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Gates May Announce Xbox 360 DVR At CES 117

Via Kotaku, an article at the Seattle Times offers an interesting theory on what might be an important part of Bill Gates' keynote at CES next week. According to Times writer Brier Dudley, upgrades and licensing for the Xbox 360 could be a big new feather in Microsoft's cap: "I've speculated on my blog that Microsoft may be preparing to license the Xbox gaming platform to consumer-electronics companies. In particular, Microsoft could work with Toshiba to develop a digital video recorder with a hard-drive, high-definition HD-DVD drive and Xbox gaming capabilities. They're already allied against Sony and other backers of the Blu-ray DVD format, and Toshiba could help Xbox finally penetrate the Japanese market." Toshiba has repeatedly denied the possibility of a 360 unit with a built-in HD-DVD drive, it should be noted.
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Gates May Announce Xbox 360 DVR At CES

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  • If only... (Score:4, Informative)

    by flitty ( 981864 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:48PM (#21886752)
    It won't be built in. The public image of ANOTHER version of the xbox that is more expensive than the ps3 is too damaging to the brand, even if it has new features. They wouldn't release an 360 at the current price point with the DVR built in, WAY too many upset early adopters who would be RROD their xbox on purpose.

    The only way MS could do this successfully is by upgrading the HD-DVD player, keeping it at the current price point, but adding DVR functionality to the thing, even if it makes the player a little thicker for the hard drive. An "HD upgrade kit" if you will. Then get rid of the old version of the HDDVD player at fire sale prices. That way, the minority of xbox owners that bought the HDDVD players would be the only consumer base that would feel upset, but keeping the price the same would be understandable since the add-on has been around for a while, and it's sales are definately slumping.
  • There is precedent (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:26PM (#21887154)
    The Panasonic Q. It was a Nintendo Game Cube with DVD player functionality added. But the game-playing guts were exactly the same as a regular Game Cube so it didn't interfere with game development.
  • Re:If only... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:29PM (#21887184)
    Here's my theory: Microsoft understands what a huge screw-up the CableCard initiative has been on the Media Center side. They're going to go ahead and get the 360 certified by CableLabs, and then allow you to buy CableCard tuners, like the existing ATI OCUR and the upcoming BCOR (which would allow for PPV). They'll then allow you to use this as an external tuner for a single Media Center box, kind of like how the HDHomeRun currently works. This allows them to bypass the system-level DRM and certification requirements that were screwing them on the Media Center side, since all they'd need to do is deal with wrapping the stream in DRM, which they already know how to do.

    HD-DVD on-board? Maybe, but it'd just be for obscuring the costs of the CableLab cert, to some extent.
  • by Liquidrage ( 640463 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:56PM (#21887508)
    "Even if there are a set of standards, there's nothing stopping them from skimping on parts, or even using slightly different architectures which throw the whole thing out of whack."

    Sure there is. Microsoft. There's not a chance in hell MS would let anyone make another one that wasn't 100% compatible with the current ones. There's plenty of room (and common sense) for MS to allow others to make a 360 and to control the specs they are made to.
  • Re:Make it Quieter (Score:2, Informative)

    by valathax ( 916966 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:34PM (#21887914)
    There was a firmware update about a year ago that fixed the load fan and drive noise issue when playing movies.

    If you don't have proper ventilation for the x360 it will scream like a banshee after just a few minutes. A friend of mine stores his in an enclosed entertainment unit and it is extremely load.
  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) < minus author> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:04PM (#21889544) Homepage
    Hmm Lets See...


    The most expensive console of its day (and probably of all time if adjusted for inflation)

    Poor game selection out of the gate and little support afterwards.

    Trip Hawking was too obsessed with making it a multimedia setup box rather than focusing on games.

    Advertising was nearly non-existent and focused on the wrong aspects.

    A horrible controller and only one controller port so controllers had to be daisy chained together.

    No real exclusives other than an early jump on Street Fighter 2 turbo.

    3DO never manufactured its own console it only licensed the platform, which meant all of them were starting from scratch.

    Other than those...yep it sounds just like 3D0....
  • by G Fab ( 1142219 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:13PM (#21889632)
    Also, Sony made the PSX, which is a playstation 2+DVR media center. Had the first XMB system, too.

    It was a huge flop, but this might not be. If I were to buy another XBOX, I would avoid a Microsoft built one if other manufacturers were known to make these in a more reliable form.

    Thing is, Isn't the PS3 able to be a DVR with a minor upgrade? I think Sony is just waiting on that to keep the Media companies in bed with Blu Ray, but this might push Sony to get that DVR attachment out faster.

    Also, if the XBOX is really getting cheaper to make, then Microsoft is again forfeiting a lot of profits by not making these on its own. They paid for all the loss leader models, and now Toshiba gets to sell all the profitable ones? Strange move. But I'm sure it makes sense from the HD DVD side of things. MS is, yet again, trying to screw with Sony.

    I prefer my 360 a lot. In spite of RROD (more than half the 360 owners I know have had one or more), in spite of the online fees, in spite of MS being the very paradigm of an uncool corporation, the 360 offers more fun than any other game console. But I sure do not want to see MS win the console wars to the extent that they become the defacto system you must own to play the best games.

    If they do, you can believe that MS will get every penny they spent killing Sony out of our pcokets. We will pay heftier subscriptions and have forced upgrades. Viable systems will be obsolete by plan. Just like Windows. Sometimes that seems impossible to ever occur, and sometimes it seems inevitable.

    Of course, this isn't just MS's fault, they're a brainless profit machine and the chairmen have their fiduciary duties. But Sony could have fought a better battle and instead blew their chances with glorious arrogance. I hope 2008 proves that Sony can fight harder by giving me some real games.
  • Re:Make it Quieter (Score:3, Informative)

    by mingot ( 665080 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @01:23AM (#21891316)
    You do realize that even though it died before the extension it IS covered now, right? Send that sucker in to get it fixed and make a few bucks on ebay.
  • Re:Make it Quieter (Score:3, Informative)

    by iainl ( 136759 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @05:39AM (#21892414)
    Did you leave a game in the main DVD drive? There's some really stupid code in the HD-DVD player that causes the DVD to spin up if there's a disc left in there, and it's this that causes most of the noise on my system. As long as I take any disc out then playing a HD-DVD from the other drive is fine on mine. It's still a louder than an A2, mind you, so you're still a bit better off with your new setup.
  • Re:Make it Quieter (Score:3, Informative)

    by p0tat03 ( 985078 ) on Friday January 04, 2008 @04:58AM (#21907122)
    It's not the fans. It's the damned DVD drive. You would think after making an excellent DVD drive (certainly superior to the rickety piece of crap in the PS2) for the Xbox, they'd do the same for the 360. Nooooooo. The machine itself is whisper quiet (while playikng XBLA games, for example), but once you let that disc spin up, boy, I'd rather be riding in a F-18, bet that's quieter.

Forty two.