Fantastic Xbox 360 news

At the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft made a couple of huge announcements about the Xbox 360. First, they announced some new games for the Japanese market, where the Xbox family has traditionally been pretty weak. They announced some excellent new Xbox Live Arcade titles, too, including Gyruss, Rally-X, and Track & Field. Konami and NAMCO BANDAI have really jumped on the potential of XBLA; Konami alone had three or four titles released just within the last couple of months.

Second, they announced that the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player will launch in Japan on 17 November, with an SRP of ¥19800 (US$169 at today’s exchange rate). That’s a fantastic price, which I assume MS is subsidizing to help drive adoption. Given that the PS3 will be launching around the same time with a BluRay player, I suspect they’re trying to pre-emptively deny Sony a leg up in the format wars.
Third, and most excitingly, there will be a fall system software update that will enable 1080p output from the existing Xbox 360 hardware! This is pretty cool from a technical standpoint; I had thought the 360 GPU was probably beefy enough to handle 1080p output, but I’d also wondered why MS hadn’t enabled it as a supported video mode. Now all I need is a 1080p television…

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