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Gaming News
New 360 rumours.

Article source = Gamespot

News Source: Popular hardware destination HardOCP.com, Taiwan-based Digitimes, and game-info site Digitalbattle.

What we heard: Ever since the Xbox 360 was first shown to the public in May 2005, rumors have surrounded it. Once the specs for the console were revealed, the speculation shifted from what the console could do at present, but what it will be able do in the future.

Microsoft answered part of that question at E3 this year, unveiling several new peripherals, announcing Live Anywhere, and taking the wraps off the 360's external HD-DVD drive. Soon, many speculated that a premium, hard drive-equipped 360s fitted with the unpriced HD-DVD drive would cost around $600--i.e. $399 plus a rumored $199. That's as much as the high-end model of the Blu-ray drive-equipped PlayStation 3, which has taken considerable flak for its premium price point.

This week, two sources reported that the 360 HD-DVD drive will indeed ring up at around $200. First was Digitimes, which stated flatly on Monday that "Microsoft will launch external HD-DVD drives for its Xbox 360 at a retail price of US$200 by Christmas of this year."

Seconding that opinion was HardOCP, which yesterday included the HD-DVD price point report as part of a piece titled "Xbox360 Roadmap Peeked At." The site elaborated on the add-on, saying it would "only require component inputs. ... No HDMI in sight." It also said that Microsoft would be releasing a cable to support 1080p video output. However, "Little more information is known on [1080 output] or if there will be a gaming performance impact."

Last but not least, HardOCP revealed that the Xbox 360 would soon get functionality borrowed from a Windows Media Center PC. "While this is not a term that Microsoft used, the Xbox360 will be seeing an added on 'media jukebox' for handling tons of movies, video, pictures, and music," said the site. No mention was made as to whether Microsoft was going to release larger capacity "outrigger" hard drive to store said media, since many 360 owners' 20-gigabyte HDDs are getting nearly full of game demos, trailers, and saves.

In other 360-rumor news, Digitalbattle reported that Microsoft is mulling a second controller specifically for first-person shooters. "The new controller would have an improved and more precise right analog stick for games requiring higher precision," read the report, which sourced Microsoft�s product unit manager Robert Walker's presentation at the Microsoft Gamefest developers' conference. Strangely, though, first-hand accounts of Walker's Monday speech, like the exhaustive recap of the session on FiringSquad.com, make no mention of a FPS-centric controller.

The official story: So what does Microsoft have to say about all this? Not much, unsurprisingly. Regarding the HD-DVD, "We haven't announced any pricing or availability at this point so we'll keep you posted," a rep for the game giant said regarding the HD-DVD. The same rep wouldn't comment on 1080p support and media jukebox functionality, and also would only say that "We have not made any announcements about a new Xbox 360 controller."

Bogus or not bogus?: $200 360 HD-DVDD? If bogus, it's a close estimate. Support for 1080p? Almost certainly. Media jukebox? Sounds probable, given the fact Windows Media Center PCs already have similar functionality. New FPS-specific controller? The jury's out on that one, but it would make sense.

Posted by Ed. on August 16.

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