Microsoft's Xbox could consider Blu-ray support

Microsoft Corp's Xbox video gaming unit still fully backs Toshiba Corp's HD-DVD high-definition DVD format but could consider supporting Sony Corp's rival Blu-ray technology should consumers want it, an executive said on Tuesday. "It should be consumer choice; and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider," Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware said when asked whether Microsoft would support a Blu-ray DVD accessory in the event that HD-DVD failed. Microsoft does not believe the surprise decision last week by Time Warner Inc unit Warner Bros, the top seller of home movies, to abandon HD-DVD format in favor of Blu-ray should affect sales of its Xbox 360 video game console, Penello said.

"I fundamentally don't think ... this has a significant impact on Xbox 360 versus (Sony's) PlayStation 3," Penello told Reuters in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "With the PlayStation 2, DVD was a big part in the beginning, but over time, people were not buying it as a DVD player after first year or two," Penello said. The Xbox 360 supports a plug-in HD-DVD accessory that is bought separately, while Sony, hoping to give its next-generation video format a leg up, built a Blu-ray player into its PlayStation 3 machine. "You can't say it's not a bummer, not a setback, but I've seen this battle declared over so many times," Penello said of Warner's decision. "I want consumers to have a voice in this and I think there are a lot of consumers who bought HD-DVD who are going to have a say in how this shakes out."

News source: Reuters

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It's hard to really give two honest sh*ts about this format war when your stated goal is and has been digital distribution.

I think it's funny that everybody thinks this will affect MS. They stated from the beginning that they didn't build in a specific player into the 360 because they wanted to offer consumer choice. It'll all be dual format players in a year or two. Studios are not going to re-release all those HD-DVD movies. Even when you take out HD-DVD from the movie angle, it makes more sense to support both formats in some way or another. Wouldn't a Blu-ray addon make the 360 one of the cheaper dual format players? Ooo, a dual format player, console w/ the most extensive game library, IPTV player?, and video marketplace, all for a fair price. I'm happy.

Blu-Ray does not play a big role in PS3 vs. Xbox 360. Rather, PS3 plays a big role in Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD. I mean, why buy a Blu-Ray player when you can buy a PS3 that can play games AND watch hi-def movies for about the same price? I think if you look into the numbers, you'll find that a vast majority of the Blu-Ray players out there are PS3's, and you'll probably find more HD-DVD players sold than plain Blu-Ray players.

Whether Microsoft sticks with an HD-DVD movie player or releases a Blu-Ray player doesn't matter since it won't be used for games anyway.

Like sony will let microsoft use blu-ray...riiiiiigggghhhttttt.

I just ordered a PS3 yesterday to play games with friends and family. I was looking at the 360, but with all the ring of death nightmares I say no thanks.

remember sony is a large player in the BRA but it's not the only supporter, it's not sonys format AND sony aren't anti competitive like that.

That's pretty much what they said a while back. They're not really too concerned about who wins; they'll work with what's out there. Hell, not even Bill Gates himself seems to give too much a damn about it.

isnt it amazing how after the news about Warner brothers this surfaces yet again....this is nothing new and MS stated this exact point when they released the HD-DVD addon....that IF the "war" was won by Blu-ray, that this could be a possibility for the 360.

If you read the papers and listen to radio stations apparantly blu-ray has allready "won" this war.....so now its "over" then consumers can pick the one format....dont they realise that perhaps its not the 2 formats thats stifling uptake but actually most consumers dont give a chuff and are happy with upscaling their dvds to HD (if they even have a HDTV)

I personally dont give a flying hoot who wins this non-existant "war" with the latest batch of rehashed, recycled films are anything to go by in the last couple of years a film looks like a turd on DVD...a Blu-ray/HDDVD version will be a high detail turd, same guff more detail.

they just want to switch to Blu-Ray because they picked HD-DVD and its going to fail, and they don't want to look like complete idiots, with a console that supports an outdated media, the cost of production will increase as only they will be making HD-DVDs

Outdated media? Isn't by that logic DVD also outdated media? Yet the 360 games use it, the Wii uses it, and hell, DVD sales kill HD-DVd and Bluray sales together.

Just because HD-DVD loses the movie format war, doesn't mean the technology behind it is dead. Toshiba has spent lots of money on it, and it can find a use for the tech somewhere. I'd get a good HD-DVD burner if they didn't cost so much, and if the HD-DVDR discs where cheap. I'd rather burn 1 HD-DVDR than 4 DVDRs like I have to now. Saves me space and time.

In the end, this has little effect on the 360, 360 games are on DVD9 discs. And MS is pushing Internet downloaded video and IPTV, they're thinking ahead of optical media and into the future. Why rush out and try to rent a bluray at some blockbuster only to find it's already rented out, when you can just d/l it in HD over the internet (all you need is a fast enough connection really)?

The future is pretty clear, and it's not with selling discs.

n_K said,
they just want to switch to Blu-Ray because they picked HD-DVD and its going to fail, and they don't want to look like complete idiots, with a console that supports an outdated media, the cost of production will increase as only they will be making HD-DVDs

You know, Ive been guilty of what you just did here and sometimes you really just need to try harder to stop yourself....little advice.

if microsoft was smart, they would tell the developers to produce and make their games onto a HD DVD. therefore , they will be supporting HD DVD in a way and also will boost up more space so we can have more gamer experiences ..

- Michael

It's too late for that, 17.7 million 360 units out, you can't switch games from DVD9 to HD-DVD now. If they wanted to they could've done it from the start, but back in Nov 2005 when the 360 released it looks like HD-DVD wasn't ready yet.

Anyways, the hd-dvd tech isn't dead, MS could very well use it in the next Xbox in 2010 or 2011. That is, if they don't decide to switch to downloadable systems fully, ie d/l your games over Live and not have to have discs. That will depends on the size of the storage device they use though.

Either way, I wouldn't be suprised if the next Xbox uses HD-DVD 17GB or 34GB DL discs for games 3 years from now.

GP007 said,
Anyways, the hd-dvd tech isn't dead, MS could very well use it in the next Xbox in 2010 or 2011.

...

Either way, I wouldn't be suprised if the next Xbox uses HD-DVD 17GB or 34GB DL discs for games 3 years from now.

I honestly think that the format war won't last that long.

OnyxAlien said,

I honestly think that the format war won't last that long.

Well, no, the format war for "movies" won't. It's pretty much done now. But that's movies, we're talking games. Just like how Nintendo used something else for the GameCube, and how Sony used UMD for the PSP. What's to stop MS from using HD-DVD optical discs, be it 17GB or 34GB in the next Xbox?

I think 34GB is more than eneough for next gen games. You have to keep in mind that we're past the old days of using pre-rendered FMV which takes up lots of space. Now you can do all that in-game in real-time. That just leaves higher quality textures and audio to take up the space. And both of those two can be compressed better without losing quality as time goes on.

GP007 said,

Well, no, the format war for "movies" won't. It's pretty much done now. But that's movies, we're talking games. Just like how Nintendo used something else for the GameCube, and how Sony used UMD for the PSP. What's to stop MS from using HD-DVD optical discs, be it 17GB or 34GB in the next Xbox?

I think 34GB is more than eneough for next gen games. You have to keep in mind that we're past the old days of using pre-rendered FMV which takes up lots of space. Now you can do all that in-game in real-time. That just leaves higher quality textures and audio to take up the space. And both of those two can be compressed better without losing quality as time goes on.

The Gamecube uses 8cm DVDs. The only difference is the drive supports reading the burst cutting barcode on the inner rim for copy protection. There are other drives that can read those codes, too.

If consumers demand it and no one buys the HD-DVD version then thats a waste, and a Blu-Ray addon I can see happening then. Imagine that a Sony item on a Microsoft console, lol..

thenay said,
Imagine that a Sony item on a Microsoft console, lol..

no different than them using vaio's at their ces presentation the other day. or maybe they thought we wouldnt notice lol

OnyxAlien said,
Blu-Ray isn't a Sony technology, so why would it be a Sony accessory?

Sony owns most of the IP behind it, not all of it, but most. So they get a cut either way.

GP007 said,

Sony owns most of the IP behind it, not all of it, but most. So they get a cut either way.

But how many people at Sony are using Windows? Everyone's paying someone in this world. Even these protesters who boycott certain companies somehow give money to that company in one form or another. It's inevitable really. Hell, even Boz has given money to Sony before, whether he knew it or not.

Sony owns most of the IP behind it, not all of it, but most

Nope. It's actually PANASONIC.

They plus Sony, Pioneer, and Philips are the core founding members of the BDA.

Panasonic funded the Blu-ray Tour of the USA this past year.
Panasonic also does authoring, media, burners...

Again, those who claim BD is a "Sony format" haven't done their homework.

my question is will the blue-ray player attach to the 360 AND the HDDVD Drive, or will i have to choose between the two as i currently have the HDDVD Addon for the 360.

IMO, they would update their software on the xbox to support another drive such as Blu-ray. It would just be a release CD w/ the Blu-ray drive with install drivers and updates. It would have all three available.

I'd buy one.

[Side note: Transformers looks just awesome in hi-definition!]

yes i understand they would all be avaliable, but could they all be installed on the same 360 at the same time,,, or will i have to switch externals everytime ( aka USB dasychain like USB is designed to do )

arcadefx said,
IMO, they would update their software on the xbox to support another drive such as Blu-ray. It would just be a release CD w/ the Blu-ray drive with install drivers and updates. It would have all three available.

I'd buy one.

[Side note: Transformers looks just awesome in hi-definition!]

Microsoft isn't really going to care in the end. The only reason they supported HD-DVD was because it was the logical choice, considering Sony is one of their rivals, but in the end it doesn't really matter.
If Blu-ray "wins", it's going to make Sony a LOT of cash and in an industry Microsoft is simply not part of (unless you want to count digital downloads, but I'd say that's more of a rental industry). The consoles will still compete the same as ever and releasing a BR addon for the 360 is only going to benefit Microsoft in that it may be enough to sway customers from buying a PS3, really they'd be mad not to support it eventually.

Oh I think they care a bit more than that. After all HD DVD uses Microsoft's own HDi for the interactive features.

I don't think it will bother them that much, didn't Microsoft develop the VC-1 codec that both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD use? if so, it won't matter what way it goes for them.

EDIT: Nevermind me, MS didn't develop it..it was based off MS Technology but they didn't make it. I really need to check my facts before posting, it's gonna get me in a heap of trouble one day..

Forget it Nate.. when you look at the world in general, you will find that a LOT of people simply lack the intelectual ability to make a logical deduction.

The thing you should be thinking about in general is how you can find a spot in this world to take advantage of this sheep. Just look how CE companies and Sony managed to create an environment where they rip the hurd for their money and the hurd is saying how much they love it.

you will find that a LOT of people simply lack the intelectual ability to make a logical deduction.

Which explains why someone would back a format with less studio and CE support, less capacity and bandwidth...(or misspell intellectual) :D

hurd

What in the world is a hurd? Gale Anne Hurd (producer/director/ex-wife of James Cameron)?

I heard that the herd headed out of the HD DVD booth and into the Blu-ray booth...

Never in my life have I had to pay extremely close attention to words like "could", "probably", "possibly", "consider", etc. All this rhetoric about they "could" switch, when in effect, there is no evidence that Microsoft will switch. This lady said what Microsoft has previously stated - all she said was that if Blu-Ray wins, Microsoft will support it. She didn't say that Blu-Ray had won yet.

Honestly! What I would give for a truthful, objective article without all this unsubstantiated speculation.