Microsoft play catchup with the PS3 and add external HD DVD optional drive in time for holidays

Not to be left out of the hi-def geek-fest of annoucements coming out of E3 this week, Microsoft have announced they are adding an optional add-on extra for the XBox360 to give it an external, USB-connected HD-DVD drive in order to play upcoming hi-def movies and games released on the HD-DVD format.

Sony is backing the Blu-Ray hi-def next-gen DVD drive format, and both PS3 models will ship with an integral BluRay DVD drive as its main drive. Should game developers take advantage of it’s 25GB single-layer capacity (50GB dual-layer), this potentially offers PS3 gamers massive amounts of game content. Without the external drive, XBox360 owners could only match this capacity with some frantic DVD disk swapping. However, how long will it take before game developers are shipping content that will take advantage of this much content?

While the XBox360 currently does not have any true HD TV connectivity options such as HDMI or HDCP, the $599 version of the PS3 does come with HDMI output.

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