CES 2008 Bill Gates going to make a big Xbox Announcement

ceslogo2cc7.pngSeattle Times staff columnist Brier Dudley published an editorial earlier this week in which he speculates the announcements Bill Gates could make in his last CES keynote as chairman of Microsoft. Dudley said the following regarding the Xbox:

Saving the best for last, Gates could end his CES run with a bang by making a blockbuster Xbox announcement.

I’ve speculated on my blog that Microsoft may be preparing to license the Xbox gaming platform to consumer-electronics companies. In particular, Microsoft could work with Toshiba to develop a digital video recorder with a hard-drive, high-definition HD-DVD drive and Xbox gaming capabilities. They’re already allied against Sony and other backers of the Blu-ray DVD format, and Toshiba could help Xbox finally penetrate the Japanese market.

Microsoft could also make a splash by announcing plans to give the Xbox 360 an internal HD-DVD drive, putting it on par with Sony’s PlayStation 3 that has a built-in Blu-ray drive.

But then again, Gates may want to keep everyone in suspense about the next Xbox, in case he decides to return to CES after all.

Toshiba HD-A3 with 12 Free movies available at wal-mart “secret” sale

wal-mart-hd-dvd-12.jpgThere’s certainly been no shortage of HD-DVD deals lately (or Blu Ray ones, for that matter), but it seem like those looking to get the biggest movie collection right out of the gate won’t be able to do much better than Wal-Mart’s upcoming “secret” sale, which includes a Toshiba HD-A3 player with twelve free HD-DVDs for $298.

That, of course, includes the usual two movies in the box and five more by mail, plus an additional five that you’ll get “instantly” when you buy the player (no word on what you’ll have to choose from). You’ll have to get up early if you want to walk away with that stash, however, as the sale gets underway tomorrow at 8 am sharp, when you’ll also be able to snag a 50-inch Vizio plasma TV for $998 or a 40GB PS3 with a free $50 gift card for $399, among other slightly less notable deals.