Microsoft Says No Blu-ray for Xbox 360

Microsoft says no Blu-ray for Xbox 360 | Special Coverage | Reuters

Reuters is reporting on comments by Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for the XBox 360, that Microsoft is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-Ray Association to integrate Blu-Ray into the XBox 360.

This is disappointing.

With Netflix and other major retailers offering Blu-Ray discs it’s unfortunate that in order to watch them you won’t be able to do it on an XBox 360 Media Center Extender anytime soon.

The beautiful thing about the XBox 360 is the consolidation that it represents into a single box. DVD player, extender unit for your TV and DVR, game machine, photos, music, etc. All in a single box connected to your television. A single box solution. No other set top box can do all of that. Certainly consumers want high def DVDs. The fact that Microsoft previously developed an add on for HD DVD speaks to that. The fact that there now seems to be no plans to integrate Blu-Ray, after that format has proved to be the survivor, seems short-sighted.

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6 comments on “Microsoft Says No Blu-ray for Xbox 360
  1. Anonymous says:

    I assumed it was simple economics–I assume Microsoft can’t expect Sony to subsidize drives for Microsoft’s console the way it subsidizes drives for its own console. So I don’t see any way an add-on drive would be competitive with Sony’s own product, unless Microsoft or Sony were willing to subsidize it–just simple economics.

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    I assumed it was simple economics–I assume Microsoft can’t expect Sony to subsidize drives for Microsoft’s console the way it subsidizes drives for its own console.

    Fine, then license it anyways and just charge more to the end user for that unit. I’d pay more for an XBox 360 with Blu-Ray than for one without.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I realize you would, and I would as well. (But how much more?) But remember that Microsoft and Sony are still fighting in the video game segment–which is potentially bigger (at least over the life of the PS3 and the X360!) than the Blu-Ray segment.

    If Microsoft sells a Blu-Ray + X360 package for more than a PS3 then Sony will sell more consoles and Microsoft will sell fewer.

    To sell it for the same price or less requires that Microsoft or Sony subsidize the drive–Sony won’t do this because it would hurt their PS3 business, and Microsoft won’t do this because they don’t stand to make anywhere near as much money off Blu-Ray as Sony does.

    The only way I see this happening is if a third party drives the cost of a Blu-Ray drive down or if Sony gives up the PS3. Note that Microsoft could try to use antitrust laws to force Sony to “unbundle” the Blu-Ray drives by selling them to Microsoft at subsidized prices–but that won’t happen because Microsoft and Sony need to work together in other areas.

    What I expect will happen is that Microsoft will drive the price of the X360 down to whatever they feel the crucial number is for mass acceptance (somewhere between $100 and $200, I assume) and will continue to develop their movie download service. If AACS Managed Copy ever gets approved, you could store your Blu-Ray movies and stream them from a Media Center PC; otherwise, you can do movie downloads; if neither of those catch on I assume Microsoft is hoping that Blu-Ray won’t either or that playing movies won’t be seen as an essential feature for game consoles.

    Your best bet is probably to wait for a Blu-Ray-enabled Media Center or Home Server PC–not the best outcome, but probably the only likely one.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’d only buy a 360 with a blu-ray drive if it was much more quiet than the regular model. If I’m watching a movie I don’t want to hear fan noise the whole time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Exactly like the last commenter. I bought a PS3 last weekend because it can play blue ray and it seems to have a more reliable track record than xbox 360. As a casual gamer, I’m not into the games as much, although Guitar Hero is bring me back in.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was surprised that the PS3 at least has rudimentary media extender capabilities. I was able to connect to my mac and play most of my iTunes content (except for the drm stuff).