Microsoft plans to reduce the price of its Xbox 360 HD-DVD player to $179 in the U.S. beginning August 1. The company also plans to ship the units with five movies in an effort to give HD-DVD an edge in the format war.
Digital Journal - Microsoft's price cut isn't much (it's only $20), but throwing in five free HD-DVDs for anyone who buys an Xbox 360 HD-DVD player in August might give the company a bit of a boost in the ongoing battle against Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii.
Microsoft has long been applauded for having its HD-DVD player as a separate unit from the Xbox 360, as critics say it's a smart move for the company to not force the technology on consumers. PlayStation 3, on the other hand, comes with a high-definition Blu-ray player built-in, meaning the console costs more even if you don't want the Blu-ray aspect.
Microsoft also plans to release the movie 300 and the first season of the TV series Heroes to the Xbox 360. A pilot episode of Heroes: Season 1 (in HD) along with trailers and teaser scenes will be released on the Xbox Live network for download before it hits the streets for the general public in an HD-DVD box set.
With its price cut, the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player will no doubt give a bit of an edge to the player, although it's still not clear if HD-DVD will win the format war against Blu-ray.
The Xbox 360 HD-DVD player is currently the least expensive stand-alone player in the high-def battle.
But with Blu-ray being adopted by many manufacturers and Blockbuster announcing it will only carry Blu-ray titles in stores in the U.S., HD-DVD has a tough road ahead and the battle is going to be far from easy.