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Microsoft nixes HD DVD drive for Xbox 360

Following Toshiba's decision to drop its support for the HD DVD standard, the console maker follows suit.

Microsoft will end production of the external HD DVD drive for its Xbox 360 video game console, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The company said it would, however, continue to offer warranty support for the peripheral.


"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," Blair Westlake, a corporate vice president of Microsoft's media and entertainment group, said in a statement.

The drive, which currently costs about $130, was intended as Microsoft's answer to Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which contained an integrated Blu-ray Disc drive.

Microsoft is just the latest top-tier tech company to abandon the failed high-definition disc format. Along with Toshiba, Intel, and NEC, Microsoft was one of the most prominent supporters of the standard. Toshiba said last week it would no longer make HD DVD players. Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy, and all the major movie studios have all now said they will exclusively support Blu-ray.

The biggest proponent of Blu-ray, Sony, now stands poised to become the standard bearer of HD video mostly because of its strategy in including Blu-ray playback capability into the PS3. It's unclear if Microsoft now plans to make an attachable Blu-ray player for the Xbox 360.