Microsoft's $400 Xbox 360 game console comes with a built-in DVD drive. But Microsoft offers a external HD DVD Player to hook up to the console. This is a bargain-priced starting point for Xbox 360 owners who want to begin watching high-def movies; however, the combo has some significant drawbacks.
Based on PC Worlds tests, if you don't already own an Xbox, you have no earthly reason to buy these two boxes just for next-generation video playback. A stand-alone HD DVD player (such as the inexpensive $500 Toshiba HD-A2) will give you better picture and sound, without the hassle of running two gadgets to do the job of one.