NEWS - Wednesday, September 13, 2006

(RUMOR) - Xbox 360 to have internal HD drive

Digitimes reports that Microsoft is selecting manufacturers in Taiwan to build the drive according to sources in Taiwan’s optical drive industry. The sources added that if the process of selecting partner makers and subsequent certification is performed quickly, Microsoft could launch the Xbox 360 equipped with the built-in HD-DVD drive in the first half of 2007, though this seems very unlikely in such a short space of time. This may have some connection to the on-board HDMI port that was previously reported here, and which was pictured on a 360-like motherboard. In June reports cited Toshiba Australia executive Mark Whittard as saying, "I would imagine that there are plans in place to put an HD-DVD drive internally in future revisions of the product. [Microsoft is] not speaking about it publicly at the moment but I would expect them to do that and fairly soon." However, Microsoft have been adamant only an external HD-DVD drive, pictured below, would be released for the Xbox 360, and at no point would game content be shipped on anything over than a standard DVD. In fact, Microsoft global marketing team member Cesar Menendez promptly relayed a denial via Gamerscoreblog: "...saw a few stories online about an Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD drive: not true. We have no plans to release an Xbox 360 with an internal HD-DVD. What we showcased at E3 was an external HD DVD drive, and we’re sticking with that." Various sources in the UK games retail industry have suggested that the external drive will be priced at £199.99 and may come bundled with several titles for added value - allowing the 360 and an external HD-DVD drive to undercut the Sony Playstation 3 which comes included with the competing Blue-ray standard. An internally equipped drive may allow Microsoft to undercut the PS3 even further.


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