Xbox wasn't showing up to TGS empty-handed, nosiree. They've finally stepped up with a couple of interesting, albeit expected, announcements. First up: the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive finally has a price and date of launch -- for Japan. The land that forgot the Xbox are first to have their HD DVD add-on announced, due to hit overseas streets on November 17th for ¥19,800. That's about $170 US, which is not only an awesomely and unexepectedly low price for an HD DVD device (especially when bundled with a Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote), but it's also a good indication that the US version of the device should be around the $200 range when released in the US, as we've been predicting. Part two: a software update this year will enable 1080p output on the friggin' Xbox 360! Your rig will finally benefit by pushing the full 60 megapixels per second of visuals to your compatible HDTV. Sorry, no HDMI cable yet (or ever?), though, this is only over component and VGA. Users can expect 1080p upscaling immediately on current games and DVDs and native 1080p on compatible HD DVD titles, but Microsoft hasn't yet announced future games that will rock 1080p natively. Watch out Sony, that whole 1080p song and dance isn't such a marketing edge for you guys anymore.
P.S. -Just to sate your curiosity, we were chatting with Shane Kim about this stuff and asked specifically about 360s with an internal HD DVD. Microsoft's answer is and continues to be a staunch no. That whole thing about paying only for what you need, etc.
Update: It would appear there's some contradictory information already -- Reuters is reporting that it'll be November 22nd for ¥20,790 (about $180 US). Our press release and conversation with Shane Kim are both pretty straight up about November 17th for ¥19,800, so we'll see how it unfurls. Ultimately it shouldn't matter too much to those reading this post, we're still talking about the Japanese release of the device.
Update 2: Microsoft let us know there was a flub in their press release -- it's definitely the 22nd for Japan.