Microsoft To Drop HD DVD Players For Xbox 360; Slashes Prices On Last Units

With the HD DVD format formally declared dead by Toshiba, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), once one of its head cheerleaders, is announcing its own plans: the company will stop production of HD DVD players as an option for the Xbox 360 console. It’s also slashing the price of the remaining units to $49 from $119; Microsoft will provide standard warranty support. The console will continue to come with a standard DVD player. No word yet about whether a Blu-Ray version will be offered; Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 3 has integrated Blu-Ray, A Microsoft spokesperson told Bloomberg the decision “won’t have a big impact” since HD DVD was an accessory, not part of the console.

AP: “Microsoft said it is looking at how the HD DVD technology it has developed, such as HDi, which adds interactive features to HD DVDs, and its VC-1 video encoding technology, can be applied to other platforms.”