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Blu-ray Coming to 360... OR IS IT!?!

Steve Ballmer says yae, Major Nelson says nae. Which Microsoft representative do YOU believe?

 Steve Ballmer: A name you can trust?
As much talk as there is these days about a pure digital future where all our entertainment needs are met by “the cloud” or whatever, without need for gross physical media that you actually have to touch with your hands, the simple fact is that both our retail and data infrastructures aren't quite ready for it. We still need physical media, which means discs, and with the HD-DVD format now having the Look and Sound of Perfect Obsolescence, it pretty much means Blu-ray going forward. That's all well and good for Sony, which has a significant stake in the Blu-ray format, but the idea of a Microsoft console supporting its competitor's media format is a little more complicated.

So it was none-too-surprising that many eyebrows were arched when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told Gizmodo that Blu-ray drives would be made available “as accessories” for the Xbox 360. As the original Gizmodo article notes, he doesn't seem confused or uncertain about this point. He also doesn't elaborate with details of timing or functionality, though the easy and obvious assumption is that it would serve the same role as the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player, rather than any game application. On the other hand, Steve Ballmer's position at Microsoft means he's not very hands-on with the Xbox business, and he's got a solid track record of blurting out facts during interviews that simply aren't true. It wasn't long after Ballmer's comment surfaced that the Microsoft PR machine kicked into high gear, plugging the new Zune Marketplace and instant-on HD streaming features of the Xbox 360 and no-commenting away any talk of Blu-ray, points that Major Nelson reiterates with his appropriately titled blog post “ We have no plans for Blu-Ray on Xbox 360”. 
 
So the boss says its happening, but those closer to the Xbox business claim otherwise, and all this has caused enough of a kerfuffle that I expect an official retraction from Ballmer himself before too long. Personally, I tend to believe the sentiment that Microsoft has no plans to bring Blu-ray to the Xbox, at least in the near future, though I also have a hard time imagining the 360's successor coming without a disc drive, with Blu-ray being the most obvious choice. What do you think?
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Posted by Ryan
 Steve Ballmer: A name you can trust?
As much talk as there is these days about a pure digital future where all our entertainment needs are met by “the cloud” or whatever, without need for gross physical media that you actually have to touch with your hands, the simple fact is that both our retail and data infrastructures aren't quite ready for it. We still need physical media, which means discs, and with the HD-DVD format now having the Look and Sound of Perfect Obsolescence, it pretty much means Blu-ray going forward. That's all well and good for Sony, which has a significant stake in the Blu-ray format, but the idea of a Microsoft console supporting its competitor's media format is a little more complicated.

So it was none-too-surprising that many eyebrows were arched when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told Gizmodo that Blu-ray drives would be made available “as accessories” for the Xbox 360. As the original Gizmodo article notes, he doesn't seem confused or uncertain about this point. He also doesn't elaborate with details of timing or functionality, though the easy and obvious assumption is that it would serve the same role as the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player, rather than any game application. On the other hand, Steve Ballmer's position at Microsoft means he's not very hands-on with the Xbox business, and he's got a solid track record of blurting out facts during interviews that simply aren't true. It wasn't long after Ballmer's comment surfaced that the Microsoft PR machine kicked into high gear, plugging the new Zune Marketplace and instant-on HD streaming features of the Xbox 360 and no-commenting away any talk of Blu-ray, points that Major Nelson reiterates with his appropriately titled blog post “ We have no plans for Blu-Ray on Xbox 360”. 
 
So the boss says its happening, but those closer to the Xbox business claim otherwise, and all this has caused enough of a kerfuffle that I expect an official retraction from Ballmer himself before too long. Personally, I tend to believe the sentiment that Microsoft has no plans to bring Blu-ray to the Xbox, at least in the near future, though I also have a hard time imagining the 360's successor coming without a disc drive, with Blu-ray being the most obvious choice. What do you think?
Staff
Edited by AlexB

It seems like Microsoft should just give in. Just cut your losses and jump on the bandwagon.

Posted by eroticfishcake

A bit late but at least they shouldn't worry about disk space now.

Posted by Diamond

Not the first time I've heard Ballmer say something crazy...
 
Maybe the thing will be a bluray drive for movies that works with PC, but also works on a 360!

Posted by Damien

I think it's late in the game for this generation to introduce a Blu-ray drive.

Posted by End_Boss

Microsoft eventually incorporating Blu-ray drives into its gaming systems seems like an inevitability to me, but an accessory for the 360 seems a bit soon. I think we can expect Blu-ray functionality in the next gen Microsoft console, but the 360 will likely remain without it for the remainder of its life cycle.

Posted by Arjuna

Microsoft is a software company.  Hence the name MicroSOFT!  The xbox, it's fine games and "software" aside, is not a very good system.  The red-ring of death clearly highlights this point.  Not to say they have no business in the hardware side of things, I just don't see blu-ray as a priority for them.

Posted by DanielJW

That picture of Ballamer is clearly being used in farce to downplay his opinion. I am disgusted by this websites bias against the jolly-balding demographic.

Posted by Valru

the whole reason ms even included hd-dvd was to prolong the format war, they have been focused on digital distribution the entire time. ballmer is always saying crazy shit.

Posted by JJOR64

I think it would help if 360 at least had a Blue-Ray add-on drive like the HD DVD drive.

Posted by Xeiphyer

Those HD-DVD drives are a great buy if you find one still in a store, its like $10 for one these days, and you get one of those Xbox remotes (which is like $25) and a USB cable along with King kong. Not bad =P The remotes are good if you are using your Xbox for video watching.
 
As far as blu-ray goes, I think its a bit far along in the race for them to roll out anything significant, and the design and manufacturing costs associated with making external bluray drives for the 360 make it seem futile, after all, they aren't going to make much money off them, and none off the bluray movies that get sold, plus with the instant-on and netflix features that are already in place, I can't see them justifiying the drive.

Posted by End_Boss

Ryan has 69 posts... Heh... Hehe...

Posted by Krenor
@AlexB said:
" It seems like Microsoft should just give in. Just cut your losses and jump on the bandwagon. "
I don't believe they actually had any losses, but they should go for blu-ray it will make the console a little bit more appealing
Posted by ahriman22

Major Nelson is a douche, so I'll listen to Ballmker... 
For now.

Edited by FuzzYLemoN

It's way too late to adopt a new format. Releasing a separate blu-ray drive this late in the game is probably going to do more harm than good for MS. And besides, haven't they been pushing the digital revolution more than anyone? Why would they want to backpedal like this? If they feel they need a blu-ray drive, they should just put it in the next Xbox.

Posted by niall077

I think there is still to much butt hurt at MS over HD DVD for a Blu Ray add on for the 360.
 
but with all the 2 disc games on 360 the last 2 months (forza3, ODST, Fallout 3 GOTY)  blu ray just makes sence in the xbox 3. 

Edited by buzz_clik

There used to only be one thing that could creep me out and make my spine itchy merely by looking at a picture, namely centipedes.
 
Congratulations, Steve Ballmer. The sight of your tongue has eclipsed centipedes for me in the revulsion stakes.
 
This guy makes batshit seem like a pillar of the community that does the crossword on Sundays.
 
EDIT: To answer your final question, Ryan, unless there's another format being developed all Secret Squirrel stylee, then I think you'd have to assume that Microsoft will have to adopt the Blu-rays.

Moderator
Posted by TheHT

ahhh, jumping the gun or just putting your foot in your mouth?
 
if blu-ray really has won the format war (which iirc it has) eventually they're going to have to cross that bridge or perhaps put some other format forward with whatever follows the 360, though that wouldn't be a smart move given the fact that many people would have amassed a substantial blu-ray collection.
 
all-in-all, microsoft's gonna have to touch blu-ray eventually, it's just a matter of time.

Edited by mnzy

They should really get a different face for top Xbox stuff. Nobody likes (or trusts) Ballmer, he can only hurt this product.
I think a BD-drive would be nice as an addition, continue everything else on DVDs.

Posted by CL60

I find Ballmer to be pretty hilarious.

Posted by buzz_killington

If this happens I will never believe in anything ever again in this world.

Posted by Vendetta

Ballmer is full of shit. He hasn't been empty of it in a while, either.

Posted by AlexB
@Krenor said:
" @AlexB said:
" It seems like Microsoft should just give in. Just cut your losses and jump on the bandwagon. "
I don't believe they actually had any losses, but they should go for blu-ray it will make the console a little bit more appealing "
Other than supporting a dead format, no that's not a loss... /sarcasm
Posted by Nomin

MS already has BR prototypes for X360 now, just that they aren't really seeing a particular need for it to be released.
By the time the next 360 is released, in two years or so, there could be a new format that MS could support, or the digital revolution would have truly arrived to obviate any hard media.

Posted by JoshLarson

I'm guessing it will happen sooner or later but it won't be for playing games, it will only be for blu ray movies just like Microsoft's ill-fated HD DVD add on was exclusively for movies and television shows.
Posted by Dethfish
@End_Boss said:

" Ryan has 69 posts... Heh... Hehe... "

 
Posted by pepper

I believe Major Nelson.

Edited by bybeach

I`m confused..doesn`t this guy like run MS now? And please, he knows iff`n or not. He might say as a qualification, in time, like with the next X-b0x ittrneration. I do not forgive that however,cause it`s still decieving.

Posted by Scooper

What an ugly man. That's what I think.

Posted by bluemantra

Maybe the next xbox, but not the 360....but what do I know...

Posted by Waffles13

I think it's a little late in the game for Blu-ray on the 360, but really, if they release an add-on drive, it's certainly not going to hurt anyone. However, the next Xbox will surely have Blu-ray, given that there's absolutely no why the "digital revolution" will come and go within the next couple of years. Given 7 or 8 years, I could absolutely see the next-next Xbox going completely digital, or at least PSP Go style with all/nearly all games in both Blu-ray and digital download.
 
Also, I'm extremely curious as to whether or not Blu-ray will be our final physical data format. I'd have to imagine it is.

Posted by Killroycantkill

I think it has been a long enough time to where people other than message boards nerds won't comment on "ZOMG M$ WENT TO THE BLU-RAY!!!". I'm going to beleive Steve on this one. It is a good way to get money from the consumer. The only way this will be news worthy is if blu ray games start coming out on the Xbox but I don't think that will happen because it is a Sony product.

Posted by ch3burashka

Ballmer is a CEO, Major Nelson is a community manager. I'm going yae. But is it too late now?

Posted by ShinyD3mon
@CL60 said:

" I find Ballmer to be pretty hilarious. "

What would make you think that..?
 
Surely you don't mean
 
Posted by DefaultGen

Far too late to add a BD player when you can get a standalone one for $100. 
 
They'll push digital distribution.

Posted by DRE7777

I don't think there is a point for microsoft to do this at this stage in the game. They already have netflix for streaming a bunch of movies as well as the new full HD streaming they are putting in with the new update. As Ryan said it's basically a given for the next Xbox but I don't think there should be one for this Xbox. If anything I doubt it would be worth all of the hassle to get the Blu-Ray player because I jsut don't think many people will buy it. I mean they are aiming at a smaller group of people than they think. They would be selling it to people that don't have a Blu-Ray player and don't have a PS3 and by the time it comes out I wouldn't doubt that a lot more people will have just regular old Blu-Ray players in their houses anyway. But I don't really know, either way it won't that big of a deal.
Edited by killdave

That picture is still awesome - Steve's face made me lol once again
 
Also, so far Bluray discs have brought nothing to gaming.... Nothing at all.
 
MGS4? I'd prefer no installs, instant on and trading a disc instead of waiting for chapter installs

Posted by Death_Unicorn

Steve Ballmer is a pretty cool dude.

Posted by carlthenimrod

Posted by Sweep

The Xbox seems to be doing just fine without blu-ray, especially now they have got over the Red Ring Of Death thing...

Moderator
Posted by handlas
@killdave: cuz 3 minute installs are just sooooo terrible.  Give me a break....
Posted by iam3green

cool i guess. i already have a bluray player which is my ps3. i think it is kind of late for them to add that. maybe it will be added to when natal comes out. so it will be a new 360 with  natal with a bluray drive.

Posted by killdave
@handlas said:
" @killdave: cuz 3 minute installs are just sooooo terrible.  Give me a break.... "
Never said they were soooooo terrible, think you're being a little emo here.
In 3 mins I could disc swapped and be playing instead of watching an old man smoke. (and its more like 10mins on my ps3 - Need to defrag ^^)
Posted by Dany

They should just have movies through the marketplace and games on a proprietary format like the gamecube had.

Posted by jakob187

Personally, I think that they should stick to physical media being related to lower-end items like regular DVD and dual layer.  Their games certainly aren't hurting from it much, so there's really no reason for them to go to a new format for gaming at least.  As far as watching HD movies, they've been trying to make some strides in providing non-physical-media capabilities, such as their instant-on streaming functionality.  In turn, they are still capable of catering to an HD audience (even if it's not in a format that the HD audience may like), but they are also still offering up a cheaper console with DVD playback capabilities to those people (like myself) who have yet to break into the age of Blu-ray.

Posted by TobyD81

Yeah, um...no. Doubt it.

Posted by Reverseface

What a dick.
Posted by AgentJ

I'm going to trust Ballmer, just because he is the last chance for the Sonics to call Seattle home again any time in the near future

Posted by Jimbo7676

You know who is being left out in the cold with all this format war crap? DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS 
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!      

Edited by Crono

Highly doubtful of this and if it is true, the timeline probably incorporates Blu-Ray as an addition for the 360 once the PS4 and Xbox 720 (or would it be 1080? {Or something non-rotation-in-degrees related}) are announced.

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