We've received numerous reader reports that Universal's new 'Children of Men' HD DVD is a bit of lemon for some Xbox 360 owners, due to incompatibility problems with the console's HD DVD add-on drive.
'Children of Men' hit stores earlier this week on March 27, as one of the most highly-anticipated HD DVD releases on the format thus far, and as our Kenneth Brown wrote in his recent review of the disc, it apparently boasts stellar video and audio. Unfortunately, more than a few Xbox 360 owners have had issues playing it on the device's popular HD DVD add-on drive, with many of our readers writing in to say that the disc simply won't play, and that even multiple returns of the disc have produced the same issue.
When testing the disc out on our own Xbox 360 add-on HD DVD drive, we had the same results -- the disc spins in the tray, but is seemingly unrecognized by the system. A black screen and a reboot threw us back to the Microsoft Dashboard menu regardless of how many times we continued to try and load the film. We tried this dic on another Xbox 360 and found the same problem. Strangely, that tryout was even more unsuccessful -- we didn't even make it to a black screen, it simply spun the disc longer than usual and remained at the Dashboard menu.
We should note that since word of these issues first emerged, readers have also written in to say that the disc plays back fine on their Xbox 360 devices, while others have reported playback problems with the disc on Toshiba's XA2 player (we had no such issues on our XA2).
We've contacted both Microsoft and Universal, but have not yet received any official word on whether it is a hardware problem, a software problem, or both.
We'll certainly keep you posted as soon as official word comes in. In the meantime, we've set up a dedicated thread in our Forums area to discuss playback problems with 'Children of Men' on the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive.