Over at the official Xbox.com website, a new article has been posted which discusses the HD-DVD add-on to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, a subject likely to come up in more detail both at Microsoft's press conference later today, and at E3 itself.
According to the article
: "This new accessory will connect to the Xbox 360 console with a USB cable, enabling it to harness the power of the Xbox 360 console for the HD video outputs and digital surround sound." It's also commented that it is "just one of several new accessories being announced at E3."
The article then attempts to explain why Sony's rival Blu-ray format doesn't match up, with Albert Penello, Director of Global Marketing at Xbox, commenting: "There aren't any Blu-ray players available to test, but if you compare the requirements on paper it's going to be a wash in terms of video quality. At Microsoft, we've known that for some time. But the major difference is going to be price, and all the leading indicators point to HD DVD winning."
The piece then tries to suggest that: "If you can find one of the new Toshiba HD DVD players (retailers nationwide sold out when they launched in April) they sell for as little as $499, whereas the expected starting price of Blu-ray players starts at $1,000 and rises rapidly after that." Of course, Sony's PlayStation 3 for $499 as a base model with Blu-ray will buck this alleged trend, but it won't launch until the end of 2006.
As for the pricing on the HD DVD add-on, Penello commented in the article: "We decided to save that good news for another day, but we're clearly out to make this an affordable option for Xbox 360 owners" - it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will announce these details later today in its pre-E3 press briefing.