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XBox (Games)

Toshiba Denies 360 With Built-in HD DVD 50

Posted by Zonk
from the there-is-usually-fire-where-there-is-smoke dept.
A few days ago we discussed the possibility of Toshiba working on an Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD component and HD tuners. Today, GamesIndustry.biz has word from Toshiba denying that they're working on that unit. "'It's got nothing to do with us,' said a spokesperson to gadget site Stuff. 'But we know Microsoft doesn't want to include the HD DVD so as not to limit the user's experience.' Microsoft currently sells the HD DVD player as a separate peripheral for the Xbox 360, and offers various deals for users who want to upgrade their console to a hi-definition movie player."
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Toshiba Denies 360 With Built-in HD DVD

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @05:56PM (#21105839)

    'But we know Microsoft doesn't want to include the HD DVD so as not to limit the user's experience'
    What?
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      They probably meant they don't want the situation where some games start being released on HD-DVDs.
    • by springbox (853816)
      They probably don't want users to give up the experience of buying a costly XBOX add on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373)
      It's very limiting to be able to purchase one device with all the features you want. You don't get the "you also need this add-on" experience... You don't get to experience as much time with the salesman in the store [when they bother spending time with customers]. You miss the "I forgot to buy that part, so I have to go back to the store" experience.

      The article doesn't say anything about them being positive experiences...

      And even if MS didn't have to digitally sign games for them to work with the XBOX
    • Including the HD-DVD drive would also drive the cost of the 360 up, driving up the retail price, and turning off potential purchasers with the new, higher, price tag. They'd rather keep it separate, so the price of the HD-DVD drive doesn't overshadow these potential purchases. That's likely what was meant by limiting the user's experience. To someone who would be buying a 360 either way, it wouldn't limit something. But for someone who didn't have that extra $150 or whatever to spend, having no choice t
      • by Gr8Apes (679165)
        First off, it would probably lower the total cost quite a bit (no extra case, power supply, cabling interfaces for internal to external and back to internal, etc.

        But with the failure rate of 360s, it probably would drive MS's cost up significantly to also have to swallow the cost of an HD-DVD drive on each return. (Rumored as high as 1 in 3 of all XBox 360s sold)
        • by TeraCo (410407)
          So you're using some kind of magical economics system where you can replace a 20 dollar piece of commodity hardware with a 200 dollar HD drive that hasn't even won the standards war yet and then somehow make it cost effective by discarding a few bucks worth of plastic.

          The fact is that Sony were dumbasses for trying to force people to buy into the Bluray thing when they just wanted to play games, and Microsoft would be just as retarded for forcing HD-DVD onto us through a gaming console.
          • by Gr8Apes (679165)

            So you're using some kind of magical economics system where you can replace a 20 dollar piece of commodity hardware with a 200 dollar HD drive that hasn't even won the standards war yet and then somehow make it cost effective by discarding a few bucks worth of plastic.

            Magical? Hardly. The unit now costs $179, including some HD-DVD movies. Remove the $20 commodity hardware, replace with the $x (where x = $179 - $20 - profit margin - case - connectors - cabling - power supply - control panel/electronics) So yeah, I'd expect the price to be within $100 of the current unit.

            The fact is that Sony were dumbasses for trying to force people to buy into the Bluray thing when they just wanted to play games, and Microsoft would be just as retarded for forcing HD-DVD onto us through a gaming console.

            I don't disagree, but you could as easily make the statement they were dumb for trying to force us to use technology 'x' for just playing games. The truth is they were expanding the gaming capability, c

            • by TeraCo (410407)
              Magical? Hardly. The unit now costs $179, including some HD-DVD movies. Remove the $20 commodity hardware, replace with the $x (where x = $179 - $20 - profit margin - case - connectors - cabling - power supply - control panel/electronics) So yeah, I'd expect the price to be within $100 of the current unit.

              And that's 100 dollars for a piece of hardware that is of $0 value to me. I am probably not looking at buying HD movies of either sort for the next 5+ years, and if/when I do get around to watching one i

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by donaldm (919619)

        Including the HD-DVD drive would also drive the cost of the 360 up, driving up the retail price, and turning off potential purchasers with the new, higher, price tag. They'd rather keep it separate, so the price of the HD-DVD drive doesn't overshadow these potential purchases. That's likely what was meant by limiting the user's experience. To someone who would be buying a 360 either way, it wouldn't limit something. But for someone who didn't have that extra $150 or whatever to spend, having no choice to no

        • Most important in my mind to gamers:

          • The BD format is 25/50GiB whereas HD-DVD is 15/30GiB (single/dual layer)
          • The BD transfer rate is 53.95Mb/s and the HD-DVD rate is only 36.55Mb/s
          • BD discs have a mandatory hard coating

          In terms of watching video, I prefer the BD Java support for extremely interactive content if desired as well.

      • Or rather, they don't want to make the mistake Sony made with the PS3 with the economy having trouble. Nobody who makes a realistic amount of money a year is going to blow $600 on a glorified media player/game system. $400 for a gaming system is a big purchase, but at least it's only a video game system which will be around for a few years. Nobody wants to spend the better part of a grand on the next Betamax player that happens to have a few non-exclusive games.
    • by chrome (3506)
      I suspect it's their get out of gaol free card, you know, if blue-ray wins.

      Bwahahahaha.
    • by iainl (136759)
      There may be more different bundles out there than I care to keep track of, but at heart every 360 off the production line is (bar the case colour) much like every other one, now. The HDMI port is now standard across the range, and all buying a Premium or Elite gets you is a hard drive of some sort bolted on the side.

      Changing the actual drive inside the case for one version makes dealing with returns more complex, reduces their argument that should HD-DVD go down the pan and the cost of external BD-ROM driv
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @06:07PM (#21105987)
    I hope this brain child never hits the light of day, at least not for a long time.

    Why "Built-in HD-DVD" is dumb
    Having built in HD-DVD drive will allow MS to push HD-DVD storage enabled games that utilize the extra capacity. This will piss off all the existing users from playing those games and force them to upgrade their systems. The only saving grace on MS side would be to make it ABSOLUTELY clear that the upgraded HD drive will NEVER be used for game content.

    Why "HD tuner" aka QAM is dumb
    The HiDef TV market is currently locked into Encrypted QAM in North America and the only way to bypass the "rent/buy box from provider" is to use a cablecard decoder which is very broken and restricted to 'certified' hardware. There may be some channels broadcasted over the air unencrypted but you can be damn sure that all cable companies will switch to encrypted sooner or later, and at their whim. I'll put hd-cable to the same place in my heart as Hidef cable. In the cold. Call me back when there are open(non-private-key-encumbered) pervasive standards to

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @06:23PM (#21106155) Homepage Journal
      I really don't see how any developer would make HD-DVD 360 games because of that very reason. Why cut most of your market out like that? Just take a look at how long it took for a lot of game distributors to standardize on DVD even if the drives were only $10 and you couldn't buy a computer without a DVD drive for years now.

      I can't find anything that said that the XBox tuner would be QAM-only. Over the air works just fine and can't legally be encrypted.

      "I'll put hd-cable to the same place in my heart as Hidef cable."

      I wasn't aware that "hd-cable" was something different from "Hidef cable".
      • by pokerdad (1124121)

        I really don't see how any developer would make HD-DVD 360 games because of that very reason. Why cut most of your market out like that?

        While there likely would never be a time that any developer would be willing to cut out 10 million plus users, I do think that if the HD-DVD became standard within the next year that before the end of the gen there would be more HD units than not.

        I could see a developer making a game that comes out in two formats, either one HD-DVD or several DVDs.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @06:37PM (#21106295)
      The HiDef TV market is currently locked into Encrypted QAM in North America and the only way to bypass the "rent/buy box from provider" is to use a cablecard decoder....

      Actually, this is not entirely the case - on Comcast I get all basic digital channels, including local HD channels, on clearQAM. It's true more advanced channels or premium HD content require encrypted QAM support.

      Also of course, there is over the air HD in a number of markets now...

      A built in HD-TV tuner is of more use than you think.
    • "This will piss off all the existing users from playing those games and force them to upgrade their systems"

      Actually it won't, if HD-DVD drives read regular DVD's it will just mean games can ALSO come on HD-DVD instead of just DVD's. It won't force anybody to do anything, just like my DVD rom did not force me to stop game companies from releasing games on CD's for the PC for that god-awful-length-of-time.
      • by G Fab (1142219)
        hd dvd and bluray drivces read dvds, but dvd drives do not read hd dvds. Therefore, the games that could be released on hd-dvd would only work on some 360s, just as games using the hard drive would only work on some 360s.

        That's all that is being said here, and it's a valid criticism. Maybe MS wouldn't allow game use of the HD DVD as they don't with the add-on, but I think they would have to in a couple of years.

    • ... and as we all know Microsoft is the kind of company that would NEVER piss of their customers by forcing them to upgrade their systems...
    • Why would MS ever splinter their user base by allowing games to come out in HD-DVD? It makes no business sense whatsoever and will never happen.

      This model would be sold to home theater enthusiasts as an all-in-one solution for HD, gaming and downloadable content. Suggesting that the HD-DVD drive would be used for gaming is FUD plain and simple.
    • by rtechie (244489)

      The HiDef TV market is currently locked into Encrypted QAM in North America and the only way to bypass the "rent/buy box from provider" is to use a cablecard decoder which is very broken and restricted to 'certified' hardware.

      I can tell you for an absolute fact that the cable providers are willing to certify the Microsoft hardware. CableCARD 2.0 certified tuners are out there, but the cable companies want to certify whole PCs, not individual tuner cards, so they are unlikely to be widely available for sale. Of course, a "360 PVR" would be an entire PC, so it would qualify. This project may never materialize, but I know that MS is already testing the tuners, so that's definitely not the sticking point. The big problem is cost. M

      • by demon (1039)
        The cable companies certainly don't WANT to encrypt channels they don't have to because that eats up CPU time on both ends, meaning they have to buy more expensive boxes. Most cable providers now transmit everything but premium channels "in the clear".

        Wrong. So, so very wrong. Do you have anything with a straight-up QAM (non-CableCARD-equipped) tuner? I tried getting clear QAM channels; my cable provider had almost nothing in the clear (local Fox affiliate, IFC, History Channel International, and Music Choi
        • by rtechie (244489)

          Most of the headend gear handles this all for them, and they go with whatever the defaults are - which are (generally) encrypt everything. Their tiering systems wouldn't work very well if they didn't - they'd have to just let anyone with a QAM tuner get a bunch of stuff. They don't want to do that.

          This is what I was talking about in my earlier post. Initially, most cable providers used the "default" which was to encrypt anything because, basically, that's how the boxes shipped. They then began to pare this down because of performance problems. In some markets they've eliminated the encryption on everything but premium because they've eliminated the tiering altogether. Your choices are:

          1. Analog basic cable.
          2. All digital commercial, non-premium channels.
          3. All digital commercial, non-premium channel

  • Out Q1 2008 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Actually the rumor I heard is that the new "XBox HD" is due out during the first quarter of 2008.

    The only reason they are denying the rumors right now, is to help unload existing inventory during the Holiday Season.

    If I was looking at an XBox 360 though, I'd wait till after the Holiday Season for the new unit to be released.
    • by KEnderK (1171753)
      It'd be pointless waiting until after the holiday season to get one. By the time you've bought the [expected] new SKU, another new one will be on the horizon. Microsoft really does have to straighten out how many different models they have. Drop the core and arcade completely, lower the price on the premium, and kick the elite down a notch. Forget all of this 'lol no hard drive 4 u' crap.
  • PVR, not HD-DVD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rtechie (244489) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @06:26PM (#21106183)
    The rumor is that there will be a new bundle priced higher than the Elite (probably around $600) that will include a larger hard drive (I'm told 200 GB), a Cablecard-ready TV tuner, bundled Media Remote, and possibly a DVD recorder (don't hold your breath for that last one). No HD-DVD, though it's supposed to be an HD-capable PVR that records up to 720p.
  • It appears to the untrained, novice outside observer that M$ is making the same mistakes with the 360 that they did with Vista (at least, one of the mistakes they made with Vista)... there are so many versions that the average consumer doesn't know what's what. 8 versions of Vista, and now 360 Core, 360 Pro, 360 Elite, 360 Arcade, optional add-on HD-DVD, and coming soon: HD Tuner version!

    I certainly hope for M$'s sake that they don't release yet another type of 360. A pile of market confusion is just what
    • There are still only 2 main Xbox Models that are being actively manufactured. The Pro (former Premium) and the Arcade (Core). All the other models (Elite,Halo3) were limited runs. AFAIK, Sony also will be having 2 models, the 80 Gig Backwards compat, and the 40 gig non Backwards compat.
      • The only good news I see here is that I might be able to score a bigger hard drive for my 360 soon and not spend an obscene amount of money on it. Bring down the prices! I need some gigs for my demos!
  • by WoTG (610710) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:42PM (#21109183) Homepage Journal
    I think this'll happen. Sony has placed a very large bet on the PS3 and BluRay, IMHO, they've bet the company by tying both products together. It would be in Microsoft's best interests to do as much damage to Sony as possible so that in the next round of the console wars, Microsoft will have more of an advantage.

    So far in this console generation, MS was able to come out a year earlier, partly because waiting for BluRay delayed the PS3. Then, for a long time, the XBox external HD-DVD drive was the cheapest hi-def DVD player around, although, you need to attach it to something, i.e. a PC or a 360.

    Now that HD-DVD drives are relatively cheap, MS can produce an XBox360+ with HD+DVD. It might be just enough to make HD-DVD the winner, and BluRay the looser. And knock a couple billion dollars of BluRay and PS3 revenues out of Sony's pockets.

    If MS is willing to spend $240 million to win the advertising gig on Facebook so that Google doesn't get that contract, then MS including an HD DVD drive to give Sony a kick in the shins is definitely in the cards.

    That's my CAD 0.02, anyway.

    • You know you still won't get to fit more than 9GiB on a game disc right? Microsoft won't upgrade to HD-DVDs for game discs because that would require replacing ALL the existing 360's on the market.

      To be fair, at their current failure rate, that might not take so long after all.

      PS you realize Sony already has distribution deals in Asia for HD TV content, and an HD-capable DVR device for Europe in the works right? Sony's ahead of the game in the technology world, not behind. Microsoft just got their produc

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