Moore: Xbox 360 HD-DVD for movies, not games

Microsoft VP says external next-gen format drive will play video only and says no 360 with an internal HD-DVD drive is planned.

Microsoft has been a driving force behind the new HD-DVD next-generation optical disc format. But the Xbox manufacturer surprised many when it chose to package the Xbox 360 with a normal DVD drive rather than an HD-DVD drive, especially because Sony has announced that the PlayStation 3 will feature Blu-ray, a competing format.

However, HD-DVD was front and center last night during Microsoft's CES 2006 keynote address, as Microsoft corporate vice president Peter Moore also used the occasion to announce that Microsoft will offer an external HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360.

In the past, console manufacturers have fragmented their system install bases by introducing optional optical disc drives after a system's release. Devices like the Sega CD and the TurboGrafx CD-ROM allowed systems to run superior games. But splitting the console base between basic systems and systems with CD support made the CD systems less attractive for content developers that prefer to develop for a single platform with a large installation base. Peter Moore clarified to GameSpot that the new external Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive will be used for video only, not games.

"Right now it's focused purely on movie playback. Think of the drive as something that lets you play high-definition movies on the Xbox 360." The external drive will function as an alternative to purchasing a separate HD-DVD playback device: "If you want to watch HD-DVD movies and if you own an Xbox 360, there will be no reason for you to go out and buy another player."

Microsoft has considered the benefits of HD-DVD for games, but Moore is confident that the current Xbox 360 system and Xbox Live service are fine for next-gen gaming. "HD-DVD from the gameplay point of view is primarily about media storage as is of course Blu-ray," he said. "Our developers are very comfortable with the [Xbox 360's] storage options--I think they're utilizing Xbox Live very creatively, and the hard drive, we have a very strong attach rate for the hard drive."

Microsoft hasn't announced a price point for the HD-DVD drive or possible system bundles, but Moore made it clear that Microsoft will not create a new Xbox 360 with a built-in HD-DVD drive. "If you actually built a HD-DVD new Xbox 360, that fragments [the installation base] even further. So the idea of having an external peripheral is far better to keep the user base consistent rather than build yet another Xbox 360 that has HD-DVD built in--that means millions of people won't have that."

According to Moore, the drive is planned for release "this year," but the console connection format has yet to be determined.

As for the outcome of the HD-DVD and Blu-ray battle, Moore likes what HD-DVD has to offer, but he admits, "I'm old enough to remember Betamax. The consumer in the end will make the decision."

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Discussion

135 comments
niendo
niendo

How will microsoft will stream Hd content from the HD-DVD player if the Xbox 360 and the HD-DVD will be connected via USB??and as we all know USB ports only support 480mbps(megabites per second), thats a low streaming rate compared to the HDMI port that handles 5gbps (gigabites per second)? I dont think that the HD-DVD can be called a HD peripherial, i think the Component AV Cables can handle more data than the USB, what a shame!!!

Prowler_88
Prowler_88

To jtvance Ive seen that HD version of T2...and the video bitrate is too low...the pictures are grainy and resolution doesnt make up for it To maintain the high bitrate along with HD resolution requires a lot of space...hence the new formats being released. Personally Im gonna wait until the PS3 and Wii are out to decide which of the three consoles to purchase, and stick by my PC till then. All these idiots and fanboys claiming one console is better than the others better shut up until all three are out. Even then, the consoles arent all aimed at the same market, so belttling one because it doesnt suit your tastes isnt justified.

AceCometh
AceCometh

The cost of the PS3 alone could top the cost of buying an Xbox 360 AND the HD-DVD ad on. SKAH-ROO that!

fatwallet29
fatwallet29

I love my Xbox 360, but come on Microsoft and get off the Fence (that's how you get splinters). Really the 360 should have launched with either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, if they had listened to the developers they said they were starting to strugle to fit content on to the standard DVD (more so with HI-DEF). If they are going to release a add on, i think 1st - Microsoft should subside the cost. 2nd -Make it suitable for games as well. I think Blu-Ray will win the format war (why we have to have one is beyond me, the cosumer is the only real loser {Beta Vs Vhs) I understand that Sony is heavly involved with Blu-Ray, but i feel Microsoft needs to swallow it's pride and do what is right for it's customers.

oppong
oppong

i will buy ps 3 more better

Vash003
Vash003

what the hell micro soft is doing it s

Xtrakt
Xtrakt

is nintendo even still in the game if they are they must be spectating,wont be long be for they follow sega.I dont mean to sound like a ........fanboy...but that box was never as good as the ps dispite its hardware advantage (better games) and it looks like the lines are pretty even this time round so its likely going to be very close between m$ & sony (with nintendo someware in the background) the decider will be the games not the price i think sony might have an advantage here. (thats my opinion anyway not worth much but still)

CaptainDaccat
CaptainDaccat

Well, this just ripped off Xbox 360 from my list at all. I had a Dreamcast, and I know well what less storage space means. Wrong move, Microsoft. Let's just wait that Nintendo doesn't mess up with Revolution, like they did with the Cube. Otherwise we'll have Playstation market monopoly all over again... And I'm really tired of it.

acs001
acs001

... Let's see.... Sega Dreamcast had a CD drive, came out the year before the PS2, PS2 has a DVD drive.. PS2 won..... Now, Xbox 360 has a DVD drive, came out the year before the PS3, but the PS3 will have next-gen DVD drive (Blue-Ray)... who will win?!?!?! I smell history repeating itself.....

goldeneye_basic
goldeneye_basic

The whole BR/HD-DVD war is bad for consumers, especially if if the winning format is proprietary. That would mean royalties would have to be paid to whomever owns the rights to the technology, increasing the price to us. I can't believe Sony would be willing to let BR go to an open format because it has too much invested into it. I don't know what Toshiba's intentions are but they are probably similar. I just don't like Sony's proprietary attitude toward everything. I won't buy anything that requires a memory stick, another Sony format, because that memory is more expensive than competing formats. Right now I own devices that use compact flash and secure digital, which is annoying. If that type of media had a standard, I wouldn't have to buy different types, I could share one format of card with all of my devices. I hope what ever new DVD format wins is an open standard and I don't think Sony will let BR be free. For the people that say some developers need up to 4 DVD's, please tell us who they are and what games you are referring to. Otherwise you are making stuff up to back your fanboy argument. DVD9 should be sufficient for the life of the 360. Somebody said HL2 was 8 gb on the pc. Well actually it's much less because the non special edition comes on 5 cds, which would be about 4 GB compressed. And that game looks amazing on a high end pc. You can fit almost 12 cds on one DVD. Think of how long HL2 took to develop and it fits on less than half of a DVD9. By the time storage will be a major issue for the 360, it will be at the end of its life. gsquad2002, as far as I can determine, nobody broadcasts in 1080p, and from what I've read, Fox broadcasts in 720p. If I'm wrong, please post a link to a credible source because I would like to know.

xboxruler007
xboxruler007

"I'd rather buy a PS3, it costs less." -RellikEknas, posted on 1/06/05 Hmph...how do you know? There isn't even solid proof stating that the PS3 would be cheap, let alone be cheaper than the 360. AND the some in the gaming business predict that with all the hardware under the hood of the PS3, if it would even be so, would cost more than the 360. If Sony does sell it as cheap as the 360, it would be losing way more money per system than the MS.

jtvance
jtvance

hmm...well...looks like alot of people's arguements on here just got proven wrong. Bethesda has just announced (due to high criticism) that Oblivion will fit on ONE that's right ONE DVD-9. Oblivion contains an environment that is over 16 squar miles in size, with 100% real-time rendered forests...and if you haven't seen the gameplay videos go look. It looks more realisitc than ANY game I have ever seen. The other developers that are complaining about size are running into problems because they jampack there games with stupid CGI sequences, rather than just using the in-game engine to render things in real-time to save TONS of space. Blu-ray has nothing to do with the size of games. The ONLY reason that sony has put the blu-ray drive into the PS3 is so they can attempt to dominate the home video market by FINALLY getting one of there media formats to catch on. (Previous attempts include mini-disc, and SACD) The compression technology is readily available to fit HD movies onto DVD-9's. But it wont happen. Don't believe me? Pick up a copy of the T2: Extreme Edition DVD. Th 2nd disc contains the ENTIRE film in 100% 1920x1080 HD resolution for playback on a PC. All on one DVD-9. Not a **** blu-ray or HD-DVD disc. Microsoft knows damn well that they can get buy fine with games using DVD-9's because THEY can control the compression ratios, something they can't do for HD-DVD's. I'll have a grand old laugh when the PS3 comes out and either all the games will be on DVD or they'll be using 5GB of a 25 GB disc. Same goes for movies as well. If a combined format is agreed upon...that wonderful blu-ray drive in your fancy PS3 will be USELESS...same goes in HD-DVD wins over. Another thing. Don't be surprised when initial offerings of movies on HD-DVD and blu-ray go for $30+ a pop. Anyone remember when DVD's first came out? How about Laserdisc...they were $50. This is why M$ is smart is simply creating an add on drive. They KNOW that they can get buy with DVD-9's...it'll cost the developers less and it's plenty big with the proper compression. Do actually think they wouldn't have taken something THAT major into consideration here? This way...if you REALLY want to be able to watch HD-DVD's right off the bat and don't want to wait or pay more for a stand-alone player, you have a more affordable option. One more thing...where did this $300-400 for an HD-DVD add-on drive stuff come from? Once again...M$ isnt that **** stupid. An addon the price of the console would be pointless, and they know NO ONE would buy it. My guess is $100-150 tops. At least M$ gives you the option, rather than just charging you another $100-150 to make it included and cram it down your throat. This way they have the tried and true DVD drives in there, rather than a FIRST INITIAL offering of BRAND NEW technology that may as well be set up for mechanical failure. Look at the past folks. I bought a CD player when they first came out. Broke a year later I bought a DVD player when they first came out...lasted 6 months. Same thing happend to my mini-disc recorder as well. What makes you think blu-ray and the PS3 will be any different? Another point...If sony puts a simple 1x blu-ray drive into the PS3. Which they most likely will since the 4x drives are still in the testing stages, and for cost reasons...the blu-ray drive in the PS3 will have a LOWER data transfer rate than that of the DVD drive in the 360...what does that mean? SLOWER LOADING TIMES. Once again, yet another reason why the DVD drive was a safer bet for M$. I could go on all day, but I'll stop here. If your buying your system for games, then go for it, get a PS3, i'm sure the games will be worth it, but if you think for one second that the fact that the PS3 has a blu-ray drive in it means it will have better graphics or better games for it, you are very, very dumb. So do everyone a favor and stop dangling blu-ray over everyones head like it's some sort of uber advantage or something. Give me a break. Same goes with the cell cpu. Emotion engine anyone? Yea, that thing controller nuclear missles allright...NOT. If anyone has any doubts about what the 360 can do...go play the fight night round 3 demo.

RageSet
RageSet

Am I the only person that remembers the "hype" of the Sony Playstation 2 when it launched? For such a "great" console that launched with all the hype about processing power and all everyone got was Fantavision. The Micrsoft Xbox launch wasn't much better...its saving grace being Halo. For all fanboys and fangirls out there for any platform (be it PS, Xbox, Nintendo or PC), you can debate all you want about something that isn't even out yet...but you can't see the future. Play games for the love of gaming, not because you think it's cool to trash (i.e. flame) someone because their choice of platform. The reality of it all is simple...if there was only one hardware maker...gamers lose in the end. With one hardware maker hardware upgrades from one generation to the next would be very modest indeed. I'm not against "friendly rivalry, but to say "PS2 sux and Xbox roxxer's" and you can't explain why besides the Clich

Deathrowy2k
Deathrowy2k

Let me ask you this! What if xbox and ps2 had not made there media format dvd instead of cd would you think that there would be enough space to make the games that are on these consoles? I doubt it!!!! Microsoft messed up, especially down the road!!!!

ROCKINGFOOL
ROCKINGFOOL

man you guys are crazy and forgeting what history says first of all if the Developers arnt happy with the dvd storage let say that they have to live with it you know why cuz it happend with sony ps2 so hard to Develope games with paying extra cash for it just to make the quality right and now heres the question which problem do you think developers would like to face capasity or developing games ithink iknow the answer very much :)

Darkfield
Darkfield

I wanna know whose stupid idea was it? .. whats the point of buying such a thing?! when you can buy a HD-DVD player instead of an expensive HD-DVD Drive!! ...

ErikB0869
ErikB0869

I think Microsoft is playing it safe for now. They're probably not 100% sure that HD-DVD will win over Blu-Ray yet, and they probably don't want to take the chance of supporting a format that ends up dying. So, better to offer it as an external drive until it either wins or loses the format, and if it wins, then they can start putting it in the 360 during manufacturing (HD-DVD is fully backwards compatible with current DVD, so, no loss there). If HD-DVD wins, or at least does well, then you might start to see games released on HD-DVD, but not until it gets a foothold. The way I see it, even if HD-DVD bombs, then Microsoft can just stop manufacturing the external drives, and switch to Blu-Ray drives -- now that's rich!

walker2151
walker2151

Developers aren't all happy with the discs as I said before. Some of the games that are currently being developed are taking up more than one dvd and from what I've read up to and surpassing 4 dvd's. One of the major reason's other than cost for ms to not include the HD-DVD into the 360 is because they wanted to be the first one's out with their next gen console. If you think about it when the PS2 came out it had DVD which was next gen. One of it's big appeals DVD movie playback was included and it helped really puch the new media of the time. At the time the PS2 came out I believe it was cheaper or at around the same price of regular DVD players. PS3 is doing the same thing with blue ray discs. Not only will they be able to really create next gen games without storage problems, unlike some of the 360 games being developed, but they will be able to push their new media a lot more even though the PS3 is most likely going to be in the $400 range. It will also be cheaper probably be cheaper than regular BR players just like the PS2 was compared to DVD players when it came out. MS is backing the upcoming HD-DVD media but they don't include it with their console which is interesting. They also can't use the external HD-DVD player to play games because it's too costly to come out with games for two media formats and make it so only people with an ext. HD-DvD player can play the games that needed to use it's greater storage capacity. Not putting an internal HD-DVD player in the 360 makes it not completely next gen. Someone said that the space doesn't help the graphics but in some ways it does. Longer and better looking games on one disk is the future. The 360 is next gen but they aren't pushing the next gen boundries completely with the oldschool DVD player. PS3 is pushing next gen completely while makeing their console able to play old media as well. We'll just have to see if you need the HD on your ps3 to play the older ps2 games like you do with the 360 and the older xbox games.

tiny_spartan
tiny_spartan

id develeopers are fine with the current storage on the discs now im fine with at least i dont have to buy one now

DaMiGi22863
DaMiGi22863

Hmm, lets see, so that means if I have the X-Box 360, and I have the HD cables, and I would like to watch HD movies , I have to get the external HD-DVD drive, I can't just use the internal drive itself..'starts banging head against wall....:O:O:O...OMG...then brain crashes and locks up due to information confusion...:P, to me , it sounds like M$ is shooting itself in the foot, if they had just had more "forethought" and went ahead with the HD-DVD drive to begin with, then they would'nt have this "major confusion" and it's going to tick alot of people off in the end, for those that might be thinking "should I or should'nt I"..?, let me give you a two word reminder.."Saturn, Dreamcast"...

farnes
farnes

let's see if the hd dvd drive isn't also buggy as the console itself.....neither of them will be in my house

benihya
benihya

I have a question: What happens if both of them come out and 50% of the people have HD-DVD and 50% have Blue ray? you will go to blockbuster and choise what you need just like today (DVD or VHS)

Sinister904
Sinister904

i thought HD-DVD was part of the next generation!?!?

jer_1
jer_1

Theres no way M$ will be able to charge anywhere close to $300 for an HD-DVD upgrade for the 360, especially if its only for movies. Until a major flood of Movies and content come out on HD-DVD its basically a useless technology just the same as Blu-ray. Sony throwing the BR player in the PS3 is definitely gonna make some people happy, but were gonna pay out the rear for the price. Now if the HD-DVD addon for the 360 supported games AND movies in the future, then it would be a nice thing to have. Until then I think everyone is getting in a bit of a fuss over something thats kindof like vaporware at the moment.

NeonDarknessXRC
NeonDarknessXRC

good decision on Moore's part no need to confuse the consumer

lalamusa
lalamusa

dude wat eva ps 3 fans say, but one day they will realize that sony is letting them down and microsoft's console 360 is gonna be # 1

benihya
benihya

Xbox360 + HD-DVD = $800 plus tax PS3 + Blue-Ray = $499 plus tax what wants to spend an extra $300 on nothing extra = no one

Paul_TheGreat
Paul_TheGreat

Just more Microsoft milkage to the lemmings.

killlo
killlo

wazzzz up! :) :) :)

gsquad2002
gsquad2002

Actually I never said that there would be a need to use the entire BR disc I only said that you would need more storage. That would go to better textures more expansive environments. I never said anything about filling up 50gb with just game content. Furthermore, my comment was dead on. I said

stovich
stovich

Wow. For MS & Toshiba to partner for HD-DVD, it sure seems as if they bent Toshiba over without buying them a drink. That is unless, of course, Toshiba is a prime manufacturer of the 360 extenal drive. Why would they do that? MS: "Yeah! We can team up and support each other for a newer format technology. But alas, we're still going with fabricating our own drive from our preferred manufacturer. You know. The really cheap ones that labor for pennies a day?" Toshiba: "?! But...but...but.. Can we be a part of your success?" MS: "No. My money. Mine!"

evil_dracula
evil_dracula

wow.. gsquad2002 you couldn't be more off. first off.. my point about the PS3's RAM is totally accurate. the fact that it has 256MB of graphics memory (scalable to 512 with the addition of it's 256MB XDR) doesn't change a thing. (X360 also has 512 of shared memory incidentally). the point is that the additional storage the BR-DVD provides is not the answer to getting cinema-quality graphics (along the lines of the pre-renders that sony has been pushing).. If the PS3 were really capable of rendering that level of graphic in real time, in-game at a decent frame rate in High-def. it would need significantly more memory than a combined 512MB. that's all. The additional storage space on a BR-DVD could be used to store larger game environments etc.. but what's more likely is that it will be used for longer, more detailed cinematics. Development time and costs would be too high at this point to fill up a BR-DVD with purely game content - it would be the equivelent of creating 3 or 4 games worth of current gen content which obviously equals fewer titles, more expensive titles and longer development cycles - all three are bad for business.

orthogonal
orthogonal

I've said it before and I'll say it again, This will affect very little. So what if games happen to be multiple discs. If it's a linear progression type game, it won't make a bit of difference, disc swapping has been around forever and it's never been a deal breaker. The ONLY type of games that this would ever affect are the free-roaming ones (ala Grand Theft Auto) and the like which are really quite small in number and won't necessarily need multiple discs.

WICKEDNEBULA
WICKEDNEBULA

wow this is so crazy . why dont you people just be quite and take the time you are spening crying about the 360 hddvd and get a job , save your money and buy the 360 and ps3 that way you get to play all the game you want . for example halo will only be on the 360 and sony will have god of war so if there is agame that come out on both systems the buy the one thats better . I guess i am what they call a different kind of fanboy which is a GAME FAN not a system fan . the 360 is great and i am sure the ps3 will be awsome to so why all the fuss .

gsquad2002
gsquad2002

No its 8.5gb and usually a dummy file not 9 in a DVD9 just try it your self put a DVD9 game in your computer and see how much actually data is there. And if you think that GTA wasn

Autolycus
Autolycus

for all you idiots out there PS3 WILL COST MORE THEN 500 BONES, NOT have a harddrive(have fun buying memeory cards again) and will probably break on you in 1 year. Sony sucks. they are all about profit and not customers. Deal with it, its the truth regardless of whatever lackluster comeback you try to come up with. HD-DVD add on is a good idea. and if ANY game needs more then 5gb worth of data(actually its 9gb with dvd9), then the developer needs help. Oh btw you cant copy, rip, or pretty much take ANY data off of BlueRay...customer appreciation? I think not

Bad_Ass_Dr_Funk
Bad_Ass_Dr_Funk

Ok, people are talking about the 360 not being really "next gen". The system is only 2 months old. If you'll remember, most of the original PS2 games like SSX were originally going to be developed for the PS1, and it took 6 mponths to a year for true "next gen" games to arrive that utilized the hardware effectively. That's where 360 is now, and why I won't even consider buying one until: A) the beta test version that people are buying now is gone and they start producing reliable systems, something Sony has a problem with (I went through 2 PS1's and a friend had 2 PS2's. Not to mention it sounded like a lawn mower). 2) Developers learn to use the massive amount of hardware that the 360 is packing, and III) Halo 3.

gsquad2002
gsquad2002

First off lets get some things straight evil_dracula PS3 has 256mb of dedicated graphic mem. But can utilize all 512mb of mem on the board. Optimusv2 unified shaders per-pixel shaders its not apple to apples you cant say that 360 has a clear advantage over PS3. Do your research. But we aren

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

If the HD-DVD drive won't be used for games, then I won't bother.

williamsonpe
williamsonpe

Blu Ray and HD-DVD are going to come to a standoff eventually. The battle lines are already set, with major Hollywood studios taking there pick of the sides. As yet there is little reason to have as much storage as is offered by BR and HD-DVD, other than Hi def movies and cutscenes. From a gameply standpoint it may allow more open ended titles, larger soundtrack, nicer cutscenes, More dialogue and everything else you might expect from a load more memory. As yet few developers have risen to the size of BR and HD-DVD That said, there is more to this than what gamers will get out of it. Essentially, with the PC3 will come a Blu Ray player, which will be sitting in people living rooms. HD-DVD will not have that kind of support by a good long way. When it comes to the crunch i think that BR will have much more public awareness, and already be in peoples homes. Microsoft, by supporting HD-DVD as the next gen storage medium, have made a dire blunder by not including it in their next gen console. As for th comment above this, the differences between BR and HD-DVD are this. BR has about 40% storage capability. BR currently has more industry support. HD-DVD is easier and cheaper to make. HD-DVD is like;y to available to the consumer earlier. Read and write rates are not to do with the player, and not the disc. Br will take longer to fill up/read for one reason. Its bigger. I am a Blu Ray backer becuase it offers the consumer the most benefit, and not the greatest profit to the manufacturer, although i can see why smaller publishers may suffer from Blu Ray more than they might from HD-DVD. what the consumer wants, the consumer gets, and what the consumer wants is more space.

ROCKINGFOOL
ROCKINGFOOL

the difrents between blur ray and hd-dvd is not only storage but the speed too i heard that blue-ray is only 1x cmon it will take forever to download agame especially if its 50 gigs and for the hd-dvd i think its gona be much faster to download if it comes as agame not video :)

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

that's stupid. what's the point of getting the accessory then????

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

So it's going to be an external add-on...well, I won't be buying one. I want a 360 for games - not movies. My Panasonic DVD player/recorder works fine for movies as it is. But I suppose some people out there might buy one, especially if it's a cheaper alternative to stand-alone DVD players...but you'd also wonder why people looking for a cheaper alternative would've actually bought a 360 in the first place. I don't really think Microsoft need to worry...I won't be throwing out my regular DVD player for an expensive Blu-Ray player any time soon, and I doubt 'non-tech-freaks' out there will either. One can certainly argue about how quickly DVD caught on, but you have to take into consideration that video cassettes had been around since the 1970s and 80s and hadn't really changed. The industry needed that change. DVD is still quite new, as it only began to catch on in a big way in 2001 and 2002. Jumping to DVD from Blu-Ray is hardly the leap it was from VCR to DVD, and in the immediate future, the benefits seem few...how many families out there are honestly going to buy an expensive new movie player, every time the newest disc-format is released a year or two apart? Most won't be able to afford it.

him_8913
him_8913

PS3 began the DVD gaming revolution, i think they're gonna get this blu-ray goin in good time...

_solidsnake_2
_solidsnake_2

Wow, can they get any stupider? I mean the ONLY reason someone would want to BUY an EXTERNAL hddvd drive is to play high def GAMES, NOT to watch MOVIES. I mean sure you could install games on your hard drive, but who in the hell would do that when PS3 is gonna use blu rays that hold something like 50g?