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Rumor: Gates to reveal HD DVD Xbox 360 at CES

This Sunday Bill Gates will walk across the CES 2008 stage one last time for his final keynote speech. And just like years before, Mr. Gates will be touching on hot technology topics, Windows news, Zune facts and possibly some Xbox 360 HD DVD details as well. Or so thinks the Seattle Times. They're speculating that Billy will go out with a bang at this year's CES revealing a partnership with Toshiba to release an "Ultimate" Xbox 360 that packs HD DVD and DVR functionality. Not only that, but they also think Microsoft will announce other 360 partnerships as well.

A new HD DVD enabled Xbox 360 would be pretty cool and would help defend against the Blu-ray takeover while at the same time proving that Michael Bay was correct all along. But our other half says we already have enough variety when it comes to Xbox 360 models and an Ultimate version would be kind of overkill. No matter what Billy talks about during the keynote all we really want is any Xbox 360 news that is more exciting than last year's IPTV functionality (of which hasn't come to fruition anyway). Can we at least get that much?

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Reader Comments (Page 2 of 4)


1-02-2008 @ 3:03PM

Etchasketchist said...

What's the big deal? I'm seeing the sound and fury, but what's the actual argument?

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1-02-2008 @ 3:21PM

ZeroCorpse said...

There's no 360 SKU on the market that doesn't have HDMI. They all have identical hardware-- The difference is in the accessories they pack-in, and the color of the console/disc tray.

So this would just be one more SKU, bringing the total to five (with one being limited edition Halo 3).

Arcade - No hard drive (256MB card)
Pro - Smaller hard drive
Elite - Bigger hard drive
Halo 3 - Play-n-charge kit, smaller hard drive
HD-DVD/Media - ???

That being said, I doubt they'd do this. MS has said over and over that building HD-DVD into the console is not an option. They'd rather push the on-demand HD media features than the disc-based ones.

I doubt there will be any big news regarding the 360. Most likely they'll announce that sales were great during the holidays, that the new SKUs have been a resounding success, and that we can look forward to a good quarter because GTA IV is coming.

They might also mention the IPTV, but I doubt it's going to be a big feature because AT&T hasn't gotten their service in place in most of the country, yet, and people aren't exactly flocking to the bigger hard drive thanks to MS' severe overpricing.

If MS lowers the price of the bigger hard drive, they'll see a lot of buyers. Nobody's crazy enough to accept a 300% markup like this, unless they're desperate and buy a lot of Marketplace stuff.

Expect a lot of yada yada about the Zune, though.

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1-02-2008 @ 6:40PM

JakubK666 said...

"There's no 360 SKU on the market that doesn't have HDMI. They all have identical hardware-- The difference is in the accessories they pack-in, and the color of the console/disc tray."

Not out in shops but majority of people who's 360 hasn't RRODed yet still use the v1.0 Xbox 360 without HDMI.

It's not like it really matters cos HDMI doesn't make much difference unless you buy a £4000 TV that supports 1080p which itself doesn't look much better than 1080i either.

Ultimate 360...well I thought I got REALLY screwed over when the elite came out.

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Adam B24

1-02-2008 @ 2:28PM

Adam B said...

I would definitely buy this if it had a 120gb HDD and wasn't anymore than $449.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:28PM

Etchasketchist said...

Makes sense to me. I think the point isn't to beat Blu-Ray, but rather to make 360 the ubiquitous platform for games software. Part of making that happen is creating a product that would appeal to consumers who aren't even in the market for a video game machine. Something that you'd find in the Tivo/DVD section near all the fancy plasma TV's instead of over in the corner near the Video Game ghetto. If you have a magic box that can do DVR stuff, play Hi-Def DVD's, and hook up to the internet and download movies from Marketplace, that's a compelling product. The fact that you can play Halo 3 on it too would push it over the edge. The goal is to create the Ultimate Box, the one device that you buy when you finally get around to upgrading to an HDTV that can do everything. The 360 right now is about 2/3's of the way there. It make sense now to kick it up a notch, put all the pieces together and try to even the playing field between software entertainment and movie/tv show entertainment. If they can keep it below $500 I think they'd have a winner.

I'm curious, what exactly is the "overkill" concern? I just don't see it.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:34PM

Eddie said...

I would buy it. I already have the add-on, but I love the format and I would absolutely buy it. IPTV was pretty damn exciting, but unfortunately, it was alot more imaginary. Let's resolve in '08 to temper any expectations for MS and their ridiculous obsession with vaporware. I'm plenty happy with my 360, I would love for it to be integrated with wifi and HD, but it's not likely to happen and at this point is just wishful thinking. If you get too depressed, you can always just go look at the PS3's current list of games.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:42PM

Doom3killer said...

why do people hate on hd-dvd? i have an hd-dvd player and i absolutely love it...

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1-02-2008 @ 2:45PM

Cass-D said...

Just don't see the need to add the HD-DVD drive to the console. Sure it makes it confusing for consumers but more options is not a bad thing. Some people want these choices and not forced to buy all the bells and whistles. I agree with Panda that there is no new High Def standard for movies yet. (yes the game is still afoot) I would like to see the DVR functionality to the 360 and why not add the Internet Explorer to it as well. This would open up all sorts of problems I'm sure but why not Wii has it and its a cool feature.

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1-02-2008 @ 3:14PM

Etchasketchist said...

Consumers are fucked no matter what. Have you ever actually walked through a Circuit City? PC's practically require an engineering degree and people by tons of them. Adding to consumer confusion is inevitable at this point and most consumer have come to terms with that. If anything, I'd say creating an all-in-one box would a be a step towards reducing consumer confusion.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:45PM

Intentless said...

Maybe he will announce Duke Nukem for 360 exclusive....

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1-02-2008 @ 2:45PM

NATO_Duke said...

The thing about this is that it would really be a bummer to know I could have had an HD model - but thats life right? Things change and get better and we early adopters just need to accept it. Still would burn though.

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1-02-2008 @ 3:18PM

Etchasketchist said...

You knew what you were getting when you plunked down your loot. Avoiding the dirty looks from early adopters is never going to stop a consumer electronics company from improving their product every year. That's just the tech bizness.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:52PM

Kryptinite said...

I have both the hd-dvd and my blu-ray player that happens to also play games.

The both look amazing. It really doesn't matter who wins except to those who invested in just one player.

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1-02-2008 @ 2:53PM

DjDATZ said...

Interesting...but "meh"

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1-02-2008 @ 2:54PM

idl3mind said...

There are 5 editions of Vista (Ultimate, Home Premium, Home Basic, Business, Enterprise); what would keep M$ from making one more edition of Xbox 360 to further confuse the uninformed (non-prosumer) public?

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1-02-2008 @ 3:02PM

wickedpheonix said...

If they eliminate the Arcade model, lower the Premium price to $250, and then lower the Elite price to $350 while making it white and adding a HD-DVD drive then that makes sense. At the same time, promise IPTV functionality and maybe using the 360 as an extension of the DVR capabilities of Windows Media Center (meaning, you would need a computer with Vista/XP MCE and a TV tuner for it to work) in the Spring Dashboard update.

Anything else results in too many models, too much of a price delta, too many features (jack of all trades, master of none, and its approaching that even now anyways) etc.

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1-02-2008 @ 3:31PM

ZeroCorpse said...

Pro for $250 ??? HAHAHAHA! Not gonna happen this year, my friend.

The Arcade is a great seller. There are a lot of people who don't plan to use XBox Live, and simply don't need a hard drive. Do you realize that there's still a large number of Americans who don't even have broadband-- or ACCESS to broadband-- at this point? Why would they need to pay the extra for the Pro? Now that the Arcade comes with a memory card and a wireless controller, there's no reason to spend the extra money.

They won't make an XBox 360 with HD-DVD built in, anyway. It won't happen. They've been dead-set against it from the beginning, and I suspect it's because they're planning ahead. If Blu-Ray wins, they can easily introduce an add-on Blu-Ray player, while if HD-DVD's built-in, they're stuck.

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1-02-2008 @ 6:00PM

mAdAk said...

Unless I am misreading what you are saying about Media Center functionality this has existed since day 1 in the 360. It was actually available as an option on the original xbox.

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Michael Paul39

1-02-2008 @ 3:07PM

Michael Paul said...

I'd save up for one, but only because I want one well-built one instead of the landfill candidate they sent back after my first one RROD'd.

I've already got 4 HD-DVDs for the $99 HD-A2, and my 5 free ones are due someday, so it wouldn't be bad to have two players around to use them. Of course, if the HD-DVD in the new 360 sucks as bad as DVD on this one (evil 'anti-piracy' policy of no good playback on component) then I'd still have one HD-DVD player and one well-built game machine...

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1-02-2008 @ 3:28PM

Sp00ks said...

I have the HD external player and love it as well. I don't really understand the whole argument anyways, I don't have a problem with either format, I just think that right now, HD DVD has a better selection of movies...bourne, the kingdom, top gun and many more. I just don't like the selection that blu-ray has...even though there are some in blu-ray I wish I had...

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