Microsoft stays mum on Blu-ray Disc support

Microsoft steadfastly backed HD DVD and now shrugs off HD DVD's demise

Microsoft shrugged off HD DVD's demise, declining to say if or when it would support Blu-ray Disc for the Xbox.

Microsoft steadfastly backed HD DVD, selling an external drive for the Xbox for US$129.99. That offer was still on the US Xbox Web site as of yesterday, despite the news that Toshiba will scuttle the format. Toshiba had been the lead electronics manufacturer in a coalition of companies pushing that format but content producers have thrown their support to Blu-ray.

Microsoft's decision to make the HD DVD drive external rather than within the console "was quite a strategic move on their part," said Paul O'Donovan, principal analyst with Gartner.

However, it's inevitable that future Xbox versions, as well as other gaming systems aimed at tighter integration with entertainment systems, will incorporate Blu-ray Disc drives, said O'Donovan. The Xbox currently has a standard DVD drive.

Sony gained momentum for its Blu-ray player by putting it in its PlayStation 3 console, according to research company IDC.

The PS3's "dual roles as a gaming console and a next-generation DVD player have made it an important part of the format war," according to the report.

Prior to Toshiba's announcement, Microsoft downplayed the rumors of HD DVD's death, contending buyers are more interested in gaming functions.

"We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace," the company said in a statement. "It is premature to speculate but we do know from market data that HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers buying video game consoles."

Microsoft, which started selling the external drive for US$199 in late 2006, has dropped the price twice, to US$179 last August finally to its current price, which varies by region.

O'Donovan agreed the company likely won't face declining sales of its Xbox gaming console. But Microsoft's greater problem may be getting rid of the external HD DVD drives in its inventory.

HD DVD is "dead and gone" now, O'Donovan said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?