Microsoft Xbox 360 to Get HD DVD

Microsoft will launch an HD-DVD drive add-on for its Xbox 360 console in November, a company executive said Wednesday.

Microsoft’s Xbox and HD DVD drive add-on
Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive

The drive will be available in Japan on Nov. 22 and will cost 19,800 yen (US$168), Takashi Sensui, general manager of the Xbox division of Microsoft’s Japanese subsidiary, said at a Tokyo news conference.

The drive will allow Xbox 360 owners to watch HD-DVD video content on a suitable television. The system will allow viewing at up to 1080p (1080 lines and progressive scanning), which is the highest of several picture levels judged to be high-definition.

The drive is due on sale in other markets, but Microsoft did not announce pricing or availability.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 HD DVD drive add-on
Xbox 360 HD DVD[2]

HD DVD is one of two formats competing to become the de facto replacement for today’s DVD standard. The format is backed by Toshiba and a number of other companies including Microsoft and Intel. Its rival, Blu-ray Disc, is backed by Sony, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) and a number of other big-name electronics companies, and a drive for the system will be built into the PlayStation 3.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)

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