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Xbox 360 ready to adopt Blu-Ray if HD-DVD fails

by Steven Williamson on 9 January 2008, 11:40

Tags: Xbox 360, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360

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Poised to jump on Blu-Ray bandwagon

CES 2008 Following the news earlier this week that Warner Bros. has made the decision to drop their support for the HD-DVD format , Microsoft has also been mulling over the future of the optical disc format.

In an interview with Reuters, Albert Penello, the group marketing manager for Xbox Hardware, said that the company would consider a Blu-Ray add-on for Xbox 360 in the future if HD-DVD fails.

"It should be consumer choice, and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider," said Penello. "I fundamentally don't think this has a significant impact on Xbox 360 versus PS3," he told Reuters.

Penello's comments are in contrast to the statement made at the beginning of the CES show,where Peter Moore said that they had "absolutely no plans to support other optical formats". "As we've said before, we're confident that HD-DVD will bring the excitement of high-definition movies to the consumer faster and at a greater value," he continued. "We believe that consumers have signalled what format they want to enjoy high-definition DVD and we're going to follow them down that path."

Of course, it makes sense for Microsoft to adopt the Blu-Ray format if HD-DVD fails, and if it does it would have been a wise-move by the company not to combine a costly internal HD-DVD drive with the Xbox 360 when they launched the console. It was widely rumoured that Bill Gates would announce the Xbox Ultimate at CES this year, which was said to be a new SKU sporting a built-in HD DVD drive, but that didn't materialise.

If a report in today's Financial Times is correct, HD-DVD could be about to receive another big blow if Paramount also switch sides to Blu-Ray.

With numerous HD digitial download services, including movie rental services and the likes of the Xbox live marketplace already allowing the download of HD movies over the net, it begs the question, will either format be as successful as their backers hope?

Source :: The Register


HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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they've always said the reason for USB-based drives is to they can go with whichever format people prefer
directhex
they've always said the reason for USB-based drives is to they can go with whichever format people prefer

Yeah, I think it was Peter Moore said about a year ago that they could easily switch.
What I don't quite understand is why Microsoft doesn't realize the market potential for the Xbox as a HD-DVD player. The PS3's ability to play Blu-Ray cinema for as much or less than a standard set-top Blu-Ray player is a HUGE selling point. I see the cost of a set-top Blu-Ray player, and the price of a PS3 and think, “why would I want to settle for a mere player when I can get a whole gaming platform for nearly the same price?” If the Xbox had only integrated HD-DVD, even at a reasonable price difference from set-top players, they would not only have that advantage, but also lend support to the format that consumers would ultimately benefit the most from. They'd sell like crazy.
Euph0ria
PS3's ability to play Blu-Ray cinema for as much or less than a standard set-top Blu-Ray player is a HUGE selling point. I see the cost of a set-top Blu-Ray player, and the price of a PS3 and think, “why would I want to settle for a mere player when I can get a whole gaming platform for nearly the same price?”

I believe that the PS3 doesnt have the same digital audio out capabilities as a regular Blu-Ray player. Then there is always the issue of consoles overheating and braking plus the sheer volume of the device.

I would have a blue ray player over a PS3 anyday but i would rather just get a drive for my PC and use that, hense the XBOX 360 offering a Blu-ray drive would be a great idea!
Or MS could just made an Xbox 360 Ultimate or whatever with integrated HD DVDROM at higher price, while keeping the external option there.