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Title: Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD drive accessory
Released: 24th November 2006
SRP: £129.99

Further Details:

Later on this month Microsoft release the external add on for the Xbox 360 which will allow it to play HD DVDs, the competing format to Sony's Blu-ray Discs. The drive will cost approximately £129.99 in the UK and 199.99 Euros on the continent. It will ship with an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote control (presumably similar to the free one that was given away with the consoles original launch rather than the more expensive fully featured separate device) and for a limited time, a free copy of Peter Jackson's mediocre remake of King Kong. News is surfacing informing us that whilst the drive is hardware, the mechanism for decoding the discs is actually in software and requires a lot of the 360s processing power.

Whilst this seems to represent great value (especially compared with the $1000 Blu-Ray Disc players) it is worth noting that in 4 years the studios might activate the Image Constraint Token on all HD DVD releases which would mean the output was automatically reduced from HD levels to standard definition if viewed over an analogue connection such as the component video connection the Xbox 360 uses. Nothing official has been reported and you can read more about that here on engadget.



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