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Blu-ray another Betamax - MS Xbox exec

HD DVD support news coming at E3

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The Xbox 360 will be able to play HD DVD movies, Microsoft's European console business chief, Chris Lewis, has apparently confirmed. "It will give people access to HD DVD," said this week.

In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel, Lewis dismisses Blu-ray Disc as another Betamax.

"Blu-ray right now reminds us of another technology from Sony: Betamax," he said. "A bit like VHS - we think that HD DVD is the format that consumers, film studios and publishers will embrace."

In short, it'll be beaten by a less sophisticated but more popular format.

As to the Xbox 360's already announced add-in external HD DVD player - Microsoft said it had one in the works at last January's Consumer Electronics Show. Lewis said another announcement will be made next month at the E3 show.

When asked about the console's lack of an HDMI port - which may yet be necessary to play some HD DVDs at full resolution because of restrictions the format's copy protection system allows content vendors to impose - Lewis responded: "All I can say to you is: there are interesting developments in the pipeline. We will make sure that the HD DVD peripheral device will meet all the requirements for consumers to enjoy high-definition DVD playback." ®

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