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Thursday, December 15, 2005
Microsoft: No Schedule For HD DVD Drive on Xbox 360

Microsoft has reportedly denied speculations published online citing that the software giant would add an HD DVD drive to its Xbox 360 game console, in an updated version next spring.

Microsoft said that it has not made any official announcement regarding the HD DVD support for the XBox 360, and that currently the company has not any plans for such a move.

The current version of the Xbox 360 is equipped with a DVD drive made by HLDS, and is able to reproduce DVD videos and of course, game DVD-ROMs.

However, Microsoft did not unveil and future plans for the Xbox 360, and its statement refers to the present schedule of the company.

The concept of an HD DVD Xbox 360 had been strengthened after last June's announcement of Microsoft to strengthen its ties with Toshiba, the main backer of the HD DVD format, in order to joint develop PCs, consumer electronics products and to work together on next-generation DVD technology. The companies had also agreed last May to use each other's patents on computer and digital electronics technologies.

Last August, Bill Gates said, according to Bloomberg:

"The initial shipments of Xbox 360 will be based on today's DVD format. We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capability of an HD DVD player or something else."

Japan's chief of Xbox operations, Yoshihiro Maruyama had also unveiled last month that while a version of the Xbox 360 console which can read HD-DVD discs was a possibility, the next-generation DVD standard would never be used for games on the platform. His comments were made to Enterbrain's Famitsu Xbox magazine, where he expanded on Gates' statement.

The inclusion of a HD DVD drive in an updated version of the Xbox 360 would be an answer to Sony's forthcoming game console, the Playstation 3, scheduled to retail next spring. Sony will equip its game machine with a Blu-Ray drive, that will support 1080-progressive functionality.

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