Microsoft Undercuts Sony in HD War
Rumoured HD-DVD add-on pricing suggests you'll be enjoying HD gaming and movies for less with an Xbox 360... if HD-DVD wins the format war, that is.
A big part of the reason for the shocking sticker price of the PlayStation 3 is down to the system's Blu-ray drive. Sony has bundled its highest technology into the system, but that has pushed the price up to $600 for the full-featured model.
Now comes the news that Microsoft, which is backing Blu-ray rival HD-DVD in the next-generation DVD format wars, could sell the Xbox 360 and its external HD-DVD drive for less than Sony's PlayStation 3 asking price, retail sources close to Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.
The Xbox 360 currently sells for £280 at the top end, while the more expensive PlayStation 3 will sell for €599 when it hits stores in November. Sony has yet to announce a UK price.
Blu-ray and HD-DVD are locked in a battle to the death, much like that between VHS and Beta in the 1980s. Sony lost that time, but many movie studios are backing Blu-ray over HD-DVD.
A key point is that the Xbox 360 will not use HD-DVD for games - only movies and other content will come on HD-DVD discs. The PlayStation 3, on the other hand, will use Blu-ray for games too, making it a more vital battle for Sony to win.
Were Blu-ray to lose to HD-DVD, the PlayStation 3 would find itself in the woods, but Microsoft has said in the past that the technology is there to add Blu-ray support should HD-DVD come in second.
Editor, Kikizo Games