Blu-ray has won. HD DVD has been vanquished. But did you expect the prices to fall this fast? Check out the Microsoft Xbox 360 Web site: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/x/xbox360hddvdplayer/default.htm. Microsoft is offering the the Xbox 360 HD DVD player for $49.99. And that apparently still includes five free HD DVD titles.
Microsoft has put a tidy disclaimer on the page:
Microsoft has discontinued production of HD DVD players. From this time forward, availability of HD DVD content will be limited and subject to studio availability; for more information consumers may contact those 3rd party content providers directly.
But if you already have an Xbox 360 (or are thinking about getting one), this could be an attractive deal. First, getting five new-release DVDs for $10 apiece is pretty good, even if they are just standard DVDs. But these are high definition. Yes, you need a special player to view them, but it’s free with the movies. Next, it’s true that there won’t be a lot of new HD DVD titles released going forward, but there already are hundreds of them available now. And they’re going to sell at clearance prices now that the HD DVD camp has folded its tents. On eBay today, there are 68 HD DVDs listed, many of which don’t even have a bid even with a $0.99 starting bid.
So if you want to see some of these movies in high definition, and you have an Xbox, this could be an inexpensive way to get them.