Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD drive

The Good Picture quality; incredibly affordable; easy to use; remote control and King Kong HD DVD included.

The Bad No support for lossless audio; Xbox 360 still makes some noise; awkward styling.

The Bottom Line When you balance out the price and performance, this is the best next-gen disc player on the market -- any movie fan with an Xbox 360 and an HD Ready TV should seriously consider buying one. There are one or two minor niggles, and the styling is slightly odd, but overall this is an excellent product for those looking to get into hi-def

Editors' Rating
8.3 Overall

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Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD drive
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Price £130 Typical Price £130 Typical Price £130 Typical Price £122 Amazon.co.uk £134 Amazon.co.uk
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Review

Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD drive

It's quite amazing to think that the first real HD DVD player to officially go on sale in the UK is an add-on for a games console, and that it costs only £130, but that's what Microsoft and its partner Toshiba have managed to deliver.

The device is not designed for games -- and Microsoft has suggested that it will never be used for this purpose -- but is for movies only. Basically, its sole use is to play HD DVDs in the usual hi-def resolutions: 720p, 1080i and, for those able to use it, 1080p.

Design
This is a small, lightweight device, oddly reminiscent of a hardback book. The shape and colour strongly echoes the Xbox 360 itself, although the drive drawer is placed on the end of the rectangle, rather than the side. Like the 360, it can be placed flat on its belly or stood on its side, but we'd recommend you always use the former option -- there are no rubber feet on the side, so it could be knocked over fairly easily. Do that with it switched on and a disc inside and you'll probably be left with a broken drive -- or an interestingly shaped paperweight.

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