With the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war being over, the new “war” if you will is the one between digital delivery of movies, versus good ol’ optical media. We want to know how you feel about this. Do you prefer buying movies using Apple TV, thus avoiding a trip to the local Target? Or are the type of person who prefers all the bells and whistles that something like a Blu-ray disc has to offer (7.1 lossless audio, pure 1080p video)? I think it is safe to say that we are moving towards a digital download lifestyle, but with current broadband speeds in the USA, we think that it might be a while before it can compete with optical. Your thoughts?
Well, with the news that HD DVD had been killed by Toshiba, you knew that it was only a matter of time before the Xbox 360 HD DVD player was eliminated as well, right? Well, the time has come, as Microsoft sent us the following update:
As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.
Okay, well, shouldn’t that be “HD DVD was one of the several ways…”? So, now that we know that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on will no longer be manufactured, if you really really want one, they can now be had for $49.99. That is 75% off of it’s original price, for those of you keeping track. So if you want a piece of recently outdated technology, now is your chance.
Read More | Bloomberg
It’s official. Toshiba announced today that the end is here. In a public statement, Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO said, “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
The company will cease selling their products to retail dealers by the end of March, but promises to continue its product support to those who have already purchased HD products. They will continue to market standard DVD players and DVRs. Toshiba will now concentrate on other tech that supports hi-def, including NAND processing, next gen CPUs, small form factor hard disk drives, and those that utilize wireless and incryption technology.
Read More | Toshiba Press Release
It seems that Target is semi-following in Blockbuster’s footsteps as far as the next-generation high definition DVD format war goes, as they have made a move that solidly puts them behind Blu-ray this holiday season. Target announced today that it would start selling standalone Blu-ray players in their brick-and-mortar locations beginning this fall. This obviously leads into the holiday rush. Consumers will be able to purchase the Sony BDP-S300 at $499 USD, as well as have the option to select from an expanded selection of Blu-ray movie titles. This is the first standalone high-definition player that Target has made available in stores, but they do also sell the Blu-ray PS3 and Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on.
Back in June, Blockbuster announced Blu-ray exclusivity in it’s retail stores as well, citing that in test markets the format was rented far more than HD DVD was. They do, however, continue to rent HD DVD through Blockbuster Online and Blockbuster Total Access. Target will also continue selling both HD DVD titles and Blu-ray titles in stores, but we expect that Blu-ray section to grow a bit larger.
Target spokesperson Brie Heath told the Associated Press that this isn’t a political move. “We are not proclaiming one format vs. the other as the preferred consumer technology, and software will continue to be available to our guests in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD format,” said Brie. We’ll see how this all plays out in the fourth quarter.
Okay, forget all the corporate-speak we have been getting on the issue. We went around and ask people wandering the floor at CES which format they liked and thought would win out in the end. We got quite a few interesting responses, many of which seeming to come from people who don’t even know that a format war even exists.
Rumors are circulating that, in addition to playing HD-DVD movies, the Xbox 360 will soon be a digital entertainment hub for downloadable video content. This sounds like something that would take a lot of time and infrastructure, but who knows - those are two things MS definitely has in spades. Plus, by avoiding the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war, Microsoft could puts Sony in a tough position. Either Sony has to start offering downloadable movies as well (thus cutting into their hopes for Blu-Ray), or the Xbox 360 just starts looking a little stronger in the features list.
SHSIBAE has learned that Microsoft will begin offering downloadable HD movies later this month. At launch time– rumored to be around Nov. 22–over 1100 hours of video will be available to rent or purchase through an XBOX 360 connected to XBOX Live. Feature length movies will require a ten minute caching period before viewing, which should be just long enough to make some popcorn, grab a beer, and find your favorite blanket.
We’ll definitely be looking for some sort of non-denial denial from Microsoft, but it never hurts to dream, eh? The idea of downloading movies to your Xbox 360 and watching them minutes later sounds amazingly sweet.
Read More | MaxConsole.net