Microsoft briefly addressed the recent HD-DVD fallout, not the least of which being Toshiba ceasing manufacturing of its HD-DVD players, with an official statement about the Xbox 360 and its HD-DVD player add-on. No matter how much Microsoft says the sky isn’t falling on HD-DVD, though, let’s face it: it is.
Microsoft’s statement is clearly an attempt to reassure Xbox 360 owners that their console won’t be obsolete. In most respects, this is right: as a gaming system, HD-DVD doesn’t matter. But as an entertainment device — which is how Microsoft has continually billed the Xbox 360 — the recent HD-DVD news is a serious blow to the platform.
Microsoft’s statement reads: “We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. As we’ve long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry.
“We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. 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.”
Good thing the Xbox Live Marketplace has some steam. Without it, Microsoft could be completely screwed in terms of non-gaming content with today’s HD-DVD news.