While Microsoft's HD-DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 was briefly unveiled earlier this year, Microsoft's senior program manager Kevin Collins officially demonstrated the device before a DVD Forum in Los Angeles yesterday, confirming that the peripheral will ship during the 2006 holiday season.
A CNET report
has noted that, while no specific price was quoted for the device during the presentation, Collins was adamant that the drive will offer a lower-cost alternative for customers who are interested in investing in the new HD-DVD format.
"All the audio and video processing is done inside the Xbox," said Collins, who also commented that research highlights the fact that most Xbox 360 owners have already invested in high-definition televisions. When used in tandem with the Xbox 360, the upcoming drive will give customers all the equipment needed to play HD-DVD movies.
Collins added: "This gives consumers choice and keeps their cost down." While obviously a concern for potential customers, this is no doubt a jab at Sony, which will launch its more expensive competing PlayStation 3 platform in November, complete with an integrated Blu-ray drive.
Although the HD-DVD and Blu-ray technologies are similar, the Blu-ray technology, which will be used by the PlayStation 3, has the benefit of additional capacity, being able to record 50GB of data, compared to just 30GB for the HD-DVD.