Microsoft has used its XO6 event in Barcelona to announce that the HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 will retail in the UK for just 130 pounds (or 199 Euros). It will ship with an HD version of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, as well as an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.
The retail price is way below what many pundits were predicting and will send shockwaves through the Blu-ray camp, which is still expecting the PS3 to be the main driver for HD packaged media sales.
Said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft: “The Xbox 360 HD DVD Player is the best high-definition movie experience and value on the market. The reviews, the word of mouth and the consumer response have all been crystal clear – HD DVD is the format of choice. We’re not forcing movie technology on game players but are instead letting them choose how to personalize their experiences. If they want HD DVD, there’s no better value out there.”
Microsoft Game Studios also used the event to announce a partnership with Kong re-creator Peter Jackson “to create new stories and redefine the way they are told.”
One of Jackson’s first projects is to co-write, co-design and co-produce a new, original chapter in the Halo universe, in collaboration with Bungie Studios.
Said Jackson of the deal, “Microsoft has built an amazing living canvas with Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, which allows the storytellers of our time to express themselves in a new medium. They have fundamentally changed how people think about games. My vision, together with Microsoft Game Studios, is to push the boundaries of game development and the future of interactive entertainment. From a movie-maker’s point of view, it is clear to me that the Xbox 360 platform is the stage where storytellers can work their craft in the same way they do today with movies and books but taking it further with interactivity.”