HD DVD may be dead but it's clearly not yet buried. Microsoft this week unveiled a software update for the Xbox 360’s now-discontinued HD DVD add-on drive.
Next time you pop an HD DVD into the drive, the update will be automatically downloaded and installed – provided you’re connected to Xbox Live. If not, then it’ll soon be available through Xbox.com.
Microsoft hasn’t said much about what benefits the update provides, aside from stating that it includes “compatibility improvements” for a number of HD DVD titles and “additional support for network features”.
It’s strange that Microsoft’s chosen to release an update for an add-on drive that it officially discontinued back in February, soon after Toshiba dumped the HD DVD format. The update will leave many Xbox 360 fans wondering what Microsoft’s future plans are for embracing HD media.
Despite several claims that it’s considering introducing a Blu-ray player for the console, including one made by a Sony executive, Microsoft has continuously denied that it’s talking to anyone about the format.
But Microsoft’s ‘anti blu-ray’ statements have always been carefully worded, and the company has never said it’s ruled out Blu-ray altogether. So could the HD DVD add-on update just be a way of throwing gamers off the Xbox 360 Blu-ray scent? You decide.