The Playstation 3 will use Sony’s Blu-Ray DVD’s, but with Microsoft’s announced partnership with Toshiba, the Xbox 360 may use HD-DVD … or will it?
“The initial shipments of the Xbox 360 will be based on today’s standard DVD format,” Gates said, “We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox will incorporate an additional capability of an HD-DVD player or something else.”
What’s interesting here is that Gates never specifically said that the Xbox 360 would incorporate HD-DVD, he simply said future versions of the Xbox, which would mean a lot of things, including Xbox 3, or a “media center” edition of Xbox 360. He also sounded unsure about the future of HD-DVD, as the upcoming format war may leave HD-DVD dead in the water.
Bill’s wavering on including HD-DVD means one thing to us as gamers: the Xbox 360 will come with a 12x DVD burner. This means that developers will build their games around that 9 GB (dual-layer) limitation, even if Microsoft should release an upgrade or new version of the Xbox 360. The reason being that consumers treat consoles just like an appliance: it doesn’t get upgraded. Just look at the Playstation 2 hard drive: the only people who bought that did so to get Final Fantasy XI, so developers never pushed out games that took advantage of the addition of a hard drive, because they did not want to limit their potential audience.
The same will be true of HD-DVD if Xbox 360 does not come with it out of the box. Consumers will not upgrade their hardware unless three specific conditions are met:
1. It’s cheap. $100 for a 20GB IDE hard drive was insane.
2. It’s easy to install. It has to be plug and play, with no installation CD.
3. It’s required. The majority of games from that point forward (as well as movies) must use the new format.
Unless all three conditions are met, the majority of consumers will simply ignore it.
So, that’s where we stand: Microsoft and Toshiba have partnered on HD-DVD. The Xbox 360 will ship with a standard 12x DVD player, and may support HD-DVD in the future via an upgrade, or a totally new unit.
Provided by Geekstreak