Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer  (Source: Reuters)

The next companion to the Xbox 360 could be a Blu-ray Disc drive
Steve Ballmer says that Microsoft will be going forward with Blu-ray Disc support

In front of an audience at the MIX08 Internet conference, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer let it be known that the software giant will work with Blu-ray Disc technology now that HD DVD is out of the running. Microsoft was previously one of the exclusive backers of HD DVD.

Ballmer was quoted by the Seattle-PI as saying, “We've already been working on, for example, in Windows, device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like, and I think the world moves on. Toshiba has moved on. We've moved on, and we'll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense.”

A report from the Financial Times states that Sony is offering a Blu-ray Disc drive to Microsoft for use in the Xbox 360. FT sources Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow as saying that Sony and Microsoft are currently in discussions over adopting the Blu-ray Disc format. Not made clear, however, is whether Sony is proposing an add-on drive similar to the one Toshiba built for Xbox 360 HD DVD support, or if it’ll be built-in for an additional model.

Microsoft has denied the validity of the report, with a spokesperson telling Next-Gen, “There are no plans to introduce Blu-ray. ... In response to Stan Glasgow’s statement that Blu-ray is a possibility for Xbox 360, we have made no such announcement. Games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.”

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