3 Votes | Average: 2.33 out of 53 Votes | Average: 2.33 out of 53 Votes | Average: 2.33 out of 53 Votes | Average: 2.33 out of 53 Votes | Average: 2.33 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5) Loading ... Loading ...

by Mike Zazaian September 20, 2006 - 11:00am, No Comments

External HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360

Microsoft has finally given up some dirt on the release date of the HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, and coupled it with some good news for HDTV owners.

According to Microsoft an external HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 will be released in Japan on November 17th, with a price of ¥19,800, or roughly $170 US. It’s an exceptional price for the package, especially when considering the inclusion of an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote in the package. For the US release of the HD-DVD device, however, no price or date has been announced.

Although, as the devices are ready for shipment, it might be a safe assumption that the external drives will hit U.S. soil in November for a price of around $175 to $200 US. As Microsoft’s poor Xbox 360 sales forced them to slash console prices in Japan to $255 for a base unit, the higher &$36;200 price for the U.S. Release would be proportionate to the lower Japanese price.

Even though there’s no date for a U.S. Release, a shipment of the HD-DVD drives around November 17th would help Microsoft to disrupt the initial sales of Nintendo’s Wii on November 19th and Sony’s Playstation 3 which should be only a few days after. In fact, a concurrent November 19th release with the Wii, which should become Microsoft’s primary rival in this generation of gaming, would be a good way for Microsoft to disrupt Nintendo’s release party mojo.

As if that weren’t enough news for the Xbox 360 it appears that the console will now offer 1080p support for HDTVs. The update will come via a software upgrade, and will occur automatically for all Xbox 360 owners. Picture quality improvements should be seen instantly on TVs that support 1080p, both for games and movies on HD-DVD. It’s a big hit for the Playstation 3, whose claim to fame over the past year has been its 1080p support. Not a good week for Sony.

[via Engadget]