At the company's X06 conference in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft provided worldwide-release details for the Xbox 360's external HD-DVD drive. The drive will be available for $200 in the United States when it comes out in mid-November, with Peter Jackson's King Kong on HD-DVD and the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote. The player will also launch in the U.K., France, and Germany around the same time, for 130 pounds and 200 euros, respectively. Other territories will follow in 2007. According to Joystiq, the HD-DVD drive will be compatible with both the Premium and Core models of the system. Coupled with the price of the system, HD-DVD movies on the 360 will set you back $500 or $600--roughly the same price as Toshiba's entry-level HD-DVD players. You get the added benefit of a high-quality gaming console, but it lacks the all-important HDMI cable. Few HDTVs accept 1080p via component, and the ominious threat of component image constraint is looming, so a few movie studios could ruin the HD-DVD fun for Xbox 360 owners.
Should you suddenly find your HD-DVDs downconverted, at least there'll be plenty of great titles to enjoy on your 360. Here are the biggest gaming announcements of X06: