Xbox.com | Xbox 360 – Xbox 360 HD DVD Player

Yeah, hook it up to your Xbox 360. Hook it up to your desktop computer via USB 2.0 and then suddenly have a $200 HD DVD player for your desktop computer. If you have a high end computer and a nice big flat TV with HDMI and 1080P support, you get a cheap HD DVD player.

What does all this mean?

The PS3 is a monstrous assault in a battle between huge companies. The add on HD DVD drive that is universal for the Xbox is huge.

Sony is counting on the PS3 being its main wedge in the war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD. If Sony wins, it will be on the receiving end of a rather large royalty payment when companies make or sell a Blu-Ray device or media. Of course, many other companies other than Sony helped create the standard for Blu-Ray, and will share in the payment, but still Sony gets paid and wants revenge for Beta.

HD DVD, however does not have a massive media blitz going for it. But its far cheaper than Blu-Ray. And…its actually available. Not in huge, huge numbers. But I can go to my local Wal-Mart and plunk down my money and suddenly have the “next big thing”. I was blown away when they had a HD DVD player in the store, for sale, and actual stock of the player and some HD DVD movies. The discovery of the in stock Xbox HD drive was a surprise also. I have failed to see anything for Blu-Ray, but now that the PS3 is out driving some demand for Blu-Ray based content will dramatically rise over the next few months.
With auctions going insane on Ebay, it will be a while before Blu-Ray is thought of as affordable. Being technically better on paper but overpriced is a bad situation to be in. But if Sony somehow does pull it off with the PS3, it will be a coup for the Blu-Ray standard over HD DVD. If Sony fails and Blu-Ray falters off to the side, it will have a heavy horse to carry in regard to the PS3. Telling people that they purchased expensive electronic paperweights is not always fun. OF course, the Xbox is going to be able to switch at any time it needs to either format. Telling a few thousand people is better than telling every person that purchased your product that the format you backed is really the losing standard. I could imagine the press release for that.

Of course, the Nintendo Wii could very well wipe them both off the face of the earth. With the desire to ship 4 million units this year, they have ambitious goals and desires. With good press, good tech and actual units for sale, they may top Sony and Microsoft, since those two units are extremely over priced. Yes the ability to play games in 1080P HD is great, but since 99.5% of Americans don’t even know what that means, its pointless. Most HD displays can’t do 1080p yet. Some can, but they are expensive still. The lack of an HD or Blu-Ray drive doesn’t really hurt the Wii, since it is hooked up via wi-fi. It can download and play loads more games than the Xbox and Xbox 360, the Original Play Station, the PS2, and now the PS3 can. Plus the Wii can play any Gamecube game. How about them apples? I have many cool games I would like to keep playing on the Gamecube.

Problem solved.  I will get the add on HD DVD drive and use it to bypass higher costs, while getting a Wii to keep playing games with.