Kicking off the week's news from Comic-Con, Microsoft this morning announced a series of new incentives designed to woo more Xbox 360 owners to buy its HD DVD add-on player.
Beginning August 1, the software giant will drop the price of the add-on player by twenty dollars to $179, and for a period of two months consumers will also receive five free HD DVD movies with purchase.
On its previous $199 price tag alone, the add-on was already the lowest priced playback solution for high-def discs. Add to that over $140 in effective savings, and Microsoft seems to hoping that this promo will prove to be an irresitable deal for Xbox 360 owners who haven't yet made the leap to HD DVD.
While the add-on player has come bundled with a single HD DVD disc in the past, this new five disc promotion extends the HD DVD camp's "Perfect Offer," which was previously exclusive to consumers buying Toshiba HD DVD players. The program allows consumers to choose five HD DVD titles for free from a selection of 15 popular titles through a mail-in offer.
Microsoft also announced two upcoming Xbox LIVE offerings said to be designed to help promote the HD DVD releases of '300' and 'Heroes: Season One.' Beginning August 14, '300' will be available on demand in HD via LIVE, while at an unspecified later date the pilot episode of 'Heroes' will also be offered in high-def, along with trailers, teaser scenes and other promotional materials highlighting the show's upcoming HD DVD box set.
This announcement from Micosoft is the first major announcement to emerge from this week's Comic-Con gathering San Diego, which kicks off with various press activities today. As we've previously reported, both high-def disc formats promise to be well-represented at Comic-Con this year, with fans being treated to a first look at several high-profile titles hitting HD DVD and Blu-ray in the coming months.