Microsoft headed for Sega CD territory

LAS VEGAS -- After surprising some industry-watchers by equipping the Xbox 360 with a plain old DVD drive, Microsoft on Jan. 4 revealed plans for an external HD-DVD drive during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The drive, which will connect externally to the 360, is expected to release later this year and will be used only for movies, according to Microsoft Vice President Peter Moore.

However, while Microsoft is throwing its support behind HD-DVD as the successor to DVDs, it could hop onto Sony's bandwagon if things go sour. In an interview given later to Japanese website ITMedia, Moore said a similar add-on for Blu-ray discs is also possible, if Sony's proprietary disc wins the format war.