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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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  • Make it Quieter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:40PM (#21886652)
    Between a nice sale and gift card I bought the 360 HD-DVD addon for a song. An HD-DVD player for (practically) free that didn't take up an extra set of Component inputs, how could I loose? Plus I could now watch Heroes season 1 on HD-DVD (I missed all of the first season on TV).

    Unfortunately it didn't take me too long to realize that my 360 is just too flippin' loud to enjoy movies. It's one thing if I'm gaming, but if I'm watching an old classic I'd rather not heard the buzzing of those fans. Since I was already jazzed to get Heroes I decided to return the unit and get the cheap Toshiba HD-A2 for a small price instead.

    If they want to seriously consider doing this, they need to engineer the unit so it's a lot quieter or perhaps makes sure it doesn't get so loud with age.
  • Media Companies??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:55PM (#21886844) Homepage
    How will the media companies respond to this? I thought they were already fighting the idea of DVRs, or at least trying to get them to prevent commercial skipping?

    Surely the media companies won't want Microsoft to allow this to happen in any form the consumer might actually want? And I'm sure anyone affiliated with Sony won't like the HD-DVD format at all.

    Admittedly, if anyone has the clout to try it's Microsoft, but I'm still skeptical this would take off.

  • by kilo_foxtrot84 ( 1016017 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:05PM (#21886966)
    What about something like the Expansion Pak [] for the Nintendo 64? There were quite a few games that took advantage of its benefits without being absolutely necessary for gameplay... would a direction like that be possible & adviseable for HD gameplay?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:22PM (#21887106)
    You've been hearing the rumors for most of the second half of 2007 - Microsoft is preparing to exit the console market.

    And now the reality is finally here.

    After two years Microsoft has failed to find a way to fix the 360 hardware failures with even the latest models still giving the infamous RRoD right out of the box for many people. After six years and now some 7 billion dollars with the 360 essentially selling to just the US market like the first Xbox Microsoft has had enough and are looking for other hardware manufacturers to come in and pick up the pieces and try to salvage what they can of the existing Xbox infrastructure. They will never make back anywhere near the billions they've lost but at least they can bring in licensing fees on their way out of the console market.

    It looks like right around middle of 2007 when the shit hit the fan up in Redmond and a bunch of messy meetings took place that decided the fate of the 360:

    Microsoft finally bit the bullet and admitted to the RRoD failure problem and announced the 1.1 billion they were going to spend to keep fixing the existing failing consoles.

    Peter Moore was fired

    The primary Xbox first party developer left Microsoft

    Two major Xbox exclusive developers Bioware and Bizarre went off to EA and Activision leaving Microsoft with pretty much just Rare and maybe one or two other minor first party developers

    The worldwide sales figures showed that the 360 was selling at virtually identical sales rate across the US, Japan, and Europe making it clear that the 360 was going to be once again an almost entirely US based console

    And finally Microsoft has been increasingly focused on moving Xbox technologies and services over to Vista

    Microsoft obviously has decided they have had enough in the console market and are looking for someone to come in and pick up the pieces. Console hardware obviously isn't an area Microsoft can compete in. Ideally they would like to have PC developers locked into Vista exclusive titles with Microsoft pocketing console type licensing fees without having to waste billions on hardware.

  • Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by obeythefist ( 719316 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:14PM (#21888396) Journal
    Just imagine, a cheap device that is "360 compatible". Plays any Xbox 360 game. Has any set of features any number of licensed OEMs would like to put in. HP could make one. Dell could make one. Panasonic could embed them in TVs.

    If the licensing outlay is cheap and competitive enough, it would kill Sony.

    It seems a bit far-fetched, though.

  • Not happening.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtechie ( 244489 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:44PM (#21889322)
    This simply isn't happening.

    The rumor within MS is that Microsoft would announce another VERSION of the XBOX 360 with PVR capabilities and Cablecard support. It is my understanding that this hinged on getting at least one of the major cable companies (TimeWarner and Comcast) on board. This apparently did not happen. Therefore, there will be no 360 PVR.

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