Microsoft Ballmer Confirms Xbox 360 Blu-Ray Drives

Also speaks of Natal strategy.

Posted by Staff
Microsoft Ballmer Confirms Xbox 360 Blu-Ray Drives
Blu-Ray has been one of the key selling points of the PlayStation 3, and the Xbox 360 has certainly dipped its toe into the HD disc market with the ill-fated HD-DVD add-on accessory. But now that Blu-Ray has taken off, could Microsoft's console receive another add-on that will cater to those without a PS3? If an interview with Gizmodo is anything to go by, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer believes so.

Asked about the possibility of adding a Blu-Ray feature to the Xbox 360, Ballmer said; “Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-Ray in there – you'll be able to get Blu-Ray drives as accessories.”

Now, watching the video it could be possible that there is in fact no Blu-Ray add-on coming and Ballmer spoke before thinking through his sentence, and meant to say that any possible implementation would have to come as an external accessory. But it's equally possible that this was a slip of the tongue to an unannounced supporting of the format.

Gizmodo asked for comment from Microsoft and, instead of a flat-out denial, responded with “We're not ready to comment.” Curious.

It would certainly help in Microsoft's strategy if their intention is to break the generational cycle in keeping the Xbox 360 alive for many years to come. When asked whether the introduction of Natal was an attempt to nix the concept of console generations, Ballmer smiled and said “We'll see”.

Other tidbits in the short video clip include Microsoft's plans for Natal – which basically amounts to 'Get it on store shelves, make games for it, hope it sells'. Genius.


PS3Owner 22 Oct 2009 11:31
Unless they price it at a loss-making low price then I don't see how much point there would be to this? That ship has sailed, you'd may as well get a standalone Blu-ray now - they'd not be able to do games on it like they couldn't with the HD-DVD drive.

To me this would be shooting themselves in the foot - it would be an admission that they left out a key component and would monetise the PS3's advantage over the 360 further, it's bad enough you have to pay £50-60 for a wi-fi adapter, £40 a year for your online, £15 for a play & charge kit, and (if you have a Core) £100-130 for a 120GB HDD, but then when you start advertising £80-100 for a Blu-ray addon surely that would start highlighting the value of the the PS3 even more clearly...

In theory you're talking £425 extra to upgrade a 360 Core to PS3 specs with 3 years online access... I guess the PS3 wasn't such bad value at launch after all, and now it's only £230 and redesigned I know where my money would be going if I was still on the fence...
PS3Owner 22 Oct 2009 11:32
Oh and who would want to sit through a Blu-ray movie listening to their 360 whirring away in the background anyway!
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deleted 22 Oct 2009 12:12
This makes point of a next gen system,

Why would MS or sony want to dip into next gen right now when this gen is just starting to make profits for them ,

Graphics, theres not much a new system could add to outweigh this gens graphics, and with games like FF13, MW2 and such on there way its current that next gen systems are not needed, rumors are Wii will simply be a HD updated machine with BC and it wouldnt surprise me if all future games just simply ran on both machines with the latter allowing for HD visuals.

Controls, why would SONY or MS give us new systems so close to giving us new controls on current systems? they wouldnt, Natal and PS3 Wand will enable us to keep our current systems for some years yet, it just doesnt make financial sense.

its just not required yet, i am happy with my console and can easily see me using it for anoth 5 years, adding blu ray is just an option, not one you would have to take, but enough people bought HD DVD drives adn im sure those would want a bluray. and yes standalones are cheap enough now, but not many people actually own Bluray in its current life compared to DVD in its life a cheap add on would make sense.

Joji 22 Oct 2009 18:43
I don't see the point, but MS must be getting some good, sweet money from Sony, somewhere. Nice for those that want it. Can't say I'd buy one, though.
360 owner 8 Mar 2010 21:59
@PS3Owner But 360 does not need a BluRay to play games - come to think of it, it does not even need a hard drive to play games. Its the PS3 that nees a hard drive. Oh and while you are thinking up all the things PS3 has to have, just remember that for £99.99 the 360 can still play all its games except one and thats Final Fantasy 11 online. But then again the PS3 slim cant play it even with a hard drive and a BluRay.
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