HD-DVD, Street Fighter II coming to 360

Bill Gates unveils external next-gen disc peripheral, new Xbox Live Arcade game at CES.

by

LAS VEGAS--The Consumer Electronics Show kicked off tonight with a keynote address from Microsoft founder, chairman, and chief software architect Bill Gates. And while just about anything the richest man in the world says makes the news--he was one of Time's 2005 Persons of the Year, after all--what he had to say tonight was of particular interest to gamers.

Besides offering brief comments about how Microsoft's next-generation operating system, Windows Vista, would interact with gaming--including a short demo of the next PC Flight Simulator, Gates also revealed that the Xbox 360 would be compatible with a next-generation disc format. As expected, the format in question is HD-DVD, the Toshiba-backed rival to Blu-ray Disc, which is supported by Microsoft's archrival in the next-gen console race, the Sony PlayStation 3. (Ironically, Toshiba partnered with Sony to produce the PS3's Cell CPU.)

Also, as one might guess given the fact the 360 has an internal standard DVD drive, the console's HD-DVD drive will be offered as an external peripheral. Microsoft's vice president of worldwide Xbox marketing, Peter Moore, who took the stage after a not-so-impromptu 360 Fight Night Round 3 bout between Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (who in keeping with his fiery reputation, threw down his controller in a moment of defeatist rage after being KO'd by Gates in the match), said that the drive would arrive later this year. However, he did not show a final form factor for the drive or name a price point, although stand-alone HD-DVD players are expected to cost in excess of $300.

Moore also took the opportunity to underline Microsoft's bullish predictions for the 360. First, he touted the high attach rates for the console--an average of four games and three accessories per console. Moore said that was "twice the previous record" without naming a specific platform--or the fact most consoles were sold in preorder bundles with games included.

Moore also said that by the end of June, there will be 50 Xbox 360 games on the market--up from the 19 currently available--in 30 countries. By June 2006, the company expects to have shipped 4.5 million to 5.5 million 360s worldwide. Previously, Microsoft predicted that it would sell 2.5 to 3 million 360s in the console's first 90 days on the market. However, that figure has come into question after widespread reports of 360 shortages in Europe and North America--though the console remains in abundant supply in Japan.

While Xbox 360s are currently hard to find for most gamers, Moore said that may soon change. He told the CES audience that Microsoft has enlisted a new manufacturing partner, the multinational Celestica, to help churn out more of the hotly sought-after consoles. Although Moore spun the Celestica announcement as something new, the fact that Celestica facilities were to manufacture the company's new console were widely reported last month in both Western and Asian media outlets. Moore did not specify whether Celestica factories were yet producing the consoles, saying only that Celestica "will join" existing Xbox 360 manufacturers.

Microsoft's CES presentation also had revelations for current Xbox 360 owners. In an almost offhand remark, Gates said that one of Capcom's most popular old-school arcade titles, Street Fighter II, will be available via Xbox Live Marketplace later in the year. If poker is your game, you'll be happy to know that a new Texas-hold-'em-game, it was revealed, will be available this year as well. Moore also mentioned that since the 360 went on sale on November 22, 2005, there have been more than four million individual downloads from the service. With the fanfare of factoids behind him, Moore weighed in with a flourish, saying such statistics demonstrated that the Xbox family of consoles was now a "proven form of mainstream entertainment."

GameSpot will have more news from CES 2006 as the expo progresses.

Discussion

203 comments
anamnawshad
anamnawshad

DVD is enough HD-DVD ain't that necessary and BLU-RAY is too much! These next-gen formats will only increase the price!

CloudStrifeFFO7
CloudStrifeFFO7

The HDDVD addon will not sell to good if they wanted a HDDVD player they should have integrated that into the XBOX 360!

flybyebay
flybyebay

XBOX360 (AKA XBOX 1.5): Colour it Lemon.

neyel8r
neyel8r

k m$ & 360 sux! ps3 will b cheaper overall & much mor powerful, hands down.

ratrick_74
ratrick_74

this is just so that microsoft can say "we've got a hd-dvd drive, just like the ps3". personally i prefer the lower price to a hd-dvd drive anyway.

01_5k001
01_5k001

External optical drives for game consoles are so 90's.

mhorbatuk
mhorbatuk

if Microsoft is going to be any successful in the hd-dvd arena, what they should do is give everone with a xbox360 that has a standard drive and upgrade it for free, but im just specualting as i have no idea of the costs and whether the hd-dvd readers can read the dvd-9

evil_dracula
evil_dracula

Here's another point - Why would anyone in their right mind buy a BR-DVD player?? The prices as announced at CES *start* at $1800 and go up from there. Why not just buy a PS3? even if you never play a game on the thing it must be cheaper than $1800.. or is it..?? Something doesn't add up in this equation.. Either Sony is preparing to take catastrophic losses on their console and screw virtually every BR-DVD stand- alone player manufacturer who've adopted Sony's own standard.. or perhaps Sony is adding a stripped-down player with severly limited functionality to the PS3.. or perhaps the PS3 will launch at well over $1000.. or maybe still the BR-DVD format is still so bleeding edge that it cannot be efficiently manufactured at this point - which reduces the chances of a "Spring 2006" launch to beyond "not happening".

evil_dracula
evil_dracula

"Oh really evil dracula so let say a Xbox360 game comes out that exceeds the DVD-9 format you wanna load 4 disc into a system????" What game would that be? Elder Scrolls fits on one disc. The game will be HUGE and it fits on one disc. for a developer to build a game for the current generation of hardware that required 4 dual layer DVDs (nearly 40 Gigs) they'll have to do one of two things: 1. Spend 400% more development time or hire 400% more developers to develop such a huge game (or ditch development of other titles in favor of the project) - theoretically of course.. but then again a 40GB game is also purely theoretical 2. Fill up the disc with a boatload of cutscenes I think we all know whats more likely to happen. But just to play devils advocate.. let's say a developer gets REALLY ambitious and creates a massive game like that would require 40 Gigs. I would prefer that the game simply require a hard drive and load the game information onto it like a PC does. It would probably run faster anyway. This assumes that microsoft will eventually release a high capacity hard drive - which is totally possible - especially if such a game ever were to exist.

n_cheng
n_cheng

Great, let's win the next gen. console war in 2006 by bringing out a popular 'new' game, SF2 from 1991. Let's not forget that this same game has already had at least a hundred iterations on every 16-bit, 32-bit, 128 bit, 2-bit console and PC since then.. and is definitely played out. In addition to the lack of HD-DVD for games on the Xbox 360... the Xbox is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. MSFT.. all that money spent.. and they can't get people to 'think' and know about what gamers really want?? Coincidentally, if you do a 360, you're basically still running in a circle. I can't think of a more aptly named console.

jahoousa
jahoousa

Are they kidding? It seems like just all around bad timming. From my perspective, an informed consumer, it looks like the whole launch was just rushed. I mean if they had waited 6 months longer what would have happened? Is it a catastrophy to launch along side sony? And to include a stand alone DVD drive instead of the new media format they've been trying to get industry support for, just nonsense. Sony's "keeping it real" and sticking to thier guns. They'll be releasing a consol with a hard to imagine capacity for storage. Upward of 50GB vs Xbox 360's 4.7 dual layer bullcrap? Does anybody remember back in the day when the N64 was getting nocked for it's lack of storage due to cartiges? Sony had a huge advantage in that era because of data storage alone, and here again they will have a huge advantage over Microsoft in the data storage area. The only advantage they don't hold is in consumer data storage (but who the heck uses 20 gigs for save games? My music takes up only 5 gig). It seems to me that, just as always, Microsoft has a good thing going, but as we all can see from windows, misses the point. My faith lies with sony.

Sirpapaya007
Sirpapaya007

50 games by June 2006 not by then end of 2006. Thats an additional 6 months.

dky4u2021
dky4u2021

You all are idiots, Sony wont sell the PS3 for and insane price like you think it will be only about 500 and belive me the few extra Benjimans will be more than worth it, The only thing i see happening in the future is the PS3 doing to the 360 the same way it did the Dreamcast. Microsoft rushed thier production of thier console and will pay dearly for it.

striker_jme
striker_jme

Damn there are alot of haters. Dont be mad Sony is and will always be the best in entertainment they own everything. Oh and I dont think there going to make a console that would cost one grand There Sony they know what to do. I mean just take a look at the PSP $250 to do more things than even the new XBOX 360 cant Imean the PSP has thier exclusive media format that produce movies who else has that. Xbox 360 wont even ship there HD peripheral because there not going to have any movies for it because they no support from any of the movie production companies. PS3 will be the best entertainment device the world has ever seen Sorry Microsoft why dont u get some that cash that bill gates has and start spending on something useful I mean even the new opperating system sucks Apple already has almost the same thing and it came out a long time ago.

robowarriorx
robowarriorx

OK, so there is a huge argument over game capabilities of hd-dvd. It won't be just for movies. There was an article a few weeks back, here on Gamespot, actually, where there were some Japanese 360 developers who were quoted as saying how several of the games that were in development were easily going to exceed dvd9 storage capabilities, and they had a few that were already at 3-4 disks worth of content, and they possibly needed more. Another area this would come into play would be in ports. The Revolution is probably going to be assed out in that department, but for the 360 to be able to hang, it is going to need that extra storage space. It's great that it is optional, though. Someone had said they wouldn't use it for games because M$ wants everyone to be able to play the games with 360. So, in the case of a HD-DVD, they would simply have exclusive games that would require the peripheral. As more info is released, I really hope the PS3 isn't released at a price point along the lines of the 3DO ($799) People actually paid that, back in the day. Anyway, I'm sure Sony will be competitive, but it could deffinately work in M$ advantage. Let's say the PS3 is $599 with hard drive. Let's say there is a bundle 360 w/hdd and hd-dvd for $499. If the games LOOK comparable, 360 will get a jump on PS3, at least for a little while. Don't forget, many of the PS2 launch titles looked fairly poor when compared to the best of the Dreamcast, so we shall have to see...

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

if the HD-DVD add-on is significantly cheaper than a standalone player than I think it's a good idea and I willl probably get it once I have an HDTV. There was good reason not to include it with the 360, that being simply that there is no HDDVD content ready yet. The technology is still in development so i really made no sense delaying xbox 360 just for this.

The_Game21x
The_Game21x

I don't think High Def DVD's are necessary for next gen gaming. Just think about the games that are out now on the 360. Call of Duty 2 looks and plays great. All on the standard DVD 9 format. other examples include, Perfect Dark Zero, PGR 3, DOA 4, all these games look and play great in High Def and they run on the standard DVD 9 format. Sony is taking an unnecessary risk by adding the Blu-Ray drive to their system, especially if, for one, they have to sell the system at huge losses to make the price reasonable or two, if only a select few developers, (as another poster mentioned, the ones in Sony's pocket) start making games to fill the Blu-ray disc. I've also heard rumors of a triple layer DVD coming out that adds even more space to DVD's and plays in standard DVD drives. I don't know if this is true but if so it would really help Microsoft if more space is needed.

SD75I
SD75I

Oh really evil dracula so let say a Xbox360 game comes out that exceeds the DVD-9 format you wanna load 4 disc into a system????

davahsa
davahsa

Gamespot should do an artical on compression

spr4yp4int
spr4yp4int

M$ makes another clumsy move. How is the saying? oh yeah. "A dumb enemy is a gift granted from god." I bet the SONY team members is laughing at this this very moment ^^ I am :D Really: "OMG x360 has street fighter 2 for download! Awesome, I must get one instead of buying a system with NEW games!"

evil_dracula
evil_dracula

Mangoted: "but what HD-DVD and Blu Ray offers is higher resolution in games" Based on what exactly? PR Spin? If Sony (or Microsoft for that matter) really were concerned with 'higher resolution in games' they would have included a lot more of the graphics memory required to support such an operation or at least a truckload of caching space via a fast local hard disk. As it is now, the PS3 has 256MB of graphics memory and 256MB of XDR RAM.. (X360 has 512 unified) - additionally, both PS3 and X360 have removable hard drives. It's certainly more than enough to smoothly render the equivelent of a top-end PC game - which comes packaged just fine on a conventional DVD. On the other hand f you think that the PS3 is capable of storing and swapping hundreds of megs worth of cinema-quality texture information in real time simply because the disk can hold it, you're dreaming. That's like saying that adding a 200GB hard drive to your computer will tripple the clarity of your in-game graphics simply becuase the texture files will physically fit on it.

lalamusa
lalamusa

i definetely think thth da 360 is gonna win da console war.

xbx4ever
xbx4ever

This is great news. I'm sure the add on will be reasonably priced and when you add up all the costs, I would be willing to bet that it's still going to be cheaper then buying a PS3. If Sony does sell the PS3 at a huge loss, say around 500.00 bucks or so then that's great news for gamers too. I'm not really sure but it seems like although Microsoft has said in the past that the HDDvd would be for movies only, it should be quite possible for developers to use it for games. On a side note, I don't understand all the negative comments about this. Would you prefer that they didn't offer a high def solution? Sure it would have been nice to have an internal all exclusive system but this is still better then nothing. The great thing about living in a free country is freedom of choice. Don't like it? Don't buy it!

demollyon
demollyon

C'mon guys! Still talking about Sony? PS3? Just let sony sell a new handicam. Gaming is about games and X360 delivers. Does anybody want a banana for a controller? Not me! Maybe my monkey pet...

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

the HD DVD crap gets me pissed off, The downloads look cool, and honestly, who could beat bill gates at fight night round 3?

xJackelx
xJackelx

The Ps3 will retail between $300 and $400. This has been confirmed by many Sony Reps. Although not put out in a press release, call any local sony dealer. Or stop by any mainstream gaming shop and ask them what their sony reps have told them. They have a break down chart floating around since the end of November. I'll see if I can locate one and post it for everyone.

Mangoted
Mangoted

Imon, yes many people may opt not to get it, but what HD-DVD and Blu Ray offers is higher resolution in games, and I wish and hope longer games. High definition anything requires a lot, I emphasis a lot, of space. Maybe developers will keep their games short, sad as that may sound, on regular DVDs to appear HD, but for my money I want long and true HD games. And therefore want a console that plays that right out of the box. At the moment, it may just be movies that they want to support for those HD-DVD peripheral, but down the line they will move towards HD gaming. It is just how it is. HD is the new trend, a trend that all companies are going to embrace.

dru26
dru26

The article states that 50 games will be released by June, not the end of 06.

evil_dracula
evil_dracula

From SD75I: "You know damn well the developers told Microsoft they wanted more space to get better quality games who cares what compression can do. Do you not realize the more space that textures, sound, etc. can accomplish that better the end product." I totally disagree. the DVD format has more than enough room for a solid, enjoyable full-length next-gen game with high quality audio, high-def graphics and high-res textures. I don't know of a single developer that claims they can't put out a good next-gen console game because of the lack of storage space on the disc. (no developer that's not in Sony's pocket anyway) - Further more they've already said that it's just for HD-DVD movies. what more do you need? What developers *really* want is a stable, solid dev kit early on in the process that's easy to program against and offers the processing capacity to support truly next-gen applications like real-time physics calculations. This will bring gamers fully destructible environments, true collision detection and excellent particle effects.. All of this is possible within a DVDs storage capacity. Keep in mind that PCs use DVD formats and offer a higher resolution playback capacity than even 1080p. PC DVDs also require adidtional space for considerations given to a non-standardized platform. (additional textures, sound libraries etc..) Since the console is a locked-down platform extras can be stripped and the game and it can take up less space on the delivery medium. The blu-ray thing is a nice-to-have extra that may provide better game cinematics and suport for blu-ray DVD movies but it's not the missing piece of the puzzle needed to create playable cut-scenes like sonys been whetting our appetites with. Really what it does is help sony sell the PS3 as a "media hub" with a long life cycle. Anyone with a PSP knows that Sony is just as committed to movie viewing as it is to a gaming platform.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

SFII? I'll definitely be ready for that!

sushi_111
sushi_111

So if next gen equals HD to you people then the Revolution is not next gen? Get a life, the external drive is just an option, and it's an option not many will take so shut your trap. And to Street Fighter 2... YIPEE!

Imon
Imon

Okay, so this isn't the biggest news of all time but it is another way for microsoft to make money. but i am 100% sure that this "periphiall" is only going to play high def dvd's, not games. Because if they were to play games microsoft would have to launch three versions of games... xbox, xbox 360, and the xbox 360 blue ray. And as stupid as microsoft can be, they aren't that stupid. But 300 dollars for a blue ray dvd player is a lot when you can buy a separate panasonic or say even samsung one for cheaper.

cmontyx49
cmontyx49

The games on 360 don't look bad at all. I don't think that a game needs to be HD-DVD or Blue Ray to be next gen.. Look at the next gen PC games, they will still be on DVD.

gennick217
gennick217

In the history of gaming platforms add-on devices have usally been the kiss of death! MS was in such a hurry to beat Sony I think it may have screwed itself on this one I wouldn't buy a 360 now with the knowledge that later it would be coming out with a better drive think I will just wait it out and see

kokidkane
kokidkane

haaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ms you suck really really suck makes me lol I think the guys from ape escape work for ms lol

gtafreak621
gtafreak621

vir2lreality stop pulling out random non-proven information out of your *** and pretending that you are amazed at it when you are just a M$ fanboy. you make me sick

makemeweak
makemeweak

My guess would be that Microsoft is releasing the drive externally because they didn't want to fully commit to a certain protocol, even if they are officially backing Toshiba. This way if HD DVD flops they won't have millions of systems with archaic drives. They'll just have millions (maybe) of external drives that are obsolete. Then they can release an external blue ray format drive and they don't have to develop a whole new system to accomodate the market. On the other hand, if blue ray flops sony is really screwed. Just because the specs of blue ray are hypothetically better doesn't mean it will win the latest format war. HD has the backing of Universal Studios and Paramount - and the movie industry is far more lucrative than the console video game industry. Money talks more than specs do.

The_Game21x
The_Game21x

I don't know if Microsoft is making the best choices regarding the 360. First they make the two console choices. Talk to any real gamer and they'll tell you that no one wants the Core. Now MS is offering the HD-DVD as a (from what I hear, expensive) add on? I don't know about you but I can't afford to pay an additional $200 - $300 just to play High Def movies and Games and offering it as an add on and not a built in feature is another problem. Especially if HD-DVD becomes the standard for 360 games later on.

SD75I
SD75I

You know its funny how everbody keeps stating that this HD-DVD drive will only play movies. Now if you are that delusional to believe it will only play movies don't post anything. You know damn well the developers told Microsoft they wanted more space to get better quality games who cares what compression can do. Do you not realize the more space that textures, sound, etc. can accomplish that better the end product. Its like choking somebody using compression they don't function properly. Secondly by a separate HD-DVD movie player for your TV don't waste hundreds of dollars adding an unnecessary device that hooks up to a console intended to play games. I'd rather wait for PS3 pay the $500.00 up front and be out the gate.

amena
amena

I was never a Xbox fan, but somehow I went out and bought the Xbox 360. But I'm a true sony hard core fan along with Nintendo. Microsoft still have a ways to go.

SD75I
SD75I

You know its funny how everbody keeps stating that this HD-DVD drive will only play movies. Now if you are that delusional to believe it will only play movies don't post anything. You know damn well the developers told Microsoft they wanted more space to get better quality games who cares what compression can do. Do you not realize the more space that textures, sound, etc. can accomplish that better the end product. Its like choking somebody using compression they don't function properly. Secondly by a separate HD-DVD movie player for your TV don't waste hundreds of dollars adding an unnecessary device that hooks up to a console intended to play games. I'd rather wait for PS3 pay the $500.00 up front and be out the gate.

DrMario57
DrMario57

ok... while reading everyones views.... It came to me that, Do we really need HD in our lives..., do we need any better graphgics now.., do we need one console to be the center of entertainment???, I don't think so... The way i see it, if only technolgy for the gaming industry would like stop for a couple years, so then we would have a much more viaratity of games which have been well thought out with every last detail, to make games really werth buying. For an example... half-life 2 was in the making for around about 5 years. Ok i understand that everyones gamecubes, playstations, xbox are getting a bit rusty, so this next genarention is needed but will we need in another 3 - 4 years time another piece of metal to clug up the living room. Yes i maybe a Nintendo fan, and i like how nintendo are bringing all nintendo consoles together with the revolution and with new technolgy and not graphics, but doesn't put the spot light on nintendo.. they still make big mistakes (in my view) on the gameboy micro, and the SP. theres no needed, the gameboy advanced was good enough. But hey, if you think different, then thats fine. But Blu-ray and HD are not needed at all. Life is going good so far. lol

Hunger4mo
Hunger4mo

Sorry ya'll.... i know this is my 3rd post in a row. I gotta agree with Mangoted to the fullest. Money aint as easy to come by for most. It seems like just yesterday we moved from tape to DVD. this was fine; didnt' require replacing existing equipment, just adding a new player. Now, in order to make buying the 'next gen' system worth while you'll need an hd ready tv, all the cabling etc, PLUS of course the cost of the system. Shoot, I'm not really complaining cuz i love gaming & I needed an HD Ready tv anyways but....let's just say AMEX loves me right about now. It's becoming way too much too soon with not enough benefit to the consumer. Unless the tv can make me dinner, rub my feet and tuck me in at night it's almost ( i stress almost) not worth it. =P

Trnuf
Trnuf

Oh, thanks Microsoft! I mean after selling your console 400$, we'll have to spend at least 200$ to have an HD-DVD player...

Hunger4mo
Hunger4mo

1 more thing.... I have a solid dvd collection. i'm nowhere near ready to move on to 'the next big thang' just yet. watching dvd's on an HD Ready tv is better than nothing. Shoot...it's pretty damn good if you ask me. Will I buy an external drive for HD-DVD? Probably, but it won't be for a few more years after it launches that's for sure. Just like when dvd players first came out, I did not fork over $400-$600 like an idiot. I patiently waited till the price came down.

Hunger4mo
Hunger4mo

aight...I've read most of your posts & now it's time for me to way in. I've owned almost every system past and present. I do have a 360 currently. I am not that impressed with it so far but I know things will get better as the software developers get more and more experience on the platform. PS2 has always had 'fun to play' games. the graphics weren't as good as Xbox which was focused a lot more on looks and sound. (am i right or wrong?) why would this change in the next gen? I dont think it will.....Sony's games will still be fun to play; xbox 360 will still have the better graphics and sound and the Rev will be innovative to say the least. the one factor that changes the whole game (for me) is....playing online. playing online is enough of an advantage for me to keep my steady stream of $$$'s heading Bill's way (for now). if and when Sony steps up their game and introduces a cabable Live setup then i'll consider making the switch or owning both like back in the good ol days when a system was under $300. till then, i only have time for one system and that's xbox 360.

Mjolnir71
Mjolnir71

IGN has the transcript from the keynote address. Peter Moore specifically says that the HD-DVD drive is so people can watch movies published on HD-DVD's for High Definition viewing. Don't look for any X360 games on the HD-DVD format (again, it's not really necessary).