But it’s not all a bed of roses, and there are a few issues with this setup if you’re really into your movies. For a start the Xbox 360 is pretty damn loud in the first place, and the HD DVD drive just adds to that noise. If you’re watching a movie late at night, the noise from the combined hardware can be very intrusive during quiet scenes – and I’m used to watching my Sky HD box, which isn’t the quietest bit of kit either!
The other problem is the impending format war that is scaring consumers everywhere. Do you want to start replacing your DVD collection with HD DVD discs even though it might not turn out to be the surviving format? It’s a tough call right now, but I’ve got to say that I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve seen from HD DVD so far. Compared to Blu-ray, HD DVD is definitely a more affordable option, while the quality and selection of discs is also superior.
Microsoft has done a good job of providing high definition movie functionality at a very affordable price. Yes, if you add the cost of this drive to the cost of an Xbox 360 it amounts to a fair wad of cash, but if you already own an X360 the price of the drive is pretty attractive.
The amount of noise emanating from the console and the drive can be an issue and the lack of HDMI may be a deal breaker for the movie purist, but then that kind of user isn’t ever going to watch films on a games console anyway. Ultimately though, if you’ve bought an Xbox 360 and an HDTV to go with it, £129 isn’t a lot to ask to add HD movies to your set up.