Alright, I just wanted to start by stating that almost everything from this article makes sense, sort of, except for the name of the supposed incoming SKU. Mainly because Microsoft’s naming schemes haven’t been known to make sense for too long, for example there was the Xbox and then the Xbox 360, not the Xbox 2.
Basically, the logic behind the meat of this story is that there was the 360 Core, then Premium, next the Elite, and soon, the Ultimate (Legendary after that anyone?). So, now that we have addressed my issues with the supposed name, lets get into the story.
Some guy at some forum (Proelite from Neogaf to be more exact) said that his one of the employees at his local Gamestop told him that they are getting a new SKU, and essentially what is happening (with the HDMI being added to the Premium systems and the HD-DVD drive prices dropping) is the Elite’s feature, minus color, are being dropped down to the Premium systems, and then there is a new SKU for a system that is basically an Elite (don’t know which color) with an integrated HD-DVD drive.
The reason why, to me, this makes sense is because I firmly believe that their were two driving factors for Microsoft not including a next generation Optical drive in their system from the beginning, the first is price (hehehmm, $600 PS3?) and the second is they didn’t know if either would lose significant ground.
Right now, Blu-Ray is winning by about 10%, if you ask me that could be corrected by subtracting the massive number of PS3’s with them integrated, and even then, winning by 10% isn’t enough to really say one is losing. So, since HD-DVDs aren’t losing by a lot, and Xbox 360s are selling like hot cakes, and there is now an HDMI port on the 360, why not go ahead and integrate the drives. Besides, Microsoft has already proven the modularity of their system with the USB HD-DVD drive they have already released, and integrating the drives would allow for larger game discs I would reckon.
Like I said, I have no idea how true this information is, but it does kind of make sense.
[Rumor Mill] Xbox 360 With built in HD-DVD player built in coming next year [via gamers-creed]