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Microsoft: "No plans to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox 360" (1 Viewer)

Jari K

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I guess we can pretty much forget this topic now...

Microsoft's Greenberg lays into Blu-ray News // PS3 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More

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(Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg / in "Tokyo Game Show 08")
"We have no plans to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience"
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Furthermore, there´s no love for Blu-ray from MS. Like stated before, their focus is "digital":

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"We believe that we shouldn't force consumers to pay for things they don't want. We also believe that the future's digital, and that's why we've invested in a massive library of entertainment content."

""No one knows," he said, "no one knows what Blu-ray will be. It's pretty clear it is not the next DVD, right? The days of one physical format being the standard are gone.

"Let's say right now we're not sure if it's the next UMD or the next DVD," added Greenberg, suggesting "it got Blu-rayed" will be the expression for future products in this perceived grey area.

"I went to Sony's [TGS] booth, and their Blu-ray presence...It used to be like their whole booth was Blu-ray. It just keeps shrinking down. Now it's just this little corner and there's no one there," he said. We can think of a couple of counterpoints, but we're not touching this one with a bargepole."
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Something also here:
MS tramples external Blu-ray drive talk News // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More

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I personally don´t have any use for external Blu-ray with my Xbox 360 (PS3 already does the job very well), but of course more choices for consumers would´ve been nice (=Xbox 360-users could get also Blu-ray). Not sure why MS uses the word "force" (since I guess they could´ve brought the "external" Blu-ray add-on to the markets - like with HD DVD back then).
 

Gary Shipley

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Funny. SoundandVision.com has a completely different article on this very subject. I guess time will tell.
 

Nick Martin

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Forcing something on customers that they don't want...what?

This Greenberg comes off as an arrogant P.O.S. just looking to put BD down.

I wonder what he had to say to all those HD-DVD drive owners?
 

TravisR

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If HD DVD had won the war, he'd be saying that HD DVD and digital downloads are going to walk hand in hand into the future. However, HD DVD didn't win so Blu-ray is a dinosaur and digital is the only thing people want.
 

Jari K

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I guess we can read from the lines, that MS has chosen digital downloads, and therefore "BD is no good".. Well, time will tell of course, but IMO this is just unnecessary bashing from MS. They should just keep all the options open. Blu-ray still has a long road for sure, but things are not that bad at the moment.
 

Bob_L

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Actually, I think it's pretty clever of him to try to start the phrase, "It got Blu-rayed." Although we might just as well start using, "It got HD DVDed" to describe a great product that got killed by corporate manipulation and backroom politics rather than competition in the marketplace.

However, like all executive comments these days, none of this can be regarded as truth, just more smokescreen and spin to serve whatever purpose Greenberg has at the moment.

If MS smells money to be had by creating a Blu-ray add-on for the 360, they'll do it.
 

Jari K

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There was some rumors, that perhaps Blu-ray would be included to the new MacBooks, but I guess it was just that - a rumor at this point...

Live from Apple's "spotlight turns to notebooks" event - Engadget

"10:56AM Phil: "We have the best HD movie and TV options in iTunes."

10:56AM "Blu-ray?"

Steve: "Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. It's great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech is so complex, we're waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace."

10:55AM Q: No Blu-ray, and display port -- why no HDMI?
A: Steve: HDMI is limited in resolution. Phil: for typical computer use, display port is the connector of the future."
 

Jari K

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Still the same message..

CES 09: Microsoft rules out 360-equipped Blu-ray...again - News at GameSpot

Q&A: Microsoft's Robbie Bach on economy, Zune glitch and iPhone - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source

"Q: It’s been a year now since Blu-ray won the next-generation DVD format wars. When are you guys going to drop the “digital download” line and say, “Let’s just put the technology in the Xbox.”

Bach: We have no plan to do that.

Q: Why not?

Bach: A lot of reasons. It’s not a feature we get a ton of requests for. We really don’t. When you ask people the list of things they want to see us spending time creating in Xbox, Blu-ray is way, way down on the list.

The second thing is, from a technical perspective, it doesn’t help us in the core of what Xbox does, which is in gaming. We can’t have publishers produce games on Blu-ray disc. Because then they won’t play on the 28 million Xboxes we’ve already shipped. So it doesn’t help us in the core gaming space.

The third thing, and this maps to all three of those, is that it costs a lot of money. And so the scenario is, OK, let me get this straight: I’m going to add something to the product that’s going to raise the cost, which means the price goes up, consumers aren’t asking for it, and by the way, my game developers can’t use it.

Oh, and by the way, I have an even better way for you to get high-definition content straight to your TV, between the combination of what we’re doing with Netflix, what we’re doing with (video on demand), we have a great Xbox Live solution. In a way it’s a little bit of a technology looking for an answer. We just have no plans in that space."
 

Edwin-S

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That last paragraph really shows what a bunch of arrogant pricks they are at MS.
 

Pete T C

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At this point it would make no sense whatsoever to add Blu-ray to 360. You can buy a Panasonic BD35/its upcoming model refresh that does everything that the PS3 does, plus more (like bitstream HD codecs and deinterlace 1080i Blu-ray Discs properly, for instance) for $200-220. And its fast, too.

Who would buy an addon drive with that being the case? And holiday sales showed that most people aren't willing to fork over the cash for one builtin. MS is ahead, there is no reason to saddle themselves down with Blu-ray.
 

Justin Lane

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At this point there is no need to add Blu Ray playback to an Xbox.

1.) An add on will cost very nearly the same as a standalone player.

2.) It makes no sense to change the hardware design on new players for addition of BD when the consoles lifecycle is getting close to the end (probably 2 more years, max).

3.)The added cost would add an anchor to Xbox sales which are hindering Sony PS3 right now.

4.) Blu Ray has not proved a major selling point on the PS3 in comparison to other consoles, so there is no point for Microsoft to take a "follow the leader" approach when the leader is no longer leading the market.
 

pitchman

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I'm the first to admit I am out of touch with what's happening in gaming today, but I have to think that at some point down the road, the Blu-ray standard of the PS3 is going to pay a dividend in terms of the kind of games that people will be able to play on the system. Savvy developers will come up with new ways to exploit the advanced technology in games that you simply cannot duplicate on non Blu-ray systems. Before long, I think we'll be seeing more announcements like Sony's recent one regarding gaming in 3-D on the PS3.

IMO, MS is caught between a rock and a hard place on the subject of Blu-ray. As Bach correctly points out, there are already 28 million 360's in circulation, none of which are Blu-ray equipped. No developer in their right mind would develop a 360 game requiring a Blu-ray add-on, even if such a device existed. By not programming down to the lowest common denominator, they will seriously impact their total sales potential. About the best they could hope for is to program two versions of a game, one that is bare-bones and another with all of the bells and whistles. Depending on your 360 setup, one or the other version is available when you pop in the disc. The downside to this is that there will be additional development cost and depending on the installed base, it may be hard to cost justify since the ROI won't be there.

I don't begrudge MS for taking a "no Blu-ray" stance on the issue. I just wish they'd be more forthright and honest about their rationale "why." Their HD-DVD add-on certainly didn't do much to drive up 360 sales, and I can't imagine that a similarly priced Blu-ray add-on would do much better.
 

Pete T C

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Blu-ray honestly does nothing for today's game systems aside for providing more space for the hours and hours of HD FMV movies you see in select high-budget Japanese RPGs. Those games are the only ones that can actually use the space, but on the 360 they get around it by using multiple discs for those games. In terms of actual gameplay graphics, the space does not help.

The reason why the space is not useful now is because the PS3 only has 256mb of local graphics RAM and its GPU is constricted by a 128-bit memory bus. Thus, any super-large textures that you might be able to store on a Blu-ray Disc to improve the look of the game would make the console's framerate plummet to unplayable levels due to the lack of local RAM and graphics memory bandwidth to support those textures.

Perhaps the next generation of consoles can use the extra space, but for today's consoles it does not demonstrate any benefit. This is proved in reality as most multiplatform games look the same or better on 360 compared to PS3.
 

Jari K

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Again, you talk like "today's consoles it does not demonstrate any benefit" is a fact or something like that. And like we have seen "everything" when it comes to "today's consoles" (I mean they´ve many years ahead of them).

Again: With certain games (like MGS4) the "benefit" IS there, plain and simple. You don´t like the game? Irrelevant. ;)

When it comes to multiplatform games, many are probably designed with "DVD in mind" - at least that has to be the "primary" direction. They don´t have resource/money/etc to start develop "two versions" of the same game (one for DVD, one for Blu-ray - where the latter would´ve "more" cut-scenes, features, story or something like that).

(I still say, that these various "screenshot" comparisons are not very ideal when it comes to games/gaming. When you play, you don´t "count pixels" - it´s not like you´re watching a film anyway - normal players won´t notice any major differencies (there might be some exceptions - always are) between PS3 and Xbox 360 when it´s a "multiplatform game")

And like I said, it´s not that every game even needs Blu-ray. In the future, we still probably see more games that are "designed" for Blu-ray.

This is not a "black&white"-issue. We can evaluate the situation NOW (it´s true, that now the benefit of Blu-ray in GAMING is not very high) and stop there. IMO, we just have to see a bit more farther away to the future.
 

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