updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed September 20, 2006
Xbox 360 1080p Support
As reported by Gamer Scan, Microsoft used a press conference in advance of the 2006 Tokyo Game Show to reveal that it would soon extend the HD video capabilities of its Xbox 360 game system. Users in all regions will be able to download a software update that adds the maximum 1080p resolution as an option for users who connect their consoles to their TV through either component or VGA cables. Games and videos can use the new format on any supporting display. Most games will still be programmed for the lower 720p resolution, says Microsoft's Shane Kim, but will be upsampled to 1080p to improve the visual quality on those displays that support the sharper format. Accordingly, Microsoft also announced that it would at last release its anticipated HD DVD add-on movie player first to Japanese Xbox 360 owners. While Microsoft does not expect any developers to release games for the drive, the HD DVD drive will give console owners a relatively inexpensive way to watch the next-generation movie format and will include the Xbox 360 Universal Remote to aid with the Xbox 360's new role. The attachment will retail for the equivalent of $170 US when it ships to Japan on November 17th; this places the total cost of an Xbox 360 and HD DVD combination at $520, below the $533 US price of the PlayStation 3 in Japan.