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CNN: Is HD DVD Microsoft's folly?

Chris Morris, of CNN Money's superlative Game Over column, asks the question that's on the backs (or fronts) of everybody's mind: will the decision to release an external HD DVD drive do Microsoft any good? Before the announcement, we raised the dilemma of alienating early adopters while angering developers and publishers by splintering the platform. Microsoft must realize that all major peripherals like this are never accepted on a large scale; see the Sega CD, 32X, and PS2 hard drive.

Morris decides, "Microsoft's no fool for releasing this add-on. If nothing else, it's a good way to test user-acceptance of the format without committing the company to it." We have to agree with him that the HD DVD attachment's raison d’être is simple: to prevent "Sony from being able to accurately say the PS3 is the only game machine with a high definition DVD drive." Will this strategy work with consumers eager for next-gen optical capabilities with their gaming system?

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Daniel D1

1-05-2006 @ 6:05PM

Daniel D said...

This is great GREAT, At least they are not forcing next gen optical media down peoples throats (a la PS3) and more importantly they are not forcing people to PAY for it (a la PS3) I will buy one because I am that way inclined, I cant wait to watch HD movies and im sure this add one will be cheaper than any bluray players out there and any HD DVD players in fact


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[ ObiJuan]2

1-05-2006 @ 8:49PM

[ ObiJuan] said...

what if it works with PC's that have Vista as well? isn't that a good thing?


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1-05-2006 @ 11:07PM

eric said...

I'm all for it. But build mine into the unit please!


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1-05-2006 @ 11:45PM

gamer1 said...

I believe this device would most likely be used just for HD-DVD movies since developers would most likely not want to put extra development money and time to satisfy such a small user base.

Also, if this is a HD-DVD movie only device, the peripheral will have difficulty selling a large amount of units when considering that many other manufacturers will be competing to develop economical HD-DVD players.

When it comes down to it, it seems that Microsoft simply wants to offer the option of High Definition movies to owners of the Xbox 360 since the Playstation 3 will be capable of playing Blu-Ray content. But with the high price that comes with this technology (the purchase of a new HD player and new HD-DVD/Blu-Ray content), it may be a couple years before most people decide to spend this premium (with the exception of early adopters). Even still, many consumers may want to see with their own eyes that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray technology is significantly superior to DVD before blindly spending money based on technical specifications on paper.

Hopefully, HD movies will be worth the hype. We´┐Żll have to do a comparison test when the technology and content is available to see if it is worth the extra hundreds of dollars to watch our favorite movies in better quality.


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1-06-2006 @ 12:56AM

Jon said...

What the press seems to not get through their thick heads is that MS has made it clear that this is ONLY for movies and not for Game Disc. Game Disc will continue to be DVD disc only. So this isn't segmenting the market at all. Just like the Hard Drive did not segment the market can still go to any store and buy one copy of a game that will run on ANY 360.

I repeat...Game Developers will not make games for anything else but DVD disc for 360! This does not mean they won't make High Def games, just that they won't use High Def Disc.

This is a great move for MS. HD-DVD drives were simply not ready for mass production in the time frame of 360 release. So MS could not include HD-DVD in the 360 off the bat in the launch window they chose. They did us all a favor though, as many still don't own HD TV sets and such a drive would have been worthless for most unless you plan on watching movies on your computer monitor.

Now all of us early adopters can purchase the drive if we want while everyone else doesn't have to foot the bill for a drive they may never use.

And if they make this USB drive compatible with Windows XP, Media Center and Vista (like the 360 controllers) than they have quite the Trojan Horse themselves on Hand. Also this might hint to the difference in cost between HD-DVD players vs Blu-Ray players. The more players in the market, the more movies that will sell.

Everyone wrote off HD-DVD far too early...since then MS and Toshiba have made an alliance, Intel and MS toegether backed HD-DVD, HP has followed up on a Threat to leave Blu-Ray by announcing they will work with Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Many have said that it's only a matter of time for Dell to follow suit. Also manufacturers have reported that HD-DVD would be an easier and much cheaper and cost effective transition for the industry to make. And now everyone realizes that PS3 won't be out in the US till Christmas 2006 at the earliest.

The starz are aligned for a huge upset.


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1-06-2006 @ 10:53AM

SickNic said...

If the HD-DVD drive is only for movies, then I wont be buying it anytime soon. I refuse to get caught up in this format war. I'll be waiting to see what format wins before I start investing my money.


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Daniel Lawson7

1-06-2006 @ 7:07PM

Daniel Lawson said...

Please this thing will probably cost a fraction of the cost of a compairable HD-DVD stand alone... the cheapest comming in at 500 bucks. If it sells at sub 200 range it may very well do pretty good. If they can get it down to the magical 150 I think that it will do well. Of course it should be Vista compatible that goes without saying.


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