I previously posted this as a reply to Vinny Caravella's column, Blu-ray or Bust?, but I don't want it lost in the noise of the comments section.
I don't think that Microsoft has much choice but to include a Blu-ray Disc drive in the next Xbox.
Both Microsoft and Sony have said that digital distribution is the future, and have hinted that all content on their future game consoles will be distributed digitally, but it won't be feasible in time for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 540. Current Internet connections are neither fast nor reliable enough for people to sit through multi-gigabyte downloads without losing their patience.
In addition, consumers have to get comfortable with the concept of not needing a physical copy of something relatively expensive to own it. Steam and its competitors are niche. For most people, seeing no software in stores means that no software exists.
Microsoft cannot stick with DVD for the next Xbox. Game developers are pushing the limits of how much content can fit on a single DVD-ROM, and sometimes this means excessive data compression, causing long loading times and/or games that don't look or sound as good as they should. The next Xbox is sure to be more powerful than the 360, meaning that games will take up more space than they do now. DVD-ROM will no longer be feasible and downloads or streaming will not yet be feasible, so Microsoft will be forced to include a Blu-ray Disc drive in its next game console. Unless focus groups show that consumers don't mind switching between five discs to play a video game and Microsoft significantly lowers per-disc licensing fees.
And Sony is certain to continue using Blu-ray Disc with the PlayStation 4.
So Blu-ray Discs will be with us for at least several more years.
As for Steve Jobs, while I don't doubt that Blu-ray Disc licensing is "a bag of hurt," be aware that he has ulterior motives. Jobs, CEO of Apple, would prefer that you download your movies from the iTunes Store or through your Apple TV box than buy them on Blu-ray Discs. (And years ago, Apple dragged its feet on adding USB 2.0 to its computers and iPods, probably because it wanted its competing FireWire technology to "win.")
OK, I set up an account, but I am not sure if Giant Bomb is the video game Web site for me just yet.
If Jeff, Ryan, Vinny and Brad wish to hire me, and pay me to write for or otherwise contribute to Giant Bomb, then this will immediately become the video game Web site for me, and I will do everything I can to convince others that this is the video game Web site for them, but otherwise it will take time for me to decide if Giant Bomb is the video game Web site for me.