Microsoft demos HD-DVD

Microsoft provided a glimpse of the impact Xbox 360 may have on the HD optical disc wars Aug. 7 when it demonstrated an external HD-DVD drive working with an Xbox 360 game console at the DVD Forum in Los Angeles.

According to a Microsoft spokesman, although not yet available for sale, the external HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 should be available in time for the Christmas shopping season.

At the forum, the HD-DVD drive played back “The Phantom of the Opera” while interactive menus were manipulated to demonstrate the availability of interactive features.

Though Microsoft did not disclose the unit’s price, it did indicate that the external HD-DVD drive would be among the most affordable on the market.