updated 09:00 am EDT, Wed September 20, 2006
1080p on the 360
In a press event ahead of Friday's Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft has made several announcements, among them the surprise of a global software update that will allow games and movies to run in 1080p on the 360. The update is tentatively set for "fall," and should not require an HDMI cable. Microsoft's Shane Kim tells Kotaku that current 720p apps will be up-sampled, while native 1080 products should work without problems. If some movie studios insist on HDMI input for the sake of copy protection, Microsoft may consider a hardware solution. Kim notes that most third-party and all Microsoft Game Studios products will continue to use 720p.
Another announcement is the Japanese date and price for the external HD-DVD drive: November 17th at 19,800 yen. That's just under a week past the release of Sony's PS3. Microsoft is also planning a few things for Xbox Live, such as a Pac-Man World Championship in early 2007, and more classic releases through the Arcade, such as Contra, Gyruss, Dig Dug, Track & Field, New Rally-X, Rush'n Attack, and Ms. Pac-Man. Japan will get an exclusive in the form of Yie Ar Kung Fu, described as one of the first fighting games.