Of interest: Xbox 360 HD DVD Player Moves to $179, plus free HD DVDs… is that enough?

How did I miss this announcement yesterday? (No, not the nearly $1B that SharePoint Server sales generated so far… just north of $800M to be exact.)

“Microsoft Corp. announced it will lower the price of the popular Xbox 360™ HD DVD Player from $199 to $179 ERP (United States only) starting Aug. 1, 2007, and will add five free HD DVD movies for anyone purchasing an Xbox 360 HD DVD Player between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30.”

For me, the “Heroes: Season 1” boxed set on HD DVD is almost worth the investment. Almost.

When, oh when, will we see an Xbox 360 Elite HD bundle announced? I don’t want another peripheral for the Xbox 360… I would like to see an HD DVD drive built in to the main unit. That would be worth the premium cost.

When asked about this today in the analyst meeting, (a “device come out that combines all these” — music, gaming, digital TV or movies), Robbie Bach said…

“Well, let’s do two sort of clarifying points. One, even today’s Xbox you would say does music, does video, it will we’ve already announced that we will enable it to be a set-top box for a Media Room service. So it in a way does some of those things, even though its primary purpose will always be to focus on gaming, and making sure it’s a great game console.
“In terms of is there the search for the one device, I don’t actually I’m not actually, myself, a big believer in the one device theory. I think you’re going to have multiple different devices, depending on where you are, what you want to do. You’re going to want to have access to the same content, but you might use it differently.
“You’re going to want access to your music on a mobile phone. You’re going to want access to video on a mobile phone. You’re going to want access to music on an Xbox, you’re going to want access to video on an Xbox. You’re going to want access to all of that on a PC. The form in which it takes, the way in which it gets delivered, and the use you make of it probably will vary a little bit by device. And we have to be flexible enough, and design a simple, and integrated experience, so that people can feel comfortable with all that.
I will tell you, from a design perspective, that’s a real challenge. But, I think we’re on the right path, in particular focusing on services, because they can be delivered to any device. And once the connectivity is available for that, I think you’re going to see that start to take off in a big way.”

OK, I get that.

But if investing in a family room device that has a DVD player on board, why not offer a premium model with an integrated HD DVD drive?

BTW, of interest: Microsoft hosted its Financial Analyst Meeting for 2007 today: click here to view exec transcripts and presentations.

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