Not that we'd put it past Microsoft or anything, but we can already smell a rumor brewing where there is probably none regarding the long-speculated and continuously denied plans to integrate an HD DVD drive into the Xbox 360. Granted, Bill's got to have something to talk about on stage at CES next week, but we're not putting much stock in the pure speculation of a fresh Seattle Times piece, which, without sources, simply holds that "Microsoft could also make a splash by announcing plans to give the Xbox 360 an internal HD-DVD drive". Yep, they could do that which has been speculated endlessly since the HD DVD drive itself was announced in 2006 -- or not. Guess we'll find out for sure next week. Just don't get your hopes up.

Oh, and those Xbox Live outages we've been covering? Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to do right by its customers and hook up Gold members with a little something -- at least according to an unnamed Xbox insider. Guess we'll see about that too one once things stabilize on the Live front.

Read - Xbox 360 to get [Via Joystiq]
Read - Live users to get a little something for the downtime? [Via Joystiq]

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Xbox rumors: Live users to get recompense and more speculation about an integrated HD DVD drive