Xbox HD DVD Add-on Due in Japan21 Sep, 2006 By: John Gaudiosi
Microsoft announced at the Tokyo Game Show that the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive will ship in Japan for $167 on Nov. 17. That price includes a pack-in Microsoft universal remote control. A U.S. release date and price is expected to follow soon. Speculation revolves around a late November U.S. release at $200.
Microsoft also announced that every Xbox 360 would receive a free fall software upgrade enabling the next-generation device to offer 1080p gaming and movie playback capabilities. Consumers will not have to purchase the HD DVD drive to play games on 1080p, although this update will allow HD DVD movies to play in 1080p. Currently, Xbox 360 supports 1080i. All Xbox 360 games will play in either 1080i or 1080p. This announcement means both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will support 1080p.Of the first 1 million Xbox 360 consumers in the United States, 90% said they either owned an HDTV or would buy one in the next six months.
Microsoft also shipped its Vision Xbox 360 camera for $40. The camera allows players to insert their face into games such as Ubisoft's Rainbow Six: Vegas. It also allows for video chat during games, so players can see their opponents. The camera opens up EyeToy-like physical interaction with Xbox 360 games.
Peter Moore, corporate VP of Microsoft interactive entertainment business, recently told CNET News that the release of this fall's Zune, Microsoft's portable music player, will open up new portable entertainment opportunities for Xbox 360 in the coming years. J. Allard, one of the creators of the Xbox, is heading up Zune, which is expected to offer more portable entertainment opportunities, including gaming, in future iterations.