Microsoft Corp. is introducing an external high-definition DVD player for the 360 video game console to match the Blu-ray disc functions of Sony Corp ‘s upcoming PlayStation 3. The software maker also announced Wednesday it will launch the Xbox 360 in India this week and in Africa next week.
The rollout plans come as the company tries to shore up sales ahead of the arrival later this year of next-generation machines by its two top rivals — Sony and Nintendo Co. The basic Xbox 360 doesn’t come with high-definition DVD capability. The new Microsoft peripheral, to be launched in Japan on Nov. 22, is based on the HD DVD standard, a rival technology to the Blu-ray format Sony is using for the HD player built into its anxiously awaited upgrade to the PlayStation line.
The attachment will cost 19,800 yen ($170) in Japan, bringing the combined cost of the basic Xbox 360 and the HD DVD player to 49,600 yen ($420) — compared to 59,800 ($510) for the basic PlayStation 3 in Japan. The higher-end Xbox plus the HD DVD player will cost 57,700 yen ($490). Sony has left it up to retailers to set the price for its higher-end PlayStation 3.