Microsoft Cuts HD-DVD Production

Dennis Faas's picture

Just in case you were waiting for one more sign the next-gen movie format war was officially over, Microsoft has now announced that it will be severing ties with HD-DVD and will no longer sell its add-on high definition player for the Xbox 360.

The drive, which plugs into the Xbox 360's USB port, originally retailed for $199, but was dropped to $149 and then $129 as demand for the peripheral waned. That's the result of Blu-ray's increasing dominance in the market, especially with HD-DVD's loss of notable studios, Best Buy's decision to favour Sony's competing format, and finally Toshiba's recent announcement that it would 'give up the ghost' on HD-DVD entirely.

Despite the announcement, about 300,000 Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-ons were sold last week alone. Consumers owning the device, myself included, may be hoping retailers unleash a one-time flood of cheap HD-DVD movie titles in order to clear stock and shelf space for Blu-ray. (Source:

At one time, Microsoft was one of the foremost backers of Toshiba's HD-DVD format. It released the add-on for its popular Xbox 360 console shortly before Christmas 2006, partly in opposition to Sony's choice to include expensive Blu-ray technology within its PlayStation 3 console. The decision to 'go HD' hasn't really panned out for either company; Sony's PS3 proved too expensive because of its internal high def hardware, and Microsoft now finds itself the proud owner of defunct technology. (Source:

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Wii -- which doesn't even boast regular DVD playback -- surges to the top of the console standings.

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