Microsoft Bows Xbox 360 HD DVD Add-on8 May, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel
As expected, Microsoft May 8 at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles announced it would offer an aftermarket HD DVD player drive for its Xbox 360 video game system.
The yet unpriced accessory, which had been widely speculated to be in the works for some time, would connect to the 360 game console via a standard USB cable port. Microsoft didn't announce delivery dates for the HD DVD drive.
"We decided to save that good news for another day, but we're clearly out to make this an affordable option for Xbox 360 owners," said Albert Penello, director of global marketing at Xbox, in a statement.
Penello said comparing HD DVD video quality with rival Blu-ray Disc was awash, and that the primary advantage for HD DVD for consumers is affordability.
"The major difference is going to be price, and all the leading indicators point to HD DVD winning,” Penello.
He said that despite declarations in the press about HD DVD as being “DOA” in comparison to Blu-ray, Microsoft believed ongoing technical problems with Blu-ray are more serious than previously thought, as evidenced by Sony's delayed launch of its PlayStation 3 game console and the first Blu-ray player now pushed back for a late June release.
“Now that both sides are laying their cards on the table, the word is getting out that HD DVD is the best value,” Penello said. “The momentum is with HD DVD. Eventually, we feel all the studios will support HD DVD, perhaps not exclusively. But the studios are too savvy to leave money on the table.”