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Toshiba to field HD DVD-equipped Xbox 360?

Could even be integrated into an HD TV

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Toshiba may be gearing up release an own-brand Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD drive, a senior executive from the company has apparently claimed.

The staffer allegedly told Australian mag Smarthouse last week that Microsoft and Toshiba are working together on an Xbox 360 with built in HD DVD drive. However, he also claimed this may result in a version of the device being "sold under the Toshiba brand name".

No specific technical details were given away, and the site also claimed the two companies have been looking at ways to build Xbox 360 technology into big-screen HD TVs.

Both initiatives, if true, suggest Toshiba is keen to drive support for HD DVD by leveraging the Microsoft console, the way Sony is using the PlayStation 3 to push the Blu-ray Disc format.

It's hard to see Microsoft agreeing to allow Toshiba to release a version of the Xbox 360 console per se, but it's not hard to envisage Toshiba releasing an HD DVD player that also happens to play Xbox 360 games.

In July, the local wing of the HD DVD Promotion Group claimed that Toshiba HD DVD players account for 74 per cent of European sales of next-gen optical disc players. Although it didn’t mention how many units the percentage figure was taken from, it did tell Register Hardware that over 500,000 HD DVD players and Xbox 360 drives have been sold worldwide.

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