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HD-DVD drive will be the cheapest

Speaking to Larry Hryb (AKA Major Nelson) in his recent pod blogcast, Microsoft's Albert Penello assured listeners that the upcoming HD-DVD add-on for the 360 would be the "cheapest HD-DVD player you can buy without a doubt, when it comes out." Now, with current players going for $400 or more, this means the anticipated add-on could cost over $300. Still, most speculate a price of around $200. The reason Microsoft can afford to make it so cheap less expensive than the $500-1000 competition is that the 360 itself will be handling the brunt of the work. Just to squeeze in a little offhanded Sony bashing, Penello reiterated that the 360 is about "choice." Quoth he,

"We're not betting our whole console on an unproven media format ... Look, the thing about it is they are betting the company on Blu-ray, and they are making the consumers pay for their bet."

So, now the million dollar question, would you buy the HD-DVD add-on for 200 bucks?

[Via Evil Avatar]

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 4)


8-10-2006 @ 9:43AM

guitarfish said...

Frankly, I don't want HD-DVD or Blueray. I want a 500gb hard-drive, and a "Netflix-style" service through xbox live where I can put HD movies in a queue, and have them automatically delivered to my Xbox hard-drive. When I watch and delete one, the next one in my queue is automatically downloaded.

Of course, it would be nice if all of this happened without my 360 overheating and freezing up. (A bit bitter, as I'm sending back my 360 for repair today.)

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The Hedon2

8-10-2006 @ 9:44AM

The Hedon said...

Of course I am buying it! $200 for integration with the Xbox 360, and getting an HD-DVD player. You can't go wrong.

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8-10-2006 @ 9:48AM

Jake said...

Impulse answer is Probably. If they make it $150 then its a definate Yes.

Though I do have a problem with repurchasing Movies that I already have in DVD format in HDDVD. It seems like I'm being Milked... Moo?

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8-10-2006 @ 9:52AM

jc said...

Without HDMI (or some cool features like playing cds while gaming, connection to PC...), the most I would pay is $150. Otherwise I wait for the full-tier players to drop in price to around $300.

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Mr BoomStick XL5

8-10-2006 @ 9:55AM

Mr BoomStick XL said...

I agree with both posts, how can you go wrong?? If you are into HD Media and like(or Love) movies then a simple $200.00 investment is a no brainer!! I can't wait for it!!!

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8-10-2006 @ 10:03AM

beardsly43 said...

i probably won't. instead, i'll wait to see what happens with both formats. i'd hate to buy the addon and movies and then have it turn into the next betamax...

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8-10-2006 @ 10:07AM

joba said...

Personally, I will be a late adopter of this add-on. Simply b/c waiting has its advantages. This drive will be $200 plus when it a year or so it could retail @ $150. Also, there will be a clearer picture as to which format will be supported based on consumer adoption.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:07AM

Gifted76 said...

No way Jose. Agreeing to HD-DVD would be agreeing to (a) give up bootlegs entirely and (b) pay $30-$40 for a DVD when I hate paying $20 for one now. And all I get is new frills and if it's anything like HD-TV (the original HDTV's did not have HDMI but cost more then) then it won't see it's full potential until at least another 3 years of figuring out the new found technology.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:11AM

pjh said...

Well $200 would be about £120 of my great british poonds, so I would buy it. But most likely it'll be £200 and then I'd probably wait till it came down in price.

I'm not that fussed about it tbh. I don't watch that many DVDs anyway, so can't see me getting many HD-DVDs

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8-10-2006 @ 10:22AM

Dan said...

I agree that it's a no brainer. I think if it's priced much lower than a full standalone player and the picture quality is there I'd buy it. Plus, it's a lot smaller than a stand alone player.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:37AM

edhe said...

Owww... yeah...

I'd buy it if:
) It's not a USD price tag brought to GBP
) My rental place starts doing HDDVD rentals (Amazon..)
) The drive can be used as a CD/mp3CD player for my tracks during games.
) It's nice and QUIET.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:40AM

lloyd said...

microsoft says:
"cheapest HD-DVD player you can buy without a doubt, when it comes out"

"less expensive than the $500-1000 competition"

truth is:
if other players start at $500 it's not really the cheapest is it? don't forget to add in the $400 we spent on our 360's because without the 360 this is just a white plastic brick.

to say it's the cheapest to buy is really misleading since they obviously expect us to overlook the inital cost of the console.

you might as well say the PS3 blue ray player is free since you're paying for the console and it's included in the machine.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:42AM

RP said...

I would buy it for $99.99.

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Todd H.14

8-10-2006 @ 10:46AM

Todd H. said...

There isn't enough benefit between HD-DVD and regular DVD. I have a hard time telling the difference between HD movies on HBO and the DVD version.

I'll wait until HD-DVD is standard and I can copy the movies I rent from Blockbuster, just kidding, I wouldn't do anything like that...


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8-10-2006 @ 10:51AM

TxdoHawk said...

I own a HDTV, but quite honestly DVD looks good enough to me. I see HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray turning into something like SACD vs. HD-Audio, two technically superior formats that flop because they don't provide enough incentive for the average joe to upgrade.

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8-10-2006 @ 10:53AM


Q: So, now the million dollar question, would you buy the HD-DVD add-on for 200 bucks?

A: Yes! Do I wish it was $149.99, Yes!

Someone mentioned repurchasing DVDs they already have in HDDVD format. Not necessary though, right? Old DVDs should play in the HDDVD player, shouldn't they? I don't plan to purchase DVDs anyway, all the online rental places seem to carry HDDVD already. I wonder if they'll start charging a higher price to rent HDDVDs once their collection grows.

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8-10-2006 @ 11:04AM

DaStuph said...

I'm there with bells on. I'm all about enjoying the latest goodies and since I've already taken the plunge with a 360 I'm hooking with the HD-DVD add-on for certain.

Good times.

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8-10-2006 @ 11:17AM

flancyboy said...

For $200 bucks, NO! funny thing is @ $200 bucks a 360 with hd-dvd playback is the same price as the overpriced PS3! (pick a SKU it works both ways).

It has to be $100 to be the true value leader. For $100 I'll definitely buy one.

Funny thing is I have the worst feeling, M$ will pull a sony and charge $250 or more (making it now MORE than the PS3), while at the same time trying to convince me it's the cheapest HD-DVD player.

Remember this post. You heard it here first

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8-10-2006 @ 11:28AM

Josh said...

Todd, as I understand it the HD movies you're seeing via Comcast or whoever is your cable provider have undergone an incredible amount of compression to make sure the tubes don't get filled on your coax.

With HD-DVD movies, you're seeing full HD-resolutions without compression that suffers from degredation or artifacting like that of cable. Essentially you're getting every pixel that should be there...this should be most noticable on darker movies with a lot of black and fast moving action.

I also think it depends on what screen you're viewing it on. I too think DVDs look just fine on my 20" LCD screen. However, people with 60"+ televisions or projectors could benefit greatly from higher resolution discs. It's also very exciting some of the extra features and menu systems they're putting on HD-DVD discs. Personally, I'm not ready to take the plunge yet (unless it's $150), but I bet a lot of people are.

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Jim N20

8-10-2006 @ 11:34AM

Jim N said...

I agree with most of the comments on here. At a $200 price point there is a good chance I will buy one. If it comes in at $150 there is no question, I will have one right away.

I agree with guitarfish, a downloadable service like he described would be the absolute best. The only thing I would add to that is that I would like it available to Windows Media center so that I could have the movie download straight to my media server then it can be viewed by any 360 or media center PC, or media extender in the house.

jc, If you are really concerned about the HDMI check out Major Nelson’s podcast and assocated links about the HD-DVD drive. In there the technicians that worked on the hard ware explain why they feel they get just as good picture out of componet as HDMI port. Just thought I would post a link if you or anyone else is interested.

Lloyd, well you will actually be paying the same price since the Xbox 360 itself is $400 and if the HD-DVD player comes out at $200 it will be the same as buying the PS3 which is priced at $600. So I disagree with you that it is free, it just bundled into the price.

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