According to this site, Microsoft has announced at IFA in Germany that they have cut the price of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive by €20 to €180. It is not currently confirmed.
Microsoft revealed at the Comic-Con convention that the HD-DVD Player for the Xbox 360 (also usable on a PC through a hack) has received a price cut and will start selling for $179 starting August 1. The new deal also includes five free HD-DVD movies until September 30.
Additionally, the company announced that it will offer the film 300 on demand in HD on Xbox Live Marketplace starting August 14; it is also working with Warner Bros. to bring even more content from its lineup. The company also mentioned that users will be able to download the pilot episode of Heroes for free in HD for a limited time, as well as trailers, teaser scenes and other promotional material.
Proving that the British are late in receiving the latest gadgets, Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player is now available in the country for £130. Those who purchase the player will also receive a copy of King Kong on HD-DVD and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.
This year’s X06 saw a couple of big announcements from Microsoft. Very big announcements. Let’s check them out:
- Peter Jackson, who is currently associated with the upcoming Halo movie, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh and Microsoft Game Studios have teamed up to create two new games exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. The first series will be a collaborative with Bungie to co-create the next game in the Halo universe, while the second series will be a completely new IP. Additionally, they have also partnered up to form Wingnut Interactive, the studio which will dedicate itself to bringing these series’ to the next-gen console.
- Besides the Wingnut Halo game, Ensemble Studios is working on Halo Wars, a new real-time strategy game based on the legendary universe. Before you cry foul, keep in mind that these guys are behind the Age of Empires franchise, which has been a solid series so far. The game is entirely exclusive to Xbox 360.
- Hoping to make a dent in Sony’s future, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto IV will receive two exclusive downloadable, “epic” episodes via Xbox Live, each with many hours of entirely new gameplay. These episodes will be available just months after the game’s release next year.
Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will ship at the same time in October 2007.
- In a move that is very uncharacteristic of Ubisoft, the publisher confirmed that the next Splinter Cell title after Double Agent will be a console-exclusive on Xbox 360. It will also be released on PC for those without the console.
- Yes, BioShock is also exclusive to the console. It’s on PC as well.
- Banjo-Kazooie is back, courtesy of Rare! Another exclusive to Xbox 360, the title will feature the much beloved characters, who, according to the press release, will thankfully retain their “sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor.”
- Another exclusive: Marvel Universe Online. In development at Cryptic Studios, the game will also be released for Windows Vista.
- Everyone saw this coming, but not this soon: Project Gotham Racing 4. The game was unveiled at the show, though it is not expected until late next year, or 2008.
- id Software’s DOOM and Codemasters’ Sensible World of Soccer are now available on Xbox Live Arcade.
- And finally, the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player will be released in North America, UK, France and Germany this November. It will retail for $200 in North America and €200/£130 in U.K., France and Germany. The player will also come with a copy of King Kong on HD-DVD and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.
Yes, yes, I know Tokyo Games Show was last week, but I was extremely busy and am catching up with things, alright? Here’s what Microsoft had to say at the event:
At its press conference at the event, Microsoft revealed new details of its upcoming HD-DVD movie player attachment for the Xbox 360, stating that it will be available in Japan on November 17 for 19,800 yen (approximately $170 US).
As for its second announcement, the company disclosed that they are working on a patch that will allow the Xbox 360 to output movie and game content in 1080p resolution. Although the device itself lacks HDMI support, it will indeed be able to play content in 1080p resolution via component or VGA cables. The HD-DVD drive will support 1080p only through VGA however. As for normal DVD playback, it will still be limited to 480p with component.
The company is highly focused on enriching Xbox Live, and so announced new titles for Live Arcade: Gyruss, Rush n’ Attack, Ms. Pac-Man and New Rally-X. They are also dedicated to broaden their share in the Japanese market, announcing that there are over 100 retail and Xbox Live Arcade games currently in the works for the territory, 70 of which are being developed by the Japanese and 50 of which will be exclusive to Japan. Microsoft is also emphasizing on retail titles as well, with games such as Lost Planet, Trusty Bell, Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon being made to appeal to the Japanese demographic.
It remains to be seen whether they will be successful or not.
In related news, Microsoft‘s announcement of 1080p support in its HD-DVD drive met with criticism from SCEA’s PR head Dave Karraker. He issued the following statement:
It’s unfortunate that Microsoft‘s external HD-DVD drive will not enhance the experience at all for the gamer. Sony realizes that to truly take gaming into the next generation requires a larger data format for both games and movies. PS3 uses the Blu-ray format for gaming, giving developers 50 GB of high-definition storage on a single disc, while Microsoft‘s 9 GB DVD gaming format is an obstacle for storing HD content. Furthermore, Microsoft‘s announced HD games patch is really just a compatibility feature–upscaling lower-resolution content does not make it Full HD (1080p), something that PS3 can do out of the box.