|No plans to add next-generation DVD player to Xbox 360 specPublished by hq_hacker_girl on Thursday, December 15, 2005
Microsoft has cleared up speculation regarding possible HD-DVD functionality in future versions of the Xbox 360, saying that it currently has no plans to release an Xbox 360 equipped with a next-generation DVD player.
The unusually direct statement is a straightforward denial of a report from a Japanese news service yesterday, which claimed that the company planned to launch an HD-DVD compatible Xbox 360 in 2006.
"Microsoft, in both America and Japan, has not announced anything regarding the possibility of a next generation DVD drive being placed in the Xbox 360," a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN. "There are currently no plans to release an Xbox 360 equipped with a next generation DVD player."
Speculation over whether such a device might be forthcoming originated with comments made back in August by Bill Gates himself, who said: "We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capacity of an HD-DVD player or something else."
And just last month, Microsoft's Japanese Xbox chief Yoshihiro Maruyama said, "it's a possibility" although he did add that it wouldn't have anything to do with games. "If the Xbox 360 uses a next-generation DVD drive in the future, it will only be used for watching movies that run on next-generation DVDs," he said.
As well as allowing high definition movies to be viewed on the system, the topic of high-capacity storage is also of interest because of concerns that standard DVDs - even dual layer versions that can store around 9GB of data - may not be enough to hold all the necessary game data developers want, particularly later in the console's life as programmers and artists come to terms with the machine's capabilities.
However, as Maruyama's comments indicate, there is probably no way for Microsoft ever to move the Xbox 360 to using HD-DVD based games, since by doing so they would render some software incompatible with the original versions of the Xbox 360, which would not be able to read the HD-DVD discs.
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