As announced previously, Microsoft will begin shipping an external HD-DVD drive for their Xbox 360 in mid-November. Yesterday, Microsoft announced that they will ship the drive bundled with Universal’s HD-DVD version of Peter Jackson’s King Kong. That is a nice move and it will be seen if competitor Sony will follow suit by bundling any movies with its PS3 upon launch but considering that Sony essentially owns Blu-Ray, I wouldn’t be surprised to actually see three movies packaged with their $500 console – just because they can.
Microsoft VP Peter Moore tried vainly to shoot at Sony and their Blu-Ray capable “Playstation 3” by saying “We’re not forcing movie technology on game players but are instead letting them choose how to personalize their experiences.” That, of course, is just another way of saying “We dropped the ball in the first round and try desperately to catch up now.” I am so tired of these juvenile make-believe rhetorics and competitor-bashings every time a company launches a new video game console.
Be that as it may, owners of the Xbox 360 will be able to extend their hardware for an additional $200 in November and teach it to play back HD-DVD discs.