Toshiba + Microsoft = New HD-DVD Xbox to fight Apple TV?

According to leakers at Toshiba, Microsoft is planning a new Xbox 360 that will include integrated HD-DVD playback at 1080p, and will also include upgraded wireless capabilities and a larger internal hard drive. We’re filing this one under “well no duh”, as those improvements all make total sense. What’s also interesting is that Toshiba’s bigmouth is stating it will include an HDTV tuner and an MP3 player docking station, likely one that works with the docking port on the bottom of the Zune.

We’ve heard much talk of interoperability between the Zune and the Xbox, and this is exactly the kinds of combinations that would do the trick. Imagine being able to DVR your HDTV, then transfer the file over to your Zune to watch on the road, all without touching your PC. That’s the kind of convergence this could promise.

By utilizing stuff people already subscribe to or get for free (DVDs, HDTV), Microsoft takes the biggest problem Apple faces out of the equation: the lack of content. Sure, there’s some stuff you can download at the iTunes movie store, but so far the Apple TV isn’t what it could be. We’ve heard rumors of its potential for upgrade, and that could be the reason for the technical saber rattling from the Xbox group.

If that’s the case, then the really interesting aspect is going to be seeing what format we’ll be getting on HD content on. And we don’t mean HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray, we mean will it come on disk, or via digital delivery?

Toshiba Working With Microsoft On New Entertainment Xbox [Smarthouse]