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HD-DVD bundles, pricing rumored

Big buzz from "retail sources" concerning the Xbox 360 External HD-DVD Drive in Europe. From GamesIndustry.biz:

Retail sources have indicated to GamesIndustry.biz that Microsoft is currently planning to price the standalone HD-DVD drive at GBP 199 (293 Euro) [$370] and to package it with two HD-DVD movies. The sources also suggested that Microsoft will bundle the Premium console and next-generation movie player together for under GBP 400 (589 Euro) [$746] – and that the price could even be as low as GBP 375 (552 Euros) [$700].

For some reason these unofficial numbers have desperate Sony fanboys in a bold mood. I'm not sure why. The bundle prices mentioned both undercut the premium PS3 in Europe (Subtracting the usual 25% price hike paid by our cousins across the pond, this would indicate the stand-alone drive will sell for less than $300 in the US, including two movies. Personally I predict $200-$250). And of course, the millions of people who either don't have a TV capable of taking advantage of HD-DVD or don't feel like shelling out for an "unproven" format still have a choice with MS. So even if these "high" prices hold, the 360 is still in good position to do battle with the PS3 in Europe this Christmas. Oh yeah, I forgot -- the PS3 is skipping Christmas in Europe. Guess it won't be much of a battle after all.

If you need a refresher course on why HD-DVD is better than Blu-Ray anyway (cough...VC1 codec...cough), see here.

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)

Omar Abudayyeh1

9-09-2006 @ 8:25PM

Omar Abudayyeh said...

$370 is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE! If they seriously did that i would not consider buying it at all. Thats almost as big as the 360 itself and just to watch movies that will look prolly a bit better than regular dvds on my dvi output. The only way i would buy one is if it were $200 or less. Preferably even less than 200 cuz im still not sure if I want to spend 200 on a hddvd player when dvds dont look that bad anyway.

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Xbox3602

9-09-2006 @ 8:32PM

Xbox360 said...

I think $370 is reasonable.

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ExTester3

9-09-2006 @ 9:09PM

ExTester said...

I doubt its going to be $370 for us in the States. Remember, we don't include tax in our price like they do in europe. So prices will be a little different. I still think it will be a little bit cheaper in the States, seeing how Sony is lauching 400,000 blu-ray drives.. Oh i ment to say PS3's. And they are clearly trying to fight HD-DVD in the States to gain an upperhand in the HD format battle.

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Eradicator3604

9-09-2006 @ 9:27PM

Eradicator360 said...

Few months ago there was rummors of $99 price. Now it's $400? That's crazy. New HD-DVD players cost $500 and should be discounted by Christmas. I don't need watch HD DVDs that bad. I'll gladly watch regular DVDs. You can't really tell the difference that much anyways.

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sracer5

9-09-2006 @ 10:05PM

sracer said...

Wishing doesn't make it so. Anyone who thought the HD-DVD drive was going to be less than $300 was definitely in dreamland. Especially when a bare-bones standalone HD-DVD player sells for $500.

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Neg16

9-09-2006 @ 10:52PM

Neg1 said...

I am hoping its more like $250-300. I mean the hd-dvd for the xbox is only half of the player, the xbox dose all the decoding. So you would expect to only pay half the price because you are getting half the hardware, compared to a full hd-dvd player at $500.

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OmegaStar7

9-09-2006 @ 11:33PM

OmegaStar said...

If its a cent more than $99 they are dreaming to think it will sell or its cheaper than a PS3 thats $500 and equals the specs of 360 premium plus hddvd addon. This info is no where near fact or even a good rumar with a decent source just some sites guess. If it does turn out to be $200 plus for it I'd have a hard time advising anyone to get it over a $600 PS3 with specs they cant match(hdmi,60gb).

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ZeroCorpse8

9-10-2006 @ 12:20AM

ZeroCorpse said...

OmegaStar... Did you forget what blog you were posting to?

I would pay $200 for this HD-DVD add-on LONG before I'd even consider paying $600 for a Blu-Ray anything, especially a PS3.

Blue-Ray is a bust. The quality is lower, the storage isn't as much as they said it would be, and the poor compression makes the extra storage moot.

HD-DVD will win, and current 360 owners will be able to get into high def movies for a lot less this season.

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JJ9

9-10-2006 @ 4:13AM

JJ said...

ZC even though HDDVD is a head right now... doesn't mean it will win, the format war is still far from over. and the whole codec things, lets see where everything is at once both medias take off because right now, its really a moot point i think ZC. HDDVD has had more time on the market i would expect it to perform a bit better, but if blu ray comes and surpasses it by the end of the year... well HDDVD wont be around much longer.

But if this add on is any mroe than 200 dollars i think it'll be a bust personally, I agree with Omega on that respect, under 200, i'd probably pick it up (along with a Wii and PS3...what can i say i like choices). But 300+?

no way, that's just stretching it. At that price, i'd just buy a standalone unit or use my PS3 as my high def video solution of choice. Because all things equal, you'd be paying more for the 360's solution. So it would be hard to sell someone on it. Unless of course price isn't an issue, and if thats the case, chances are they could just go buy a standalone units anyway.

Now i know what blog this is, doesn't mean we need to be blind now does it?

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JJ10

9-10-2006 @ 4:21AM

JJ said...

Also ZC if this price is true... 360 owners would be paying MORE. Now current owners it wouldnt be that big of a dip since they already PAID they're 300/400 in the past so the new 200-300 price range isn't that bad, but if you add everything up you'd be paying more than the PS3 and the hDDVD would only be for movies where as at least in the PS3 case, they'd be using Bluray for games (thats not really a plus or a minus per se, but its still something)

I mean ZC i know you have no love ro Sony/Japanese games, etc. and i'm not a huge Micrsoft fan (never liked the company period) but still this fanboyishness seems to go a bit far sometimes i think.

AS a gamer i can understand liking one game over another... but a console? which is nothing other than a medium to bring the games to you, seems a bit stretching it in my opinion, it wouldnt matter if the system is the most powerful (i.e. original xbox) if you dont have the games for the masses (i.e. Ps2) after all this is a business and the money is in the software not the hardware.
Which other than the name on the box surrounding the chipset, was probably made by the same people. (IBM, AMD/ATI, etc)
In a sense its kind of like in the automotive industry where 1 company would manufacturer one product and 5-6 different companies would private brand it and sell it and people would be loyal to those brands and not even realize in the end, the money is all going to the same company.

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Brian11

9-10-2006 @ 5:46AM

Brian said...

QUESTIONS

Will it allow me to play the game cd from it ?

Will it be quieter than the helecopter drive I have at the moment ?

Will I be forced to buy it anyway when the first game (Halo 3 maybe) comes out only on HD-DVD ?

£200 is the price of a Wii - know which one I would get first...

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kineticonline12

9-10-2006 @ 9:53AM

kineticonline said...

Dont think i'll be buying one at that price, maybe next summer, or christmas when the price drops a bit. I was expecting a £99 to £150, but at £200 it would need to be two good new release films.

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DA36013

9-10-2006 @ 11:27AM

DA360 said...

Don't expect the HD-DVD drive to be the price in America, I predict it will be US $199 more than likely.

The UK gets everything more expensive, due to the value of the British Pound, but it still upsets British people because their paying so much more for games, consoles, and accessories compared to the US. Even they sometimes like to call the UK "Ripoff Britain".

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Scott Krueger14

9-10-2006 @ 11:40AM

Scott Krueger said...

That $499 and $599 PS3 are starting to sound pretty cheap now.
$700 for a 360 with an HD-DVD drive. Plus $50 per year for Live so I can play online...
Who is overpriced now...

Simple fact is the 360 is the most expensive system out there. Microsoft is simply Marketing the same way they got Windows out there.
Not the Best, Not the Cheapest, just the best Marketed.

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Luke15

9-10-2006 @ 5:36PM

Luke said...

If it goes for anything over $200.00 I'm going to be pissed. How many times have we heard now that the xbox360 plus dvd drive will be less than the ps3? Unless I'm stupid, I paid $400 for my xbox (or $300 for the tard pack). This means that even at $200 we're talking ps3 pricing. They have no brains if they seel it for that much. Selling it for that much justifies the price of the ps3 and makes the ps3 look like a better deal for anyone who is halfway interested in next gen dvd players.

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Xfan16

9-11-2006 @ 11:27AM

Xfan said...

That's $370 in Europe.

In the US it'll easily be in the $200s

That they're including two movies is interesting, because nobody is doing that yet (although they should!). I know I didn't buy my DVD player until they started throwing in free movies. I think I received 5 titles back then.

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flancyboy17

9-11-2006 @ 6:27PM

flancyboy said...

unless they price it for $99 or less (and you know they won't). Sony's blu-ray format has a virtual lock on winning.

-stop thinking like a fanboy gamer for one second...you are a minority in buying power. Think like a middle america, flyover state, walmart shopper-

1. no accessory has ever had a sell-through (attach) rate greater than 15% and that rate decreases exponentially the more expensive it is. So despite the 6 million console lead, a 10 percent attach rate is only 600k HD-DVD players. While every PS3 sold has a blu-ray player. Thus by the end of the year the HD-DVD and Blu-ray next gen war is EXACTLY EQUAL.

2. From year end throughout the life of the console, the 360 will have to outsell the PS3 10 to 1 for HD-DVD to survive as the leader of next-gen media.

3. HDTV has an uptake rate of roughly 6-8 million home per year. prices are plummeting and it will only get more widespread. Next time you go to Target look at the HDTV to reg TV ratio. Never noticed it before did you?

all arguments that this is a meaningless format war are absurd.

Plus I havent taken into account the storage format possibilities (PC storage), which has always been utterly dominated by the larger capacity format.

4. To win this format war. HD-DVD should have been attached to the 360 (PS3 style..."no choice"). but since they had to get a year headstart (or lets face it they would have gotten smashed like the previous generation) they did it without the next gen media player, and engineered the 360 so they could add it later.

5. As the Blu-ray format gets a foothold (unless the PS3 is massively faulty, which knowing sony may happen) HDTV adopters will have more choice in the BR "universe" and gravitate away from HD-DVD.

6. Finally as much as the PS3's price offends gamers everywhere, a comparably equipped 360 will be the same (hd-dvd $300) price. The playstation is more trusted amongst the plebes, and unlike the hardcore gamers reading this, the Wal-Mart nation is completely unaware of all of Sony's recent mistakes.


Now, Sony's plan is Excellent. Their execution has been horrendous and they have left the door open. The late release date in Europe leaves the door wide open..especially with a decent bundle, many frustrated gamers and early adopters will go HD-DVD. We think HD-DVD may end up winning Europe. Blu-ray easily wins Japan.

Unless the HD-DVD player is $99, it will have a terrible attach rate.

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Coweh18

9-11-2006 @ 8:52PM

Coweh said...

I would just like to point out to Flancyboy that if Microsoft had taken another year to put out their console, there would be more features and power in it. As it were, they settled for slightly less power than the PS3, and went with amazing software and features, taking the headstart.

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ZeroCorpse19

9-12-2006 @ 12:39AM

ZeroCorpse said...

JJ, I like a lot of PS2 games. I just don't like anime games or eastern RPGs, primarily. I don't hate Sony, but I hate what they've been doing lately. I'm not a huge MS fan, though--- I'm a Mac user, and if I could get my 360 goodness from another company, I would.

That being said, I have to say that the 360 is one of the best consoles I've owned, and I've owned everything since PONG in 1977 (yes, we got pong a little late).

The add-on will most likely not be over $200 because you're right- That wouldn't be a great deal. I do think Blu-Ray is in trouble, though. I watched the reaction in the marketplace when people noticed that Blu-Ray looked worse than HD-DVD, and since it's pretty unlikely Sony will want to borrow VC1 from MS. Sony has a jones for MPEG2, and they're going to stick with it. If they don't change this, they will see the death of Blu-Ray, but Sony is more and more arrogant every time I hear from them. They have an attitude that says "The people are stupid, we know what's best for them. They need to spend more for what we tell them they need." and this will cost them. You can see the backlash already.

I just want a good video game console. I'll grab the add-on HD-DVD player if it's cheap because I was considering HD-DVD anyway, and because I'd like to cut down on the wear on my 360's optical drive (I use it for DVDs because it's a kickass upscaler over VGA).




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aceR20

9-12-2006 @ 1:30AM

aceR said...

this better be cheap, cus add ons are sorta ugly.

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