AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft planning on sub $250 HD-DVD add-on

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 16 May 2006 22:51 User comments (47)

Microsoft planning on sub $250 HD-DVD add-on Microsoft brought up the subject about an external HD-DVD device for Xbox 360 at E3 last week. The company didn't reveal any information about the pricing of such peripheral. However, yesterday reported that retail sources had informed them about Microsoft planning on a HD-DVD add-on for Xbox 360 which combined with the console would be cheaper than upcoming PS3.
In the UK, Sony's PlayStation 3 is estimated to hit the price spot around £400, while Xbox 360 retails for £279 and the Core System version for £209. This gives Microsoft £130 (approximately $250) for the HD-DVD player. The Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive uses the Toshiba's next-generation DVD standard, while the Blu-Ray drive built-in PS3 uses Sony's competing HD-DVD standard, which is expected to win the war, due to its strong support from movie studios.

Several analysts have commented on the HD-DVD subject, and for example Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, a respected industry analyst, has suggested that the success of Blu-Ray drive will very much determine the success of PS3. If the Blu-Ray becomes "an expensive and unappealing component" it'll be a big burden for the whole lifespan of the console.


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47 user comments

116.5.2006 23:08

cheaper only if you buy the "core" set with no HDD. So really, the PS3 is better value because you get a bluetooth controller, 60gb HDD, and BluRay player, for about 50$ less. However, XBOX has it as an "option". But then again that means that it would rarly (most likely NEVER) be used for games. Therefore they are limited to just under 10gb of games space where as the PS3 is able to play games up to 50gb. In reality there are tradeoffs to both, and it still comes down to what each individual person wants in their gaming console. I personally want a PS3 because I would like to use ALL the features it provides. I am really excited to get one, and I will probably own all three systems before their live's ends. I would just rather spend my 1st dollars on a PS3.

216.5.2006 23:21

Is it going to be an external drive, because I don't exactly see how it will be an internal drive. And I wouldn't want some extera peice of equipment hanging off my 360 all the time, that would just be stupid. But I guess that is what Microsoft gets for jumping the gun on next-gen hardware... Key components left out.

316.5.2006 23:31

The bluetooth component of the controller really doesn't mean much. I'm a nintendo bitch, and the Wii remote uses bluetooth as well, but come on - Any wireless controller is just as fast as if it were wired, no matter what technology is utilized. furthermore, the Blu-ray could very well end up to be a gigantic flop. considering that's a significant part of the ps3 price increase, it's safe to say that if someone were to purchase the ps3 before the format war comes to an end, than ps3 people would've been shammed out of an extra couple hundred dollars. I wouldn't fork out 600 dollars unless I was a big fan of Sony, and the games they still have exclusively. I think that both the 360 and the PS3 will be excellent consoles, but Sony is really risking a lot and more or less forcing many key components to the consumers and their loyal fanbase (imo). Phil Harrisson (sp?) even agreed about the loyalty of the Sony fanbase, which I won't argue. Sony has a great many fans, but honestly they are pulling them in a much greater haul than just the video game console war. I don't think the ps3 will pull in as many consumers as the ps2. It would certainly be substantially less especially if the Blu-ray isn't adopted by the general consumer populous. I think the Blu-ray is a just as good a format as any other, but knowing Sony's track record, I can't say that the Blu-ray will succeed. We'll see, and I wish the best of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, but it seems like lately the video game industry is just a tool used by companies to further the gain in industries like internet, OS, and media format.

416.5.2006 23:46

"furthermore, the Blu-ray could very well end up to be a gigantic flop. considering that's a significant part of the ps3 price increase, it's safe to say that if someone were to purchase the ps3 before the format war comes to an end, than ps3 people would've been shammed out of an extra couple hundred dollars."- God bless your soul, someone else sees the obvious. Cant understand why paying less and having a choice isnt a no-brainer, but whatever.

516.5.2006 23:55

how many of you like the psp cd's because let me tell you the cartrage casings is what all hd blu ray disk are comming in which means if you want to burn one you cannot if you want to run ps2 and ps one games you have to use a hd blue ray cartrage case to put the cd in this is lame blu ray is expesive and the only reason sony has the backing of the film industry is because the film industry wants to stop pirated films from hitting the internet but what they dont relize is why pay 1000 dollers for a blu ray drive when a hd dvd drive is only going to be 250.00 and also what is stupid is blu ray technology flops then you are screwed on the ps3 becuase it will not read hd dvd hmmm funny huh so you might want to wait before getting a ps3

617.5.2006 2:51

offrome- ''I'm a nintendo bitch,'' yes i can see that now. xd.

717.5.2006 3:56

Just out of curiosity but will the Xbox 360 be able to display 1080p images from the new drive, or will they be re-scaled?

817.5.2006 4:11

Well between rising cost of "Next Gen" gaming consoles and the cost of these add ons...I think I am don'e with consoles. I spend enough money to keep my PC game-worthy. JUst not gonna do it... PC games still andn will almost always blow any of these consoles away anyway

917.5.2006 5:54

I for one plan to get them all! First: XboX 360 One Years Later: Wii Two Years Later: PS3 At 32, I know this game. Anyone who pays 600 for a PS3 is rich or just plain crazy. It is not only that you have to shell out the cash for the unit you will have to buy an HD tv or you wont notice the difference. I think MS was smart in keeping the price lower because of Nowtech. I myself paid nearly 7bills for my first DVD player and am not immune to Nextech wants, so I dont think 600 is too much at all. What is too much is a format war. Something XboX lets you choose, Wii ignored and SONY is forcing. Call me crazy but I want a choice in what I do. All these systems look good, we should all get them for the games you wish to play. I am a drone for Kojima so I will need to buy a PS3 for MGS4; but I am not going to do that right away, I can wait. Hell, I still play the NES and SNES and Dreamcast! I even remember Text games on the Tandy!! I have to say that I am unimpressed with just graphics, games need to have a good story and gameplay. I could play the original Metroid all day!! Point is plan on getting them all, eventually... dont be too hung up on the Nextech now. Support the companies you want to see survive in the future and just give me a cross pad with two buttons and im good to go! just my opinion, thanks for reading.

1017.5.2006 8:21

I'm a Sony fanboy, but I have to say that Sony may lose a loyal customer. To the same effect, I don't really like what Microsoft does with the Xbox 360. Honestly, and I never thought I'd say it, I'm seriously considering the Wii as my next console of purchase. With all that being said, here's my synopsis. HD-DVD or Blu-ray. Right now I could care less. I dont even own an HDTV to reap the benefits of said devices and by the time I do, I'll have very few actual HD-DVD or Blu-ray media to play on them because my current DVD collection is so large. I'm a cheapskate, I'm not going to plug more money to start a new collection of disks. HOWEVER. HD-DVD being an add on seems more or less for video content. Blu-ray as a built in device opens the door to 25-50Gb (50 when the multilayered Blu-ray comes out... if it survives the war) games. Think about that. Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, hell, God of War with 25Gb of information to choose from. Games have the potential to grow by leaps and bounds. Imagine an RPG where 100 hours of gameplay is the norm for a rush through play and all the extra space is dedicated to multitudes of side quests. Sounds exciting if implimented right. The 360 could surely do this, to a degree, with HD-DVD, but do you really want an external drive dongle hanging from your pretty 360 just to play an enhanced game? I say this because I believe gaming consoles should be just that. For games. All this media is great, but I have several DVD players at home. I dont use my well abused PS2 for playing movies. I never have and with the PS3 or 360, I probably never will either. The media integration for audio, video and all that is definitely nice, but how about stick to what made these things famous in the first place. THE GAMES. From a price perspective, $600 for the cell processor, an Nvidia graphics card, Blu-ray, network capabilities and all that fanciness really isn't bad if you're looking for an all around unit. Try and build a competant gaming PC for that much and equal it in price. When you take that into effect, its not really all that badly priced. A little shocking yes, but these things are getting as good, if not better than a PC with all the functionality. And thankfully, they have games that appeal to a much larger demographic of people than PC games do. PC games stick to the standard fps, MMORPG or RTS Strategy game. Most PC games of any worth can be put into these categories. The consoles are priced HIGH, but in comparison is it really all that bad? Sure, I dont want to pay that kind of money, but in the ever changing world of technology, it all seems rather fair to me. </long rant>

1117.5.2006 8:27

There's no doubt in my mind that the PS3 is superior to the xbox 360 in every technical aspect and value. However, If I had to decide between the two consoles, I would go with the 360. Microsoft has grown tremedously in game development and we can many great games and features. Another major selling point is Xbox Live. The lack of a gaming network for the PS3 is a shame. In this aspect, the xbox 360 beats the ps3 to the ground. Full integration with PC, xbox 360, msn network, xbox live, windows vista, windows mobile. God, the possibilities are endless.

1217.5.2006 10:30

What you also have to take into consideration is that Blue-Ray has the advantage of being in the PS3. Right away who ever buys the PS3 will automatically be trying to back the Blue-Ray format and less likely to buy the HD-DVD unless it finally wins the war. So due to no other game system directly supporting HD-DVD it to me seems like Blue-Ray starts off with the advantage of not requiring someone only looking for HD movies to get one.

1317.5.2006 11:54

For $250 I wouldn't buy the HD-DVD add on. It's not worth. You could buy a PSP, an iPod, or even a used Xbox 360!

1417.5.2006 12:36

Heres a pic of what the HD-DVD drive looks like next to the 360. Stylish, but I'd still rather have it built into the unit.

1517.5.2006 13:33

Boh, the PS3's games will be up to 54 gb, that in itself makes it worthwhile. However, the price is unappealing, and microsux Xbox 360 price actually somewhat more appealing than the former.

1617.5.2006 13:36

I have to agree with what a few people on here have said concerning Sony's track record when it comes to new formats. I said it once here And now i will say it again now "As for Sony's track record of bringing in new formats:- Betamax - Nearly MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD) - Whoops Minidisc - hahaha SACD - Only 3000 releases in 7 years UMD - Just Silly Memory stick - Another non standard format Beware of the curse of Sony"

1717.5.2006 13:44

@hot_ice Quote"Boh, the PS3's games will be up to 54 gb, that in itself makes it worthwhile." How does it make it worthwhile? Does more capacity make games better?. Does this mean that ALL games that come out on Blu-ray and HD-DVD will be great? It just means they have more space to fill with rubbish. Bigger is not always better it just offers options.

1817.5.2006 14:49

Honestly, do you expect any developer to release a 50gig game? Can you imagine the time, detail, and expense they'ld have invested into just this one game. Sure, if they sell it for $100 maybe. Would you purchase a 50 gig "God of War 2" for $100? I sure as hell wouldn't. And I loved the original. For gaming only, HD-DVD would be more than enough. I believe the HD-DVD add on is a great idea. Not having it helped keep the cost down, and if that format flops, than it's no skin off your back. I think sony would have been better off having there Blu-ray as an add-on, also. Heck, that's what's been holding back their release. They could've released with the 360's. But no, Sony has force their Blu-ray on us. I am on the boat with the others who'll pass on buying the ps3. And I use to be a HUGE sony fan.

1917.5.2006 16:25

The effort put in a 54GB Blu-ray disk will be exemplary, for bigger and better things to come. If they offer you a 54 GB game, and sell it say 90$, and it turns out to be amazing, with a lot of hours of play in it, sure why not! You guys are mostly paying close to a thousand plus dollars anyways. The PS3 on that note, is much more appealing than the Xbox360, as long as there is a possibility, to create something that is huge in size and great in gameplay. Look at God of War, and some PS2 Games, they were close to 9 gigs. I dont think I would be a huge project to create something 5 times bigger on a next generation console anyways.

2017.5.2006 17:48

From what I read about the Blu-ray disc, the data layer is VERY close to the surface of the disc and any scratch will ruin the disc. This will require a much-improved scratch-resistant coating. ALSO, Blu-ray requires a smaller than standard aperture size for the laser reading the disc. This is why Blu-ray is incompatible with HD-DVD. I have sworn off BOTH formats for movies and my computer until a manufacturer fields a player that can read and burn BOTH formats.

2117.5.2006 18:31

Bill Gates himself said at one time that 64K is more memory than anybody would ever need. Hell, my cell phone has a 195MHz processor with a 2GB Mini SD card. How much memory does your cell phone have in it? Let this be a lesson as to the future capacity of games.

2217.5.2006 19:51

It just dawned on me that these video games are much like movies. Every so often you get a little picture that hits the mark and it becomes a cult favorite. You have your once in a lifetime like Titanic in which huge amounts of money is spend to make. Then there are those that you like cause they are good but not great. And that is what is happening with video games, for the Xbox it is Halo which has turned out to be their Star Wars. And with Sony they are milking both the FF series and MSG series. As with Nintendo take your pick. As in movies all we want is something that is somewhat orginal and entertaining. When it comes to games give me fun game play and if you are selling me on a story make it a good well thought out story.

2317.5.2006 23:24

I wonder if there will be add-ons on the PS3! That would be great.

2417.5.2006 23:32

As my english teacher always said "It's all about quality, not quantity." Therefore, it doesn't matter what medium has the most storage capacity, i believe that if the game is able to satisfy my gaming needs, that's all i ask for. Screw 25 gigs of space, if an 8 gig dvd-disk gives me a blast of fun, that's i need. That's my two cents. Make that two and a half.

2518.5.2006 0:02

how many of you like the psp cd's because let me tell you the cartrage casings is what all hd blu ray disk are comming in which means if you want to burn one you cannot if you want to run ps2 and ps one games you have to use a hd blue ray cartrage case to put the cd in
Johnodd4, I'm pretty sure sony dropped the whole cartage thing for the discs because they too relized that was stupid. Here are the newest shots of what Blu-ray looks like." class="korostus" target="_blank"> If you also look at both the players and dirves they look to just have standard optical drive slots, noting special for cartriges.

2618.5.2006 1:09

I'm confused here. I thought the 360 was already capable of playing HD-DVDs. Guess M$ pulled a fast one on me.

2718.5.2006 9:25

where sony might beat out others is the fact that it will be one of the first "New Format" players out there, for a considerable amount less cash the regular "New Format" players will cost. PS3 costs less than Blu-ray players projected price. same with 360 and HD-DVD. So the buyers may not be gamers, but movie fans instead?? It's not just a kid thing anymore, I'm 26 and still play games, but I also enjoy movies too. And I know other adults do too. This console war may be changeing not to gaming but to movie format. Who knows, maybe I shouldn't drink and read anymore. Let alone type. Hopefully I got a few points across. LD

2818.5.2006 9:45

wheelman7: "But I guess that is what Microsoft gets for jumping the gun on next-gen hardware... Key components left out." No, that was a smart move by MS. If they had put in HD-DVD, then yes, the games would be able to hold more content, but like the article says about Sony using Blu-ray, if MS had used HD-DVD built in, an that format loses, then they're screwed pretty much. It also helps MS keep the price down, which is always a good thing! :)

2918.5.2006 15:26

where sony might beat out others is the fact that it will be one of the first "New Format" players out there, for a considerable amount less cash the regular "New Format" players will cost.
hd-dvd players have been selling for under 500 for about a month now. Consider that price to how much the original dvd players were selling for when they first came out.

3018.5.2006 18:39

just another way too make more money... *sigh*

3118.5.2006 19:42

addon's for console's in the past haven't faired to well. 32X addon SEGACD just to name a few...

3218.5.2006 20:54

^^^^ 2nd that. ' ' I'm a Sony fanboy ' ' no your not ,everybody here is a ninendo fanboy. 3. HD-DVD is going to lose the battle. so this add on cheap or not its still useless.

the allmighty mudearies...

79% Sony Fanboy , 10% xbox fanboy , 11% Kidtendo fanboy.

3320.5.2006 3:54

To start off, I've been a Sony fan true and true. To me it doesn't really matter weather HD-DVD or Blu-ray wins, what matters is the fact the the majority of people like myself aren't watching DVD's with my PS3 or XBOX360. Kudos to Microsoft for not including the HD-DVD drive with their machine in the first place. If HD-DVD doesn't win the war, they can stil make a Blu-ray addon in it's place. If Blu-ray doesn't win the war, your brand new, way over-priced PS3 just became a betamax. Useless and obsolete.

3420.5.2006 9:16

Well if you add the cost of the hd-drive to the 360, it comes out more then the ps3 so why wouldn't you just get a ps3 instead that already has a next gen drive already in it? I just can't see the logic in making that hd drive so expesive with another machine about to hit the market that will compete against it.

3520.5.2006 16:30

does anyone know if this HD-DVD addon is for watching movies only, or for games aswell?

3620.5.2006 22:05

Wow! great discussion. What particulary struck me from these posts is what xsilver said, and I quote, "As for Sony's track record of bringing in new formats:- Betamax - Nearly MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD) - Whoops Minidisc - hahaha SACD - Only 3000 releases in 7 years UMD - Just Silly Memory stick - Another non standard format Beware of the curse of Sony" Now I dont want to mention that movieshaker software i could not buy or download for my then $730.00 digital camcorder. I had to buy software cause i didnt know about afterdawn back then. it is true that the future of console gaming has been rapidly changing and evolving last few years. No doubt it would. But i honestly feel that a console gamer buys an xbox or playstation unit for the games, not the video [dvds etc]. Granted there are many who like the latest new first. Me, i'm a pc gamer. always have been and most probably always will be. Just my penny's worth. Brother John Mc Mullen Noah Lodge #118

3720.5.2006 23:14

Whoa how can someone state that Blu-ray will have advantage over HD-DVD just because of the PS3? I mean PS3 will not be in until mid or late November. There are HD-DVD devices out now and more on the way. Toshiba plans to release an Laptop with HD-DVD support. Non of the "next gen" DVD's devices will really succeed if there is no contents to support them? Many of the Studios are either release a very small number of movies(many are older titles), some of the studios are even pushing the release of Blu-ray or HD-DVD's to later dates. I still think that HD-DVD will come out on top personally because it is easier for the pressing machines that make the DVD's to convert to HD-DVD's.

3821.5.2006 5:10

Oy vay frist off..there are no HD/BR games yet and they will not be for at least 3 years. Sencondly BR DL would be 50GB but the speed can be a factor for gameing,the HD-DVD has the same problems,with that said 250 + 400 = 650 for a 360 with HD DVD,so the priceing setup is the same as the PS3,frankly there is slittle diffreance between the systems now MS has better online content PS3 will have a wider selction of games I am elaning to the PS3 but even then both systems will take acouple eyars for me to want to get one.

3921.5.2006 12:44

Good the xbox 360 has no HDMI outputs so this a great asset to hackers and pirates.

4021.5.2006 15:47

Well I am not saying that either format will give either the Xbox 360 an advantage or the PS3. I do think that the add on could hurt the 360 unless it can fit comfortably and unnoticably in the 360 console (like in the removable harddrive spot). So I don't think that add ons will hurt like in years past. I mean the xbox 360 is ment to be able to add larger harddrives and other devices at later date. The Higher Density Higher Definition formats will be not take off immediately because I read that you can't even watch Blu ray with a high definition panel that has HDMI imputs so can you imagine those that don't have a high definition tv having to purchase one plus a 500 or 600 dollar PS3 and then still don't have any movies worth watching on Blu Ray format or no blue ray games? Imagine that cost. Those that spent 300-400 dollars on a 360 a year ago and plans to purchase a HD DVD add on will not be hurting financially as much as those that will have to drop 500 dollars plus tax to 600 dollars for a PS3 right off the bat and then have to purchase a 60 or 70 dollar game as well. Have any one found out how much the game apps will cost?

4121.5.2006 22:31

uUUmmm hate to tell you all this but BR is not an odd format like all sonys failed sad attemp's.. Well you cant say UDM has failed the PSP iss till going strong it was just silly to make portable moives and charge people for like new dvd price... UDM is a desent format at elast you cant copy the games yet *L* Blue ray is a new format like DVD was a new format however there is a diffrance its not a simple DVD + or DVD- standarded its newer and as far as I know they are incabatable,so these 2 new formats have to fight each oither in order to have a standerdized format. bhetrick Yes I do becuse they spend alot of time worrying abotu space limits,altho I think the frist set of games would be 20-30GB easy when ever that is. gozilla SEGA CD was not a failure presay it had great games and desent support but sega got a bug up thier bum to do the 32X and that was the start of thier downfall. novicebb I guess waiting a few months to get one might hurt sony some but then they have more than enough fan boys in japan will to sell the family jelwels to get one,so in this instance I dont think it will hurt like it eventaulty did sega. bhetrick You never bought Phansty Star 4 or Final Fansty 3 when it frist came out I paid 120ish EACH for them thats inclueing overnight shiping :3 hot_ice Finaly yes size DOSSE NOT MATTER and the new high def DVD formats are nearly eaqule one might have more space on it in DL mode but in all they are the same. I wonder if they could make a BR/HD DVD all in one drive?If they could you'd see it in 5 years,I mean there are some double lens tricks you could do *L* also if its a exturnal drive then you dont have to keep to indutry norms and make it lslighty larger...mmmmm

4223.5.2006 15:17

$250? this further proves that $500 for PS3 is a good deal

4313.7.2006 17:38

mark5hs *L* Acualty MS's plan is cheaper and eaiser to upgrade to 500 then 250 a year later is eiaser than 700 at once

4414.7.2006 11:36

Guess it's time to at UMD to that dead format list.... I most certanly expect Blu-ray to be the next addition. Think about it, md's had lots of support too before and during it's initial outing but alas, it's dead and dying...

4514.7.2006 16:40

Sontiago BR is not wholey owen by Sony so its not quite another one of thier dead or dieing formats. Rioch is already makeing a dual BR-HD DVD drive so the format war might become moot.

4614.7.2006 21:51

True you have a valid point there.;. maybe it will live a tad weeebit longer than I expect... I mean even the umd format would have not been so bad if they had just opened it up for the world and not set prices so extreamly high. I liked getting movies on umd but it just never made sense that a umd cost more than a dvd with tons of extra content..

4714.7.2006 23:30

My 2 cents, As much as of a sony fanboy as I am, I think I will proboly have to go with the 360, just because of the price, I'm 16, they want 600 dollars for a ps3, shit...I paid 600 dollars for my CAR! I make 600 a month, and pay 200 in bills everymonth do you no how long it would take me to save up for a ps3( I have a hard time saving money), just because of the price, I dont want a ps3, it seems that ps3, is taking a huge risk, and I would not want to wager nearly 6 months worth of savings to have a system that in 3 year, wont be worth a shit cause blu ray lost the war. Thats just my 2 cents, Those that say price isent really the issue makes a lot more money then me, cause I proboly wont by a ps3 untell it drops down to 3 or 4 hundred bucks...

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