Rumor: Blu-Ray license issues could delay next Xbox until 2014?

Everyone has assumed that Microsoft would launched the next version of its Xbox game console before the end of 2013, so it can stay competitive with the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4, which the company says will be out by "holiday 2013". Now a new rumor claims that the next Xbox is facing an issue that could delay its launch until sometime in 2014.

MondoXbox.com claims, via unnamed sources, claims that the management of a large retail chain in Italy has been told that Microsoft has been having some issues with obtaining the license for a Blu-Ray disc player in the next Xbox, apparently due to a long time console exclusive contract with Sony, and this might make the next Xbox miss a launch by the end of 2013.

Of course, this is just a rumor and it's possible that any Blu-Ray license delay might just be for European markets, which might not affect the U.S. time frame for the launch of the console. It's not unknown for a console to be launched in North America first. The original Xbox came out in the U.S. and Canada in November 2001 but the European market had to wait until March 2002 to get their hands on the next Xbox.

Even the article itself states we should "take this rumor with extreme caution". We should learn more about Microsoft's launch plans for the next Xbox at its May 21st press event, which is now just over two weeks away.

Source: MondoXbox
Disc data image via Shutterstock

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42 Comments

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That sounds abit anti-competitive IMHO

Sony locking out its own technology for its own products... Sounds abit suicide considering sales comparison it would be in Sonys best intrest to licence the tech

brent3000 said,
That sounds abit anti-competitive IMHO

Sony locking out its own technology for its own products... Sounds abit suicide considering sales comparison it would be in Sonys best intrest to licence the tech

A perfect example of a post proving there's too many opinions online.

There's nothing Anti-competitive about it.

No ... not from a legal standpoint ... from a console fan's perspective? Sure. But no. Exclusive contracts are nothing new, and I don't know if you know much about BluRay but Sony put a LOT of money into developing the format. They have every right to control something they created. By law, there's nothing here. It's a time related thing ... it isn't restricting people infinitely. Microsoft get exclusive timed Call of Duty releases ... is that anti-competitive?

Talking on a Software level is abit different, most companies will offer them self to the highest bidder as that's how EA, Activision etc tend to work these days, the company willing to pay the most for the content wins, however when a company who sits on a board of an association in control of licencing the rights to an industry standard technology and its hardware technology (Like the BluRay Association) it starts to get abit fuzzy...

Like the TV CPU case awhile back (I think it was TV CPU's or something like that), buying exclusive rights out from your competition to limit their selling abilities, from memory the company copped a fine for being anti-competitive

Like all Anti-competitive things, the law is kinda pointless, it all comes down to 'how it looks form a competition stand point within the industry'

Its like the EU each and every time they make a ruling for 'anti-competitive'

More rumors? I guess the "always on connection" rumor, wasn;t enough?
Anyway note to Microsoft...XBOX doesn't need Blu-Ray. Leave it for Sony who has crappy games and needs Blu_ray as backup

Xerax said,
Like the rumour that the Next Xbox was always online?

Yeah, let's see how long we can ride on this ridiculous story... LOL

Shh, heard this through the grapevine... Microsoft XBOX is ditching optical media for game distribution and will be using Sony's Magic Gate Memory Sticks. The issue is that they are trying to reduce the stick swap too every other minute.

Back when it was between Blu-Ray and HDDVD, the blu boys were trying as hard as they could to convince everyone that Blu-Ray was not Sony, that it was a part of a group of companies that included Apple and SUN, fierce competitors that would not allow Sony to get any special favors, and everyone would be treated equally unlike HDDVD, which was Microsoft, and they would make sure that they would use against their competitors. SUN no longer exists as a stand alone company, Apple has no interest unless they have full control, and Sony is using it against their competitors.

But it still remains to be seen who Sony has this agreement with. They made an agreement with themselves not to allow BR on non-Sony consoles? And Microsoft wrote the VC9 codec, a required component of BR. Yank that license from Sony devices, and we will see who buckles first.

SoylentG said,
And Microsoft wrote the VC9 codec, a required component of BR. Yank that license from Sony devices, and we will see who buckles first.
True. But you can use Blu-Ray for more than just video playback.

I know, and I don't even believe this to be true - notice how the rumor about always on is shot down, and suddenly we have a new rumor that will cause XBox to fall to Sony. Of course, if they were to release a device without movie playback, then we will hear to no end about how it is a failure.

Back before the HDDVD add-on was released for the 360, the Blu fans were claiming that it physically would not work, that Microsoft was going to ship these devices knowing that there was not enough bandwidth over USB2 to transfer data, and you would not be able to watch movies with them. When it was pointed out that USB2 has the bandwidth for HD audio and video, it was declared that everyone was lying, that it would not work. When the devices shipped, and people were able to watch movies with them, they forgot all about that "rumor" and went onto the next thing (probably something about the Cell processor) that supposedly would cause the 360 to fall to the mighty PS3!

That is why these rumors are a joke, somebody thinks they have a way to make XBox look bad, and the group think kicks in to make sure people believe it is true.

What group claimed this? USB2 is 480Mpbs and HD DVD had a max bandwidth of 36Mbps (XBOX 360 didn't support lossless audio anyway, only Dolby Digital). Nobody who knew what they were talking about would claim this.

Sony is a BD licensee and a founding member of the BDA along with Panasonic (who holds the most patents in the format), Pioneer, and Philips. Sony would not withhold any licenses anyway. More licenses sold = more money. BD is an established format and this is not 2006.

It's VC-1, not "VC-9". Codecs are licensed by chipset, *not player*. Most chipsets are made these days by third parties like MediaTek, Marvell, and Sigma Designs.

And all this still doesn't change the fact HD DVD was a miserable failure, despite the misinformation in your posts and this article.

MS will still release it on schedule, but it may have affected features software-disabled. Once the licensing is approved, it will be activated through an update.

JJMustang said,
MS will still release it on schedule, but it may have affected features software-disabled. Once the licensing is approved, it will be activated through an update.

Yeah, if this had a prayer of being true, that's what they would do, absolutely.

The Blu-ray license is for playing movies, not for the technology behind reading discs with 405nm wavelength lasers. Also, Nintendo uses Blu-ray discs for the Wii U but doesn't license playing movies.

This rumor is so terrible the story should have never been run.

dagamer34 said,
The Blu-ray license is for playing movies, not for the technology behind reading discs with 405nm wavelength lasers. Also, Nintendo uses Blu-ray discs for the Wii U but doesn't license playing movies.

Wii U doesn't use Blu-Ray. It uses it own proprietary format made by Panasonic.
This rumor is so terrible the story should have never been run.

dagamer34 said,
The Blu-ray license is for playing movies, not for the technology behind reading discs with 405nm wavelength lasers. Also, Nintendo uses Blu-ray discs for the Wii U but doesn't license playing movies.

This rumor is so terrible the story should have never been run.

I agree on the latter part. This is just laughable.

more than likely that commercial italina have some form of agreement with sony in regards to bluray players

If so, how the fsck every $30 player can be licensed but Xbox can't? EU should go anticompetitive upon those licensing crackpots, could probably do something useful for a change. If it was MS holding everyone by the beep, they would.

Phouchg said,
If so, how the fsck every $30 player can be licensed but Xbox can't? EU should go anticompetitive upon those licensing crackpots, could probably do something useful for a change. If it was MS holding everyone by the beep, they would.

That's a very good point as well. This rumor is just full of holes. It makes no sense.

I could see Sony trying to use their interest in Bluray to delay Microsoft, but that wouldn't end well for them at all in the end and a retailer wouldn't be privy to that either.

Well, I was going to hold off and wait for the next XBOX. But 2014? I'm just going to buy the current version to tide me over until then.

JHBrown said,
Well, I was going to hold off and wait for the next XBOX. But 2014? I'm just going to buy the current version to tide me over until then.

I wouldn't worry. I'm sure this is nonsense as well. Think about it. How would the management of a retailer be privy to such discussions in the first place? Surely they would be held behind closed doors (And there's absolutely NO reason for the management of a retailer to be involved in them in the first place either)...

I look forward to hearing all the rumours ramp up between now and May 21.

This just in, theres rumours on teh internets

Osiris said,
I look forward to hearing all the rumours ramp up between now and May 21.

This just in, theres rumours on teh internets

Yeah, so we're to believe here that the management of some retailer in Europe would be privy to private discussions between Microsoft and the Bluray group over getting Bluray into the XBox and that such discussions would even take place at this late date?

This whole story sounds ridiculous.

Clamdigger63 said,

I assume you must be the person who actually bought a PS3

I assume you must be the person who actually bought a 360.
or did you buy 2? 3? My sister is on her 4th.

Clamdigger63 said,

I assume you must be the person who actually bought a PS3

Your joke here falls flat. PS3 has outsold Xbox360 you goon lol. I doubt this will make much difference regarding release dates. MS won't be ready to launch yet anyway. And historically a late entry doesn't always mean a fail. The SNES outsold the Genesis and that had a two year headstart

Spirit Dave said,

Your joke here falls flat. PS3 has outsold Xbox360 you goon lol. I doubt this will make much difference regarding release dates. MS won't be ready to launch yet anyway. And historically a late entry doesn't always mean a fail. The SNES outsold the Genesis and that had a two year headstart

Well, according to the figures as of writing now, the XBox has sold 75.4 Million units and the PS3 has sold 74.5 Million units. So close, but the XBox sold more units.