MS mulls HD-DVD in future X360s

But nothing's decided yet.

Reports that Microsoft is to put a HD-DVD drive into a future version of the Xbox 360 have surfaced on the web over the weekend, drawing on a quote made by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates back at the end of June.

However, no further details about the company's plans with regard to the next-generation DVD standard have emerged to support the claim - so it all still rests on Gates' comment, which we reported on over a month ago.

"The initial shipments of Xbox 360 will be based on today's DVD format," Gates confirmed at the time, speaking at a conference co-hosted with HD-DVD creator Toshiba in Tokyo.

"We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capacity of an HD-DVD player or something else," he continued.

While far from being a confirmation that HD-DVD will ever be included in Xbox 360, the statement does prove that Microsoft is at least considering upgrading the functionality of the console over its lifespan.

It's unlikely, however, that Xbox 360 games will ever ship on HD-DVD - or the competing Blu-Ray standard, which Microsoft could still choose to adopt - since this would break compatibility with older consoles. Instead, the HD-DVD drive would be used only for movie playback.

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