Pre-E3 06: New 360 toys

Microsoft showed off their new HD DVD drive that will play the ultra high-definition HD DVD movies already available for existing pricey HD DVD players. This means that you'll be able to view feature films in all their hi-res glory, as close to their original theater quality as technically possible.

The device, which appeared to be about two-thirds the size of the 360 itself, connects with a plain old USB 2.0 connection. Don't worry about not having enough ports for your other accessories, though, because the drive itself has two on the back. While the unit can accommodate both 720p and 1080i resolutions, it won't be able to handle 1080p (which Microsoft considers a niche market). It also won't support HDMI (a serious wirehead term for a new high-definition connector), so you won't have to worry about new plugs for your current HDTV.

While Microsoft didn't announce a price for the new drive, they assured us that it would be available for this holiday season.