Recent comments of Bill Gates at a joint MS and Toshiba presentation indicate future inclusion of HD-DVD drives in XBox 360 units.
Although nearly a month ago, Microsoft's chairman stated that XBox 360
would feature plain, old DVD technology, "rival" Sony's Blu-ray/PS3 combination
have caused him some strategy rethinking. During his talk (jointly with representatives
from Toshiba, one of the leading HD-DVD promoting companies) Gates commented
that although initial
360 will include vanilla DVD drives, future versions might incorporate
some form of an advanced capacity DVD player, like HD-DVD.
This wise and rather diplomatic statement, does not fully cover MS's anxiety
about securing in advance an alliance with the most prominent to win HD-camp,
which at this time is certainly the Sony/Philips Blue-Ray format. This format
is more advanced (both in terms of data capacity and reliability
design criteria) and offers more prospects to end users. The recent Fox's
announcement for the support of the Blue-Ray format has already shaken positively
the movie industry.
It is not currently known if x360 will contain a DPM (Trusted Platform Model) chip and how strict
the content restriction rules will be. There is already an open criticism of
DPM and the other practices of the Trusted Computing Group among the German
Security industry that might influence future EU parliament decisions. XBox
360 certainly needs a DPM chip if it is to be allowed to play high definition
DVD content, and the adoption of one format against another might make a big
difference on one HD format finally prevailing over the other....