No HD DVD for Xbox 360

Xbox 360 fans agog at the console's hi def graphics might reasonably have expected to be able to play HD DVDs at some point in the future - just read

Xbox 360 fans agog at the console's hi def graphics might reasonably have expected to be able to play HD DVDs at some point in the future - just read this month's mag for our prediction. Microsoft, however, has just come out and said it has 'no plans' to add the technology to forthcoming versions of the 360.

Given the fact that there's no HD DVD optical drive in the existing machine, such an upgrade was always going to be a long shot. Still, that didn't stop the likes of Bill Gates and Yoshihiro Maruyama – head of Xbox in Japan – hinting that they were looking at the technology.

So we hoped, too, until Microsoft's spokesman rained on our fire by saying 'there are currently no plans to release an Xbox 360 equipped with a next generation DVD player.' There is an ambiguity there, of course - eagle-eyes like ourselves will note the use of the word 'currently'. What? Us? Clutching at straws?

The whole debate could be academic. Despite the so-called war stirred up by HD-DVD and its rival, Blu-ray, the Stuff crystal ball says we’ll skip straight past the quarrelsome pair to internet video. At least on this matter, Bill Gates agrees with us [story here].

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