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Appeared on: Monday, February 25, 2008
Microsoft to Stop making HD DVD Players For Xbox 360

Microsoft said it will stop making HD DVD players for its Xbox 360 video game system after Toshiba ceded the high-definition video format battle to Sony's Blu-ray.

Microsoft said Saturday it would continue to provide standard warranty support for its HD DVD players. Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida last week estimated about 300,000 people own the Microsoft video player, sold as a separate $130 add-on for the Xbox 360.

"HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own," Blair Westlake, a corporate vice president of Microsoft's media and entertainment group, said in a written statement.

"As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market," Microsoft Games Global Marketing team wrote on their Gamerscore Blog. "As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own," the tean added.

Microsoft was one of HD DVD's main backers, along with Intel and Japanese electronics maker NEC, and its support for the format was seen as a big win for Toshiba's format.

Microsoft said it is looking at how the HD DVD technology it has developed, such as HDi, which adds interactive features to HD DVDs, and its VC-1 video encoding technology, can be applied to other platforms.

The Redmond-based software maker said the decision to stop selling HD DVD players won't have a material impact on its video game business.


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