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CES2006: Gates Forecasting Huge HD Sales from Xbox

According to published reports of Bill Gates' annual ritual of addressing the CES, the world's richest known human is apparently counting on Microsoft's (opens in new tab) recent Xbox (opens in new tab) 360 game console release to do what sitcoms and the Super Bowl have not done yet--make owning an HD monitor a must for young consumers.

Microsoft reportedly released some internal survey data in Las Vegas that linked likely purchases of HD sets directly to the new Xbox. The company said about 90 percent of new Xbox 360 owners "either own an HDTV or plan to buy one in the next six months." (That always seems to be the catch in these surveys, i.e., the "plan-to" crowd, so time will tell....) Gates also said about 90 percent of those same Xbox owners say the game console itself is the main factor in their decision to upgrade to HD.

Some analysts figure if game console owners do buy HD sets in significant numbers in the next year or two, that could have a major impact on the DVD format wars, given that Xbox 360 is HD DVD compatible while PlayStation is Blu-ray formatted.