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Xbox 360 HD DVD Player
Xbox 360 at CEATEC 2006.jpg
Release information
Region Launch date Launch price
United States/Canada November 7, 2006 US$199.99
Japan November 17, 2006[1] ¥25,900
United Kingdom November 28, 2006 £129.99
Australia March 29, 2007[2] AU$250
Sales History
Date Sales Location
December 31, 2006 92,000 US only[3]
June 2007 155,000 US only[4]
November 30, 2007 269,000[5] US only
December 31, 2007 316,000[6] US only
US Price History
Date Price Description
November 7, 2006 $199.99 Launch price
August 1, 2007 $179.99[7] Initial reduction
February 6, 2008 $129.99 [8]
February 25, 2008 $49.99 Clearance price [9]

The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player is a discontinued accessory for the Xbox 360 console that enabled the playback of movies on HD DVD discs. Microsoft offered the drive for sale between November 2006 and February 2008.

Bill Gates announced during his keynote speech at CES 2006 that an external HD DVD drive would be released for the Xbox 360 during 2006.[10] At E3 2006, Microsoft officially presented the external HD DVD drive.

On February 23, 2008, the Xbox 360 HD DVD player was discontinued by Microsoft.[11] This decision came just days after Toshiba's announcement to discontinue all HD DVD players and effectively end the format war. Two days later, the price of the HD DVD Player was reduced to a clearance price of $49.99.

Peter Moore had stated that if HD DVD loses the format war, Microsoft may also release an external Blu-ray drive.[12] This was later denied by Microsoft. According to Japan's chief of Xbox operations, Yoshihiro Maruyama, Microsoft will not release Xbox 360 games in the new disc formats.

For many employees of the Xbox department of Microsoft, prior to the launch of the Xbox 360 Elite, 1,000 black HD DVD drives were made and given to members of the team who worked on the Xbox 360 Elite to create it and to keep it secret.

Technology

The HD DVD player connects to the Xbox 360 using a USB connection. All of the audio and video processing and output come from Xbox 360 itself. The unit can also function as a USB hub, with 2 ports on the rear (however, the hub only works when the HD DVD player is plugged in). It also includes a clip for attaching the wireless network adapter to it, like on the Xbox 360 itself.

The drive will not read Xbox titles, Xbox 360 titles, audio CDs or mixed media CDs. All Xbox 360 games continue to use DVD-9 media. No Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD drive was ever released.[13]

The HD DVD drive is also compatible with Microsoft Windows XP PCs.[14] Windows XP will recognize it as a DVD drive, but drivers have surfaced so Windows XP will see it as the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive. Windows Vista and Mac OS X both natively recognize it. Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" introduced UDF 2.5 driver support for reading HD DVDs, but its included player software can only play HD DVDs authored by DVD Studio Pro.[15]

In the box:

  • Xbox 360 HD DVD Player
  • Setup disc
  • Power supply
  • USB cable
  • Universal Media Remote
  • Batteries
  • User manual
  • Free HD DVD Title*
* Free HD DVD title (in certain areas): King Kong (US/Canada/Australia), Batman Begins (Mexico)
  • 1080p HD DVD playback is not supported by the Xbox 360's component cables. VGA/HDMI are the only ways to get 1080p playback HD DVD.
  • Normal features you would see in a normal HD DVD player like HDMI 1.3, support for TrueHD, and DTS are not available with the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, mainly because the Xbox 360 itself doesn't support the new codecs. The Xbox 360 HD DVD player will only enable with you Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 (optional feature available within the HD DVD audio settings).
  • In the USA, any purchases made between August 1 and September 30, 2007 included five free HD DVD movies.[7] For the same SRP online retailer Amazon.com increased the offer to a total of nine HD DVD titles when used with a mail-in rebate.
  • Following the discontinuation, the HD DVD Player was reduced to $49.99. The UK price was cut to £39.99 and it was still bundled with the $19.99/£19.99 (SRP) Universal Media Remote, essentially making the price just $30/£20. On May 1, 2008 Xtra-vision reduced the price to £6.99.

References

  1. ^ Xbox 360 adds 1080p, HD DVD drive is $170 US for November 22nd in Japan - Engadget
  2. ^ 404 - Smarthouse
  3. ^ Graft, Kris (12 January 2007). "Xbox 360 HD-DVD: 92K Sold". Next Generation. Future plc. Archived from the original on 2007-01-19. http://web.archive.org/web/20070119030435/http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4531&Itemid=2. Retrieved 2010-01-07. "According to NPD’s figures, the hardware sold 42,000 units in November and 50,000 in December. NPD analyst Anita Frazier said that the life-to-date figure indicates a 2 percent attach rate to the Xbox 360 install base."  
  4. ^ HD DVD posse: "There's room for both formats", Crave at CNET.co.uk, 2007-07-07.
  5. ^ Boyer, Brandon (14 December 2007). "November Sees DS, Wii Swell, COD4, Mario, Assassin's Tops Charts". Gamasutra. Think Services. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16640. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  6. ^ Boyer, Brandon (18 January 2008). "NPD: 2007 U.S. Game Industry Growth Up 43% To $17.9 Billion". Gamasutra. Think Services. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17006. Retrieved 2010-01-07.  
  7. ^ a b Microsoft (27 July 2007). "Xbox 360 HD DVD Player Moves to $179, Adds Five Free HD DVDs". Press release. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/jul07/07-26comicconxboxhddvdpr.mspx. Retrieved 2010-01-07. "Today at Comic-Con International 2007, Microsoft Corp. announced it will lower the price of the popular Xbox 360 HD DVD Player from $199 to $179 ERP (United States only) starting Aug. 1, 2007, and will add five free HD DVD movies for anyone purchasing an Xbox 360 HD DVD Player between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30."  
  8. ^ Hryb, Larry (2008-02-06). "Xbox 360 HD DVD Player price drop (now US $129.99)". majornelson.com. http://majornelson.com/archive/2008/02/06/xbox-360-hd-dvd-player-price-drop-now-us-129-99.aspx. Retrieved 2008-02-06.  
  9. ^ Culpan, Tim (24 February 2008). "Microsoft Will Stop HD-DVD Player Production, Cut Price by Half". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aAANSKlSZKdo. Retrieved 2010-01-07. ""From tomorrow, we will cut the price to $49 and will not make any more of the HD-DVD players," said Grace Chou, a Taipei-based spokeswoman for the Redmond, Washington-based company."  
  10. ^ "Gates Outlines Vision for the Digital Lifestyle and Showcases New Products and Technologies From Microsoft, Microsoft, 4 January 2006
  11. ^ Format War Over: Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Player Officially Discontinued
  12. ^ "Moore: Blu-ray Xbox 360 add-on possible", Gamespot, 10 January 2006
  13. ^ "No HD DVD games for 360", Eurogamer, 1 November 2005
  14. ^ Impress article (in Japanese)
  15. ^ "DVD Player: Plays HD DVD discs authored in DVD Studio Pro only". Apple. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305800. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
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