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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?