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Blu-ray Coming to 360... OR IS IT!?!
by Ryan Davis on
Steve Ballmer says yae, Major Nelson says nae. Which Microsoft representative do YOU believe?
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?