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Microsoft Prices Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive at $200

27 Sep, 2006 By: John Gaudiosi

Microsoft made the $200 price for the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive official at its X06 international press conference in Barcelona, Spain. The external HD DVD player will ship in mid-November in the United States and will include a pack-in of the HD DVD of Peter Jackson's King Kong from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, for a limited time.

The HD DVD drive will also come with the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.

“The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player is the best high-definition movie experience and value on the market,” said Peter Moore, Peter Moore, corporate VP of Microsoft interactive entertainment. “The reviews, the word of mouth and the consumer response have all been crystal clear — HD DVD is the format of choice. We're not forcing movie technology on game players, but are instead letting them choose how to personalize their experiences. If they want HD DVD, there's no better value out there.”

The Xbox 360 HD DVD player offers up to six times higher resolution than DVD, and as part of the fall 2006 console update all Xbox 360 consoles will have the ability to output native resolution 1080p games and movies.

Meanwhile, rival next-generation console makers Sony and Nintendo will focus on retail trial to boost their systems. Sony will place 15,000 PlayStation 3 kiosks throughout North America at a cost of $30 million as part of its marketing effort, according to Bloomberg. In contrast, when PlayStation 2 launched, only 3,000 kiosks were used at retail.

With only 400,000 PS3s pegged for the North American launch, Sony will take nearly 4% of those consoles and use them to market the console. Sony is banking on retail marketing with hands-on demonstrations to lead to sales of PS3 throughout next year and beyond.

For many gamers, these kiosks will be the only way to play PS3 games like Gran Turismo HD and Resistance: Fall of Man. Sony's next-generation console will be in short supply until next year. Sony plans to have 6 million PS3s shipped by the end of March 2007.

Nintendo will also use retailers, malls and concerts to allow consumers to try its $250 Wii before they can purchase it. The unique motion-sensor controller opens up gaming to a wider audience and the lowest next-generation price also makes the new Nintendo console more attractive to the casual gamer.

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