Monday's announcement is an expansion of the April partnership pact, Microsoft's first with a major Japanese CE manufacturer, to share AV and computer technologies between the two companies. One likely result is the appearance of an HD DVD drive in the new Xbox 360, though the game console will probably be introduced with conventional a DVD drive at first in order to prevent further delays and miss the 2005 holiday shopping season. For their part, Toshiba announced plans to design a player based on Windows CE, but neither company would say when such a device would be available to consumers.
As Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida noted at a press conference in Tokyo, "We feel we have gained a powerful supporter on our side." Also in attendance was Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who said, "This agreement demonstrates our desire to share our innovations with other companies in ways that promote the spread of new ideas."