updated 10:00 pm EST, Sat February 23, 2008
MS Axes X360 HD DVD Drive
Microsoft today made an unusual weekend announcement and said it would halt sales of the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, its USB add-on drive. The move is the expected result of Toshiba's shutdown of the format and will leave sales to existing models already in shops. Support will continue throughout the HD DVD player's normal warranty, Microsoft says. No additional price cuts have been listed so far beyond the drop to $130 that was revealed just before Toshiba's revelation that it would phase out the HD movie disc standard.
The Redmond-based company repeated earlier claims that the phasing out of HD DVD would have little impact on its HD future. With the Xbox Live Video Marketplace and other solutions, there are already additional ways of supplying HD movies to the console, according to Microsoft. Rumors have pointed to the company hurrying a Blu-ray add-on drive that would be available as a USB attachment for the Xbox 360 as early as May, providing a combined alternative to the PlayStation 3 and its built-in Blu-ray reader.