How's that high horse feeling gents?
When I was working for Microsoft, we asked if we would be seeing a blu-ray extension to the console like the HD-DVD drive. Whilst I don't believe all of the answer can be given, I do think I can say that licensing costs were observed as being greater than the cost of sticking with a proprietary format.
Whether this remains true or not is a completely different matter. It's also worth noting that clearly Microsoft couldn't move their games to blu-ray disks as it would mean that you would need to buy an external drive to play an XBox game. So it might have changed there as well.
That said any suggestion, like that of our esteemed moderate above, that people dissenting from his point of view are doing so for purely egotistic or fanyboyish reasons are just plain wrong.
To extend: Microsoft are a business. They make the decision that makes the most financial sense. When I was there, blu-ray play back was not considered a noteworthy feature of the 360 in terms of our marketing material. Thus it holds that Microsoft will not pay significantly extra just to add this feature to their console, especially if this significant extra adds to their competition. I might well be wrong, but my opinion is not baseless.
Do people seriously believe this? Microsoft isn't a fanboy that will avoid Sony at all costs, they will do what is best for business. Also, contrary to popular belief Blu-Ray isn't licensed entirely by Sony, It's licensed by the Blu-Ray Disc Association, which comprises a dozen companies.
Microsoft is currently licencing technology from tons of companies for things like Dolby audio and MPEG-4 Support, why would Blu-Ray be any different?
No, it's not fanboyism. It's purely an economical decision. The licensing of the disks was an enormous cost for Microsoft. That's why they will work to avoid it.
Microsoft could use a proprietary hybrid drive: a drive that can read Blu-Rays but can also read a different format for the games (HD-DVD). That would be an anti-piracy feature since there are no HD-DVD media and burners around and that would be a good entertainment device.
Microsoft and Sony are two businesses; they know to put their differences aside and swallow their prides when they need each others.
As far as digital/cloud vs physical discs, I have a very slow connection: 2 Mb/s and only on windy days. Another ISP is proposing 2.6 Mb/s (Woohoo!). That does not prevent me from playing online but blu-ray streaming and VOD are just inaccessible to me.
It is actually faster for me to go to a shop, rent or buy a Blu-Ray and watch the movie because the download is taking longer.
Unfortunately the technologies involved with the disks does not give itself to this use. It would, however, be an outstanding idea
You are in the same position as me. I'm on 8mbps with a faulty DSLAM at the end of my line that my ISP's upstream provider refuses to fix. Microsoft are very aware of how much of the market they would lose to a pure digital distribution system. That said, they will certainly work towards it
I like your post. It's constructive and well thought out.