That's the latest rumor from Digitimes' manufacturing sources (also home to the blue laser shortage and $199 HD DVD add-on rumors), who indicate that Microsoft is looking for manufacturers for the drives. Although the external Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on will be made by Toshiba -- or Lite-On -- it's not impossible that they would follow their strategy for the current DVD drives by sourcing from multiple builders. According to the rumor a console featuring an integrated HD DVD drive could be ready in the first half of 2007 "at the soonest", although we wouldn't be surprised to see it in the latter half of the year as manufacturing costs continue to drop. Other Xbox 360 rumors like HDMI, 250GB HDD, black casing and DirecTV PVR integration continue to languish in obscurity, waiting for confirmation by unnamed sources.

The i-mate ZAQ