In his CES keynote address, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced that an external HD DVD drive will be offered as an accessory for the Xbox 360 later this year. The add-on will turn the game console into a high-definition movie player. He didn't announce its price.
Microsoft has sided with Toshiba and Intel in the next-generation-DVD format war. Sony, which supports the competing Blu-ray Disc (BD) format, has said that when it introduces the PlayStation 3 game console this year, it will have a Blu-ray drive for HD movie playback and other optical-disk chores.
The Xbox 360 accessory plays but doesn't record HD DVD movies. For recording as well as playing high-definition video, Gates suggested Windows Media Center Edition PCs equipped with HD DVD read/write drives to be available later this year.
Touting HD DVD's managed copying scheme to a computer's hard drive, Gates said a Media Center PC might let you access a library of stored high-def movies. Though the Xbox also contains a hard drive, its capacity is much lower than that of a typical computer, so it wouldn't make sense to use it for keeping copies of movies.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.