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Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on speculation is "premature"

Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on speculation is "premature"

Microsoft says that speculation of a Blu-ray add-on drive for Xbox 360 is premature. But it interestingly doesn't deny it...

With the biggest HD DVD supporter, Toshiba, pulling support for the troubled high-definition format and essentially ending the format war, speculation about Microsoft starting to sell a Blu-ray add-on drive for Xbox 360 is rife.

SmartHouse claims to have spoken to Microsoft insiders, who told the site that the company has already configured a standalone Blu-ray player that can be connected to an Xbox 360 and this reportedly could be on sale within three months.

The site also says that Microsoft is working on a built-in Blu-ray player too, but the console maker sees the HD format battle moving online. While the former seems relatively plausible, I can't see the latter happening because Microsoft was reluctant to introduce a built-in HD DVD drive, even despite being a big supporter of the format.

In response to the speculation, a Microsoft representative told Shacknews that, "It is premature to speculate about Blu-ray but we do know from market data that HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers buying video game consoles."

This reads in a similar way to the company's statement yesterday evening, which said that "We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace."

Michael Ephraim, the boss of Sony Computer Entertainment Austrailia, said that "We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable. In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very succesful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player."

So, there are two opposing statements from the two big console makers. But, the thing is, there weren't any really big console-selling games on PS3 in its early days, so the only reason to buy the console early on was for the Blu-ray player and the promise of some great content later down the line. Of course, there are now a growing number of great games on PS3, so I believe the Blu-ray player a less important feature than it was before.

Do you think Microsoft will ship a Blu-ray add-on drive? Share your thoughts in the forums.

14 Comments

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Bauul 19th February 2008, 12:18 Quote
I'm not sure, I can't see it selling massively well, as traditional Blu-Ray players are going to plumet in price as everyone piles into the market, but MS might do. I guess it depends on how many people appear to want to make the jump from DVD to Blu-Ray.
Jamie 19th February 2008, 12:27 Quote
I wonder whether they are more likely to make an all in one unit with blu-ray now it's won.
Veles 19th February 2008, 12:35 Quote
Yeah I imagine one of the big cons of making a built in system before was that it might not win, now there is a clear winner that has gone. But there still remains the question of whether people would buy it. I wouldn't TBH.

If it weren't for the BR player inflating the price of the PS3 I probably would have bought one of those too by now, and I'm sure a lot of people would have as well
rjkoneill 19th February 2008, 12:49 Quote
the more xbox sku's the better eh?

i doubt they will make an all in one console

at best another ugly addon box like the hddvd drive

way i see it is that i reckon that the only way that microsoft can offer a good alternative is to ditch HD formats and concentrate [perhaps lower the price to make it more attractive] on their hd movie downloads.
rjkoneill 19th February 2008, 12:51 Quote
"HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers buying video game consoles."

clue is in GAMES consoles
Angleus 19th February 2008, 14:44 Quote
I'd buy it tbh, but depends on how much stand alone players end up at
p3n 19th February 2008, 15:33 Quote
A bluray addon is all well and good but its needs to have a proper audio output to make it worth more than a ps3
lewchenko 19th February 2008, 15:47 Quote
360 with Bluray is less than a PS3 with Bluray in my opinion.

Less is this case because of the plague of H/W problems that have become associated with 360's. I wouldnt want my 360 on playing BluRay movies... shortening its lifespan even quicker. Plus.. it feels like a kludge solution, wheras the PS3 was designed from the outset with Bluray in mind.

People say 360's are more reliable now after the CPU die shrink.... but I cant help think that problems still exist (think GPU overheating)

Nope... My 360 has served me well, but this year I'll be upgrading to a PS3 for TV lounge gaming, and play the PC for hardcore RTS games. And yes... I did mean to say upgrade !
Jamie 19th February 2008, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Yeah I imagine one of the big cons of making a built in system before was that it might not win, now there is a clear winner that has gone. But there still remains the question of whether people would buy it. I wouldn't TBH.

If it weren't for the BR player inflating the price of the PS3 I probably would have bought one of those too by now, and I'm sure a lot of people would have as well

The price of the PS3 is pretty similar to that of the xbox 360 now and you get the blue-ray player. I know several people that bought the ps3 purely as a blu-ray player. If they released a 360 with internal drive I would be more than eager to upgrade, look how many people upgraded to the elite purely for some more hard disc space.
devdevil85 19th February 2008, 18:07 Quote
IMO, the conspiracy of 'MS supporting HD-DVD just to cause confusion in the marketplace' is almost coming true. They pretty much said that HD-DVD's demise didn't really matter (so why did you back it then?) and now they are talking about IPTV being the way to go (Hmm.....really...thinking plan B (actually plan A to them internally)) I really do believe they expected this outcome and with the planning of a "New Live Experience" to be based around IPTV services (which I read yesterday) it just makes sense. Every company has an agenda....
johnnyboy700 19th February 2008, 19:07 Quote
I wonder if Microsoft backed HD DVD simply because it was the opposition to Blue Ray?

I can't say I'm surprised to learn that they have a Blue Ray add on in development, I would find it hard to believe that MS would put all of their eggs in the HD DVD basket when it was still up in the air as to which format would win. They will of course deny all knowledge of its existence then probably some time in the near future they will introduce it to the market place once they have figured out how they can come to an agreement with Sony that doesn't give them something to crow about and won't look like a climb down.
johnmustrule 19th February 2008, 22:35 Quote
Michael Ephraim must be giggling his nutz off. As for answering the question I don't think they'll include a player ever, unless the games start requiring that sort of space because standalone players should drop in price quite fast and then savings are really negated anyways.
leexgx 20th February 2008, 05:29 Quote
if the Xbox had HD-dvd drive i guess we still be on an format war or If it had an HD-dvd drive to start off with BR would of never been able to start, and the PS3 would most likey not sold as well
Cadillac Ferd 20th February 2008, 09:13 Quote
I've never felt like Microsoft ever threw itself whole heartedly in to the whole HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray battle, sure they said they supported HD-DVD and released the add-on drive but thats about it. They've released three different sku's of the 360 since they released the HD-DVD peripheral was released but never took that step forward and mentioned that they would ever begin releasing 360's with HD drives standard in the box. They're decision to back Toshiba was influenced much more by the fact that Blu-Ray was Sony's baby than by any belief that HD-DVD was the standard of the future. Generally the old maxim 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' holds true and it seems pretty transparent that that was Microsoft's attitude towards the Format Wars.
As for me I honestly don't care about Blu-Ray for watching high-def movies I'm interested in the newer storage format to ensure that there's enough room on the disc for the game developers to fit everything they want on there. I'm definitely not holding my breath for a Blu-Ray equipped 360 in this generation though but hopefully the next Xbox (the one rumored to be shipping in 2010) has a built-in (and deadly silent... okay maybe that's overly wishful thinking) Blu-Ray drive.
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