because to Sony Bluray is the only way to go. I don’t see any advantage for MS to pick a format or committ to anything at this point unless the next gen games really really need all that space right now.

The whole thing is wacky. Why tell people up front that the box you’re releasing in less than six months is going to get better in a year or two? It’s like telling people to just wait and see what happens which means they’re waiting until PS3 ships too.

So, so dumb.

Also, if this doesn’t add fuel to the “YOU’RE LAUNCHING TOO EARLY!” fire, then I don’t know what else possibly can.


Microsoft has anounced that the Xbox 360 will come equipped with Toshiba’s HD-DVD drive when the drive is ready and from the sounds of it that won’t be until after the 360’s launch.

Actually, Microsoft haven’t announced this. The story linked in the first post is a month old but somehow got linked to by a bunch of sites today. The original announcement was a deal between Microsoft & Toshiba with no actual mention of Xbox360 getting HD-DVD. The comment that’s sparked all this gossip is this one:

360 and HD DVD still up in the air
As for the Xbox 360, Bill Gates said that Microsoft is currently evaluating whether HD DVD might be suitable for future versions of the hardware, but initially the plan is to stick with the standard DVD format. "The initial shipments of Xbox 360 will be based on today’s DVD format,‘’ Gates said during the conference. “We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox will incorporate an additional capability of an HD DVD player or something else.”

Gates did not call the HD DVD partnership with Toshiba an exclusive agreement, and he insisted that Microsoft is still maintaining its “neutral” stance when it comes to the next-generation format war. However, considering that Microsoft is directly involved with HD DVD now and that Gates also stated that he would like to see the format become more widespread, it’s a bit difficult to believe that the Redmond, WA software giant is merely neutral.

Hardly the definitive statement that future Xbox360 revisions will get HD-DVD that a lot of sites are making out. I love sloppy journalism.

Yeah, this got soundly drubbed in the internal folders today.