Microsoft denies any Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive possibility

Three years ago at E3 2006, Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, announced a Xbox 360 HD DVD player that was capable of playing HD-DVD's. After the bloody war between HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs was over and HD-DVD's were no more, Microsoft decided to discontinue the HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360.

Since then there have been multiple rumours regarding a possible Blu-ray drive coming to the Xbox 360. While statistics from the Digital Entertainment Group clearly show a spike in Blu-ray movie sales (91% in the first half of this year), Microsoft once again denied that a Blu-ray player for the Xbox 360 was in the making. A Microsoft spokesperson had this to say:

"As we have stated before, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-ray drive for Xbox 360. We have a long-standing high definition strategy that runs across gaming and premium content, and it's a strategy that continues to pay off for us. Today, we offer the largest library of blockbuster games and offer a growing library of nearly 20,000 movies and TV episodes on Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace (more than 5,000 in HD). In addition, people have access to 12,000 films and TV episodes on Netflix Instant watch. And coming this fall, Xbox LIVE will launch digital movies with instant on 1080p HD streaming so you can experience the best video quality with no disc, no download and no delay. "

So with that in mind, it looks like those who enjoy their Xbox 360's will not be seeing a Blu-ray drive hitting the market anytime soon. However if Blu-ray were to become the top-selling format for hard copies of movies, one would assume Microsoft would change their mind.

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roadwarrior said,
That's good. I hope you are fine with changing out multiple discs partway through your games as well, because that "feature" is coming to the Xbox 360 very soon!!

how many games uses more than 9gb ? (and not just filling with crap, i.e. quicktime events). May be a Final Fantasy 13 or 14 and nothing other more.

Outside of Forza 3 that has one disc you install to the dvd, and a 2nd you play with (thus no swaping), only RPGs, and even then, JRPGs, have 2 or more DVDs, and even then you only swap out once!

Though, playing Star Ocean 4, if I want to backtrack and dome some last minute sidequests (a very few of them) then I do have to swap back to disc 2 from 3. But who really cares? That's nitpicking something that's been around since the start of optical media in games consoles with FF7.

It's at the most a 10sec process. Games also find a good place to ask you to swap, it's not just at any random moment.

Magallanes said,
how many games uses more than 9gb ? (and not just filling with crap, i.e. quicktime events). May be a Final Fantasy 13 or 14 and nothing other more.


Right now? Few. In the coming year or two, probably quite a few. The simple fact is that Microsoft limited the maximum capacity of the Xbox 360 by only having a DVD drive and NOT having a hard drive available on all models. Developers have to cater to the lowest common denominator.

I do not think that Digital Download will replace Physical media anytime in the next decade. However, I cant see any reason to keep fragile disks. Flash Media anyone??? Think about it... we have 256gb flash drives... and 128gb SD cards. Why not put games on those? Even USB ports have a transfer rate of 400Mbps more than enough to put HD movies or games on Flash media and run it off that... Plus Game consoles would become much smaller with out a disk drive...

Considering I just paid near $100 for a 32Gb Corsair memory stick..... I don't think it's quite feasible to sell games or movies with Flash device.

yes but that would soon change if everybody used it just a dvdr disc was expensive when they first debued and so now are BR discs but once they are in common use they'll come down in price and so will USB sticks 8Gig ones are now less than buying a DVD movie from a department store

TruckWEB said,
Considering I just paid near $100 for a 32Gb Corsair memory stick..... I don't think it's quite feasible to sell games or movies with Flash device.

so thats 10 bucks for the stick and 90 bucks for the ten yr waranty thats a good deal

Video kills the radio stars all over again.

People like to own physical things. mp3 files are small but people are still buying CDs. And the day people stop buying discs may never happen. I'm a tech guy who buy most of his things online guy and i still buy CDs. I buy my CDs online, rip them and store them in case my HD fail.

HD movies TAKE a truck load of space. Filling 1 TB with full HD movies is really really easy.

I have an HD-PVR with 500MB of disc space. I have 19 movies and TV shows recorded and my HD is almost full. You can put around 24 hours which is 12 movies at most. With 1TB it would be 24 movies. This is not a lot. And we are not even talking about lossless audio here.

Streaming is great. This is an old technology. Here in Quebec we can stream movies using Viewers Choice since the begnning of 1990 i think (not sure whenit started). Now you can stream movie from Viewers Choice in HD quality. You can substribe to The movie network on demand and what the movies when you want too.

But people will keep buying physical disc because they like to own movies and music.

Streaming might and will probably replace the way we rent movies one day or another but i don't see the day people will stop buying physical dis anyway definately not in the next decade.

I see an argument of price etc ..

but my PS3 cost me £230 used, plays all my music, divx out of the box, BluRay out of the box etc ...

AND ... price of BR? Go to Tesco or Asda, or Blockbuster and you can get BluRay's for a tenner or less in some cases.

I do NOT understand why everyone's acting like BR is expensive. It's not. I'd rather have BR to be honest. HD-DVD is more limited, and since price is not a factor (as I just stated above), why would anyone want the lesser format? BR offers more future proofing.

What about HD-DVD is more limiting? Obviously capacity, but in terms of features, speed etc. HD DVD is great. It's unfortunate it died.

ew2x4 said,
What about HD-DVD is more limiting? Obviously capacity, but in terms of features, speed etc. HD DVD is great. It's unfortunate it died.

BD 54Mbps > HD DVD 36Mbps total bandwidth. A big reason the vast majority of HD DVD titles were stuck with lossy audio and the majority of BDs are lossless.

Java is more difficult to program for than HDi, but it is also offers a lot more options.

Don't forget HD DVD hit their capacity wall in the first year, a title like King Kong was film only & lossy audio. The BD version has lossless audio and the Extended Cut seamlessly branched in.

I wasn't very fond of it. It hung on to an older format's name. We went from CD-ROM to DVD-ROM, not DVD-CD-ROM. Keeping up with the pattern, I'd rather see BD-ROM than HD-DVD-ROM.

Hmm, would MS rather:

a) Control a format and distribution end-to-end

or

b) Be part of a consortium and an open market?

Hmm... tough one!

People were arguing that the BDA would make money from MS's blu-ray licenses, but MS chose not to be part of the BDA themselves, even though they could have.

MS's wet dream is to be a big tollbooth on a platform they control, and somehow get everyone to want to buy into that.

I read most of this, not all so if I missed this... oops. bu isnt the reason bluray made it was because this time they licensed the technology to other companies so that there was a far greater choice of players and support, whereas with beta, it was superior but only sony was making the players while VHS was licensed to everyone.

and isnt bluray better than HDDVD in transfer rate on top of the obvious storage advantage.

I live out where it is impossible for me to get an internet connection capable of enough bandwith to stream HD video. who knows when something like cable or fios will be out here, but it definately isnt anytime soon.

It's not just a question of having a fast enough Internet connection.

"And coming this fall, Xbox LIVE will launch digital movies with instant on 1080p HD streaming so you can experience the best video quality with no disc, no download and no delay. "

AceyBongos said this on twitter some time ago: "1080p movies, instant HD streaming, all of Europe invited (except Portugal, sorry guys) - BOOM!"

Well, **** you Microsoft. It's all fun & games and the best for your costumers and all that bull**** but what about me? And people still wonder why physical media is still around, it's still around because of crap like this :).

Physical discs still sell because when people spend their hard earned money they like to get something more than air in return.

Paying 5 dollars to rent a movie, see it in theater or stream it is okay. Streaming might and probably will one day replace stores where you rent movies on physical discs.

But asking people to pay 20-30$ for a digital file is not a battle that is won. Specially with file size as huge as HD movies.

It's easier to convince people to buy digital music files because of portable media players and also the small size of such files. But for HD movies with huge files size it's not for tomorrow.

HD streaming right now is not the same quality as Blu-Ray. You can ask people 5$ to stream the movie once. But asking 30$ to buy it not sure. It's HD but more compressed than Blu-Ray. It's like HD cable. Most of the time it doesn't look better than a good quality DVD scaled to 1080p using a good scaler.

For now, I don't see it being too much of a problem but I can definitely see why much larger physical media would be needed in the next generation xbox. It's too bad that HD DVD wasn't included in the 360 because it would probably still be going as well as having improvements made to it that increase capacity and bandwidth.

To be honest, I don't see why you couldn't have streaming games - I know WoW uses it for trial accounts so the technology is there. I understand that a lot of people have download caps or don't have access to a fast connection but it's a plausible solution that can be used by people that do. Obviously, it would need to be coupled with physical media but it allows the consumer to make the choice.

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