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Microsoft dismisses rumours of revised Xbox 360 hardware

Photos are just 'experimentation'. Plus, more on IPTV plans.

Microsoft's Chris Satchell has dismissed rumours of revised Xbox 360 hardware sporting an HDMI port and a high-capacity hard disk, even claiming that photographs rustled up by our old friend Internet Reports mean very little.

"At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we're thinking about announcing," Satchell - head of Microsoft's game developer group - told GameSpot.

The Microsoft man was also cool on the prospect of a standalone hard disk upgrade to one of the mooted higher capacities (60, 100 and 120GB devices have been "seen" in the wild): "As we produce these services, if we see an increase in pressure that's something that will be interesting to look at, but there isn't any announcement today about any new configuration that may or may not be happening," he added.

At CES one of Microsoft's big stories was the unveiling of an IPTV service - the idea being to deliver television over the Internet to Xbox 360 - and Satchell elaborated on those plans, admitting that initially the plan is to piggyback service providers' existing plans by saying, "Oi you, see this Xbox 360? Put your stuff on it." Hence the partnerships with BT, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, and AT&T in the US.

Interestingly Satchell's also coy about whether the plan is to expand beyond that, suggesting provision constraints will be common to start with. On whether Microsoft will remove the need to tie yourself to one provider and offer IPTV direct, he says the firm is "looking at both [options], but first you're going to see it from our partners".

Plans for implementation of the service aren't fully in place either, with Satchell saying that it could end up coming through a dashboard update or a disc install. "Obviously our preference normally is to do everything online because that's where people are at," he noted.

And as for price - that's up to Microsoft's partners to consider, he said.

Satchell was speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Microsoft said that it planned to launch an Xbox 360 IPTV service by "holiday 2007".

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