Isn't that $177 price the Japanese price converted to dollars? If so, then that doesn't necessarily mean it will be that price in NA. More than likely, it will be $199.99 here, but there hasn't been an announcement here yet (probably during the upcoming X06 conference).
I also wanted to add that I have a Toshiba HD-A1 on the way. I was originally going to get the 360 drive, but I changed my mind because of the following reasons:
- The HD-A1 has a great SD upscaler whereas the 360 drive can only upscale via VGA (unless they do release an HDMI cable at some point for the 360)
- The HD-A1 has analog audio outputs so I can enjoy TrueHD sound
- If I use my 360 for games and movies and there is a hardware failure on the 360, I wouldn't be able to play games OR watch HD-DVD's
- The 360 HD-DVD playback quality has not been proven yet. Will it be as good as the HD-A1? Will it be faster? Still a lot of questions unanswered.
All that said, if the 360 drive is $200 or less, I might pick one of them up as well as the HD-A1!