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Xbox 360 to Get HD DVD, 'Grand Theft Auto 4' by Christmas

Microsoft Corp. will release an HD DVD player for its Xbox 360 video game machine in time for the 2006 holiday season and will have 10 million of its next-generation consoles to market before its rivals debut their new systems, company executives said on Tuesday.

Microsoft (MSFT) got a head start when it released the Xbox 360 in November. Rivals Sony Corp. (SNE) and Nintendo Co. Ltd plan to debut their new gaming machines, the PlayStation 3 and the Wii, later this year.

But the PlayStation 3 due later this year will have a Blu-ray DVD player, which is a competing next-generation DVD standard to HD DVD supported by Toshiba Corp.

There will be a total of 160 titles for Xbox 360 available in time for the holidays, Peter Moore, head of Microsoft's game business, said at a press conference ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week in Los Angeles.