Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gamers Get A Cheaper Path To Next-Gen DVDs

With the retail cost of HD-DVD players at about $500, and the projected cost of Blu-ray double that, the path to widespread acceptance of these formats may be via the accessories route - accessories to videogame players, to be exact.

With Microsoft in HD-DVD's corner, it's not surprising that their Xbox360 will soon have an HD-DVD drive as an accessory, as this HD Beat article shows. Price hasn't been announced yet, but speculation is running in the $150-200 range. One thing the article notes is that the drive has no HDMI outputs, and the comments section has some folks speculating on what this might mean if movie studios decide to later implement Image Constraint.

Blu-ray backer Sony will be going the same route with the upcoming Playstation 3 - in fact, they're betting the farm by including a Blu-ray drive in the basic unit and charging $600 for it. They also will lack HDMI outputs - ign.com goes into the ramifications in some depth. Certainly cheaper than a grand, 'tho.

UPDATE 05/17/06: I was wrong about lack of HDMI output on the PS3. That only applies to the cheaper ($500) version. Thanks to Rodolfo La Maestra for the correction (via the "TIPS List" maintained by HDTV Magazine).

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