With Microsoft preparing to launch an HD-DVD player peripheral for the Xbox 360 this Fall, questions have continued about the console’s lack of support for HDMI, the currently accepted standard for connecting high-definition video players to your TV. During an interview conducted by Microsoft employee Major Nelson, Albert ‘the accessories guy’ stated that HDMI is, “…just another port, it’s another way to plug into your TV with one rectangle input instead of three.” He goes on to point out that, “People are saying it looks amazing through component, it looks amazing through VGA, so I don’t put a lot of stock in it.”
Sony’s own announcement at E3 2006 that a cheaper PS3 would be available without HDMI support would seem to bear that out. Responding to questions about the lack of such a distinctive feature, Sony’s Kaz Hirai said that, “There’s not a discernible difference between what you get between HDMI and other forms of high definition.” Following this news, it was revealed that while studios retain the right to make use of the Image Constraint Token (ICT) that HDMI supports, they would not do so until at least 2010. This means older component cables supported by the new HD-DVD Xbox 360 drive and the cheaper PS3 will continue to display high definition content without fear of the DRM reducing the video quality.
You can read more about the current state of the HD-DVD vs. Blue-ray debate here.