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Microsoft to Cease Production of HD DVD Drive For Xbox 360 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
ImageFor much of the HD disc format war Microsoft’s Xbox 360 represented one of the most stable and the most affordable options for consumers to try HD DVD. Unlike Sony’s Playstation 3, which is based specifically on the Blu-ray platform, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console requires an external drive to play HD movies and today the HD DVD partner announced they will no longer will be making the drive for HD DVD.

Don’t expect Xbox 360 to switch its drive to Blu-ray any time soon, but the switcheroo comes only a little more than a week after HD DVD’s main supporter, Toshiba, announced they are throwing in the towel on the format.
The news comes as no surprise to those following the HD disc format war, but does highlight the significance and power of the video game market. With the power to sell $50 titles year in and year out, the video game market has proven to be where new technologies either make it or break it. The stakes are just that high.

Inventory for the Microsoft drives still can be had (likely with a deep discount after today) and can be a reasonable way to pick up an HD movie player at an amazing discount. Hardcore fans of HD DVD report on AVRevForum.com that 1080i (not the highest resolution format – 1080p) players are being blow-out at retailers for as little as $79.99 with software titles packing 50 percent or deeper discounts. Considering HD DVD was the leader in the format war for much of the battle – there might be some HD battle out there but buyer beware that you will want to make sure your Blu-ray player is solidly installed in your rig with all of the latest, Oscar-winning titles piled up and ready to play before you go bargain basement shopping for HD DVD at this stage.

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