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Microsoft comments on Xbox 360 HD DVD future, possibility of a Blu-ray Disc add-on

Amidst the recent barrage of stories regarding the future plans of HD DVD supporters Toshiba, Universal and Paramount, some may have overlooked Microsoft – another big power behind the ailing format.

The Xbox 360 is currently linked to HD DVD, as the console can attach to an add-on peripheral drive that enables the playback of HD DVD software. The drive, manufactured by Toshiba, also operates on a PC.

According to tracking firm NPD, the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive accessory has sold a collective 269,000 units in the U.S., making for a 3.4 percent attach rate with the console. Examining that number against the total number of HD DVD players sold in North America, the Xbox 360 accessory accounts for more than one-third of all HD DVD hardware.

Regarding sales of the HD DVD peripheral, Microsoft said it was the “biggest-selling accessory” ever sold for the console – likely measured in terms of revenue. The HD DVD drive launched in 2006 for $199, dropped to $179 in July 2007, settling today at $129.

Despite the added functionality afforded by the HD DVD add-on, Microsoft appears unconcerned about the fate of the format’s effect on the Xbox 360.

“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,” Microsoft said in a statement. “As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry.”

For now, Microsoft is taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding its biggest-selling accessory. “We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player,” the statement read. “HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.”

Such comments from Microsoft may draw attention to earlier conspiracy theories shared by director Michael Bay and 20th Century Fox’s president Mike Dunn.

Michael Bay, director of action blockbusters such as Transformers, accused Microsoft of sabotaging both high-definition disc formats. More specifically, according to Bay, Microsoft chose HD DVD to intentionally confuse the customer into giving up both optical formats for digital downloads – which Microsoft sells on its Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

“What you don't understand is corporate politics. Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads,” wrote Bay. “That is the dirty secret no one is talking about.”

Another possible alternative for Microsoft would be to offer a Blu-ray Disc add-on to open the Xbox 360 to the ability of playing both formats. Smarthouse cited supposed insiders at Microsoft saying that a Blu-ray Disc peripheral for the Xbox 360 is pending marketing and sales approvals.

Michael Ephraim, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia said in the report that the company would welcome Microsoft to with open arms to the Blu-ray Disc family. “We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable,” said Michael Ephraim. “In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very successful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player.”

Microsoft responded, “It is premature to speculate about Blu-ray but we do know from market data that HD movie playback is not a primary purchase driver for consumers buying video game console. It continues to be games that drive purchase and that has consistently been a strong point for the Xbox 360 platform.”

The software giant never completely ruled out the possibility that it might someday support Blu-ray Disc, including on its Xbox 360 console.

At CES 2008, Microsoft corporate VP Jeff Bell told the media that the company always had open lines of communication with the Blu-ray Disc camp: “We've been talking to Blu-ray all along because we have the best piece of software in the business, called HDi. It is the backbone that powers interactivity in HD-DVD and we have that available to potentially partner with others.”

Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware, said that it would consider a Blu-ray Disc option should its consumer base demand it. “It should be consumer choice; and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider,” he said.

Microsoft Europe’s Senior Regional Director, Neil Thompson, expressed similar sentiments in March 2007: “Whatever format wins it is highly likely we will offer a solution. The only debate is if you want to watch Blu-ray movies and pay the extra money for that feature. We prefer to offer the consumer choice.”

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It's official
By TechLuster on 2/19/2008 5:10:07 AM , Rating: 4
Toshiba just officially threw in the towel a few hours ago:

I'm sad. With easier-to-manufacture (and hence cheaper) media and players, plus the ability to make standard DVD + HD DVD combo discs, I was really rooting for HD DVD (though I never invested in it).

Also, a part of me just doesn't like Sony's business practices (root kits, introducing Memory Stick media for no reason other than to screw unwitting camera buyers with high media prices, etc.).

RE: It's official
By Belard on 2/19/2008 5:32:47 AM , Rating: 4
The actual cost difference between blu vs Red media is less than 10cents a disc with blue costing more. But keep in mind that a single sided Blu disc holds almost as much info as a double sided HD-DVD. It is reasons like this that Blu was more supported by studios, besides other factors.

I'm not a fan of Memory stick, but I hated SmartCards even more. Oh well. And Sony got burned for the root kit... but still we have companies doing that (BioShock).

With more blu-ray hardware being made, it costs less to manufacture than HD-DVD. The difference here is that Toshiba sold their players below cost... They were losing about $200 per player.

The Combo discs DVD + HD were a pain like any other double-sided discs. More people hate them than not. You have to read the little tiny text to see what side you're playing.

Oh, and it added costs to the HD-DVD discs too for that "feature"...

I myself have not invest in either one... But now the rest of know what to buy.

RE: It's official
By TechLuster on 2/19/2008 7:41:24 AM , Rating: 4
First of all, here's Toshiba's official press release:

Now regarding your post...
The actual cost difference between blu vs Red media is less than 10cents a disc with blue costing more.

I was under the impression that dual-layer HD DVD's (30GB) were cheaper than single-layer Blu-ray (25GB), but I could be mistaken about that.
With more blu-ray hardware being made, it costs less to manufacture than HD-DVD. The difference here is that Toshiba sold their players below cost... They were losing about $200 per player.

I'd like to see some references for those facts and figures, 'cause I'm a little skeptical...
The Combo discs DVD + HD were a pain like any other double-sided discs. More people hate them than not.

Ok, I'm calling bullshit on this one. I've never minded DVD's with both full- and wide-screen versions on the same disc (reading the "little tiny text" just isn't that bad), and a single hi-def disc than can play in any DVD player (say, when you go over to a friend's place) was HUGE selling point to me.

But anyway, I know what you mean about Bioshock. I loved it on the 360, and it was really disappointing to hear about all the DRM-related problems people had with it on the PC.

RE: It's official
By Carl B on 2/19/2008 8:19:56 AM , Rating: 3
People hate/hated the discs because of their extremely high defect/failure rate relative to non-combo discs, not because of text or appearance.

RE: It's official
By sweetsauce on 2/19/2008 1:17:07 PM , Rating: 4
You should know by now that people who frequent this site aren't idiots who accept unconfirmed statements like that without proof. Provide links/proof or don't say anything.

RE: It's official
By Hiawa23 on 2/19/2008 8:52:53 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand how some view the combo discs as a pain. I love em. You get the DVD version on one side & the HD version on the other. I think it's great, cause my HD player is in my gameroom, but all my other TVs in my home are standard def & have regular DVD players. I haven't bought a BR movie cause the only player I have is the PS3, & I really am fine with DVDs, but I am sure MS will offer a BR add-on at some point in the future. Not surprised by this at all.

RE: It's official
By Samus on 2/20/2008 10:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
Bluray won studio's because it has region coding. It has and never has been about price, red or blue lasers, or even capacity (over 3 hours of the highest bitrate VC-1 video can fit on HD-DVD, so what's 8 hours on bluray going to do for the consumer other than aid bootleggers?)

RE: It's official
By JamRockaz on 2/20/2008 1:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
I actually believe that price had a lot to do with the adoption of studios to the format: the players and media are very expensive so the average user can't become "bootleggers" as with DVDs and CDs. That I believe swayed a lot over to blue-ray. Have you seen the cost of a B-ray burner lately? you're looked at least 400 bones!!

Hopefully for us consumers the prices with fall fast and pretty soon. :)

RE: It's official
By BZDTemp on 2/24/2008 3:02:50 PM , Rating: 2

I challenge you to even find a price of a HD-DVD burner not to mention a place that were selling them :-)

At one time CD burners was 5 big ones plus you needed a PC costing something similar to handle the 600-700 MB with sufficient speed being able to do a continues 1x feed.

Blu ray burners will come down in price just as the media so surely this has nothing to say for the choice of one format over the other.

RE: It's official
By jhinoz on 2/19/2008 5:45:21 AM , Rating: 3
so now what are we going to argue about?

RE: It's official
By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 6:03:57 AM , Rating: 3
Ultra high prices !
Rip offs !

The rest others can add on

RE: It's official
By Belard on 2/19/2008 6:42:17 AM , Rating: 5
High prices? The Toshiba players were SOLD UNDER COSTS. They were losing almost $200 a player trying to build their market share.

Before BB & Walmart said NO to HD-DVD, the movie release schedule for HD-DVD is sad. WB has the MOST movies coming out for HD (if they continue to do so) - After American Gangster - nothing from Universal. After march, nothing from Paramount. These last two studios were pulling out of HD-DVD since the CES defection of WB.

Here is the list of titles:

As more players come into production, more people will buy them, the prices will become LOWER and we'll pay less.

Also more TOP end movies will be hitting BLU.

RE: It's official
By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 7:35:25 AM , Rating: 3
As more players come into production, more people will buy them, the prices will become LOWER and we'll pay less.

Thats wishful thinking-no guarrantees on this.

I wish/hope for the buyers your assesment is correct.

The Toshiba players were SOLD UNDER COSTS. They were losing almost $200 a player trying to build their market share.

Who gained by this ?

The buyers/consumers ofcourse-thats the point.
I recently posted a comment,titled...

Remember ! YOU commentators are buyers & NOT format promoters

So we should be more concerned with ourselves & protect our interest.
But I find many here(not you) are promoting the format(B.R.) openly with total disregard to the buyers.

I doubt very much the mainstream buyers who are so very price conscious will be convinced by your arguments.
Sell us a B.R. player & quality contents at affordable prices thats the message the buyers convey.

So after all the excitement comes the doom & gloom situation

Experience shows Sony is not & never was so anxious to cut its prices.
They cut prices like in the case of PS3 only when its a "do or die situation" or when its the last & the only option to survive.

So lets hear some real good news ...PRICE CUTS !

RE: It's official
By Belard on 2/19/2008 9:10:42 AM , Rating: 3
Thats wishful thinking-no guarrantees on this. I wish/hope for the buyers your assesment is correct.

Uh it happens, uh history. Proof:

CD players. Used to be $500+ in the 80s. I paid $300 for a 5-disc CD player.

VCRs = $1000+ in the 70s. $600~1000 for a Hifi in 1988. Nowadays they are $30.

DVD players = $1000+ when first introduced to the market. 10 years later, they are $30.

Blu-ray players have already come down in price... with the ability for mass adoption, they'll come down more so.

RE: It's official
By sweetsauce on 2/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: It's official
By Ringold on 2/19/2008 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that there were supply-side constraints making production of the blu-ray's laser units expensive and low volume? If that is the case and they can't bump up volume and get prices on that component down, then no, retail prices probably wont drop.

And companies don't price one thing higher just to make up for losses elsewhere, unless one is a loss-leader used to attract another (like giving away a razor for free, then nailing you like a borrowed mule on blades).

RE: It's official
By sweetsauce on 2/19/2008 1:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
And companies don't price one thing higher just to make up for losses elsewhere
Stand-alone BR players
unless one is a loss-leader used to attract another
PS3 anyone?

RE: It's official
By Melric on 2/19/2008 12:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm putting a BD player on my 2018 Christmas list.

RE: It's official
By aju on 2/19/2008 12:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
So what if they sold them at a loss? Sony is still doing that with the PS3. If you think it is a dirty practice, then you should really stay away from Sony and Microsoft and maybe even Nintendo as they all practice this.

RE: It's official
By Owls on 2/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: It's official
By DigitalFreak on 2/19/2008 10:11:10 AM , Rating: 3
Uh, why? Someone asked for other things to argue about, and he provided them.

RE: It's official
By gsellis on 2/19/2008 8:07:07 AM , Rating: 2
You can go over to Anandtech Off Topic and discuss planes and conveyor belts or "Loose Change".

Not... ;)

RE: It's official
By Mitch101 on 2/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: It's official
By psypher on 2/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: It's official
By djc208 on 2/19/2008 8:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
- Probably the price of the BD players.
- The fact that there are not profile 2.0 players out yet (the PS3 is not a player, it's a game system that plays movies, there is a difference).
- Do I want to spend $300+ on a player that might be obsolete next time BD decides to introduce profile 2.1?
- How long till we get affordable BD burners for our computers?

RE: It's official
By sweetsauce on 2/19/2008 1:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
We're probably gonna whine about the cost, the fact that its not complete, and the fact that my $100 HD-DVD player could play the identical movies that your $400+ BR player does, with added content.

RE: It's official
By Sandok on 2/19/2008 5:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
While BR has more space, what HDDVD offered was ZoneFree movies and that, in our day and age, to me (in Europe) and regurarly travelling to the US for business meant very upto date and cheap movies...

Now I have to wait for a zonefree BR player and from the looks of it, I can wait a while :(

Some facts that everyone seems to be blind to
By Staples on 2/19/2008 10:05:21 AM , Rating: 4
MS was behind HDDVD first and foremost because they were collecting royalties from its use of HDi. They collect no such royalties from Blu Ray. MS was not behind it because it was a better technology, not because they hate Sony, they were behind it because of money pure and simple.

Now that HDDVD is dead and MS is not collecting any more royalties on HDDVD, MS is desperate to sell this software to Blu Ray. I don't think Blu Ray will ever be using HDi but MS is trying to kiss ass and make up for siding with the opposition. MS and Blu Ray were not always buddy buddy like their comments are intended to have you believe.

And as far as an addon, the HDDVD addon was terrible and if there comes a Blu Ray addon, I expect it to be no better. I will probably be buying a PS3 at this rate unless stand along Blu Ray players drop a lot faster in price compared to the PS3.

RE: Some facts that everyone seems to be blind to
By aju on 2/19/2008 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
Do you actually own the add-on HD-DVD player or are you just blowing smoke out your posterior. I do own one and it has been absolutely flawless and it gives you the online content that only HDi and HD-DVD have been able to provide so far.

By daftrok on 2/19/2008 5:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Its not that it doesn't work well, its just really really loud and with combination with the 360 you have to seriously crank up the volume to cover the noise.

By ViperROhb34 on 2/19/2008 3:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
MS spoke of a possible Bluray player nearly a year ago. They don't need to kiss Sony's butt as they (MS) are worth three times more then Sony - its more like both companies know any good buisiness arrangement is a smart one.

Here's a qoute from the HD surrender article"
Those already sold on high-definition movies will either declare this as a great victory or a tragic loss, though keep in mind that even HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales combined are barely a drop in the bucket compared to regular DVD. Recent statistics from show that high-definition disc rentals account for 0.87 percent of total shipments.

Basically Bluray has a better chance of survival now - but its still selling poorly overall. The movie 300 sold like 12-13 million on DVD - and sold a mere 350K on HD-DVD AND Bluray COMBINED !

By encryptkeeper on 2/19/2008 12:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
Michael Bay, director of action blockbusters such as Transformers, accused Microsoft of sabotaging both high-definition disc formats. More specifically, according to Bay, Microsoft chose HD DVD to intentionally confuse the customer into giving up both optical formats for digital downloads – which Microsoft sells on its Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

Hate to tell you, but downloadable content IS the way of the future. It's not something that will only benefit Microsoft, it's something that will benefit EVERYONE once it's widely implemented, and it'll likely be cheaper than a 30 dollar BR movie. Movies on demand, ITunes, Wii Shop Channel, XBox live, people LOVE downloadable content. Admittedly, it might be a while before hard drives and the net can handle the load, but it's the way of the future. BR will probably have a fairly long life, though probably not as popular as DVD before downloadable content is prevalent. Microsoft is probably screaming at some engineers now, since they spend money on helping to develop this project. I know that with Microsoft, it really seems like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, but geez, have some accountability for when things go wrong.

By aju on 2/19/2008 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Amen, screw the optical storage and move to online.

By Belard on 2/19/2008 11:56:03 PM , Rating: 2
Online/Downloade videos are fine for little MP3 portable players... but not HD content. Do a little math.

There is already comparison of HD download vs Blu-Ray (which looks the same as HD-DVD), and it smokes downloaded content.

This is NOT like MP3s which each song is about 4mb and takes about 10~100seconds to download. SD/Low quality is fine for downloads and portable players. NOT HD.

- Bandwith. Lets say a typical movie download of 1080 quality = 25gb, that would take me on cable, about 4-6hours to download. When I go to BB, I may pick up 3-8 movies at a time. Watch them when I or the family feels like it.

- Portability: People already complain about DRM in HDM. DRM in downloaded content is far worse. The download is locked to you PC or player. So what if you want to take your video to a friends house to watch on their 60" TV? OOPS! Sorry, can't!

- Rented costs: Some downloads are $2 for 1hr running time, $4-5 for a movie. Rental time is a 24hr period or a month holding time. So you have to pay for it again. Perhaps people are thinking of pirate downloads which don't expire?

- Flexiblity: You have 2-6 TV/players in your home. What fun that maybe if the kids want to watch a video in room B, while you watch something else in room A. With a Disc, you can just pop it into a player and let it go. Remember the DRM thingy?

- Storage costs: A 500GB HD = $100. That will hold about 20 movies (about 25GB each) That's $5 per movie in storge space. ($250 = 1TB drive)

- Overall costs: You pay $5 to rent the movie, maybe $10~15 to KEEP the download. Then $5 to store the movie.

So lets do some math here. Currenly the recent Harry Potter film is a 2.5GB SD download from Amazon. It'll take 55mins on AVG to download (I could leave home and come back from a local store in 15mins) before I can watch it. Every 24hr period = $4 or pay $15 for DRM rights that works on 2 DEVICES only. A windows PC (sorry Mac & Linux) or certain TiVo Units or an iPOD/etc. or gee, I could go to Walmart and buy the the movie for $16 or $21(2 disc version) or $25 Blu-Ray version and with these discs I can play it on ANY PLAYER I want at any home or in a car.

So, back to HD download. You pay $15 to download a HD movie that eats up $5~6 of hard drive space. Total cost = $20~22 for a DRM locked to your PC movie. Or buy a Blu-Ray disc for $15~35. (BTW, if you're allowed to make backups - You'll need another 500GB drive to back up the first one and so add another $5~6 per title which gets you up to $25~27 a move, without extras.

- When your PC dies, gets a virus, upgrade or buy a NEW computer, etc. There are most likely going to be issues since your movieS are locked to your device. Perhaps you can call, beg them to move the licence to another hardware device. Would you have to do that for EACH movie or
by studio? Why are we thinking about this? When we buy a NEW player, we put the discs in. My 1999 DVDs work 100% fine in my new 2007 DVD players and future 2008 BluRay player.

In the future, when a TB drive costs $100, Blu-Ray titles maybe $10~15 and still cheaper than downloading.

What will replace Blu-Ray in about 4-5 years is solid-state memory cards kind of like SD/MMC flash cards that come recordable and Play-only types. Hopefully they will be a bit larger than Compact Flash for labels to read what is on the card. A 2" Square would be perfect - that holds 50GB or more data. We have the hardware for cheap players, just the cost for the memory cards is too high - considering the low prive they are today. ($150 = 32GB)

By RogueLegend on 2/19/2008 12:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what other claims Bay may have made, but this one doesn't seem too far off.

The thing is, Bay is not accounting for the fact that Microsoft probably wanted to have dominance in hard media sales (HD-DVD) in order to drive future soft media sales (digital downloads). If they make a name for themselves with HD-DVD and had won the format war, there's two potential streams of income that MS built the infrastructure for. If HD-DVD fails, they still have digital downloads as their ace in the hole when it comes to media delivery- now they just don't get the additional marketing push and recognition from a successful HD-DVD market.

I think Bay was probably right on with his comment, but his comment only reflected one part of Microsoft's strategy. The best case scenario for MS was to have a successful HD-DVD. This would have given them more power in the market when it comes time for digital downloads. The format war still benefits MS by keeping the game in play for them to continue developing digital downloads.

Just one comment....
By jabber on 2/19/2008 7:11:40 AM , Rating: 4
....can we stop using the term 'next-gen'?

It now current-gen or previous-gen now. Next-gen was two years ago.

Thank you.

Now back to my previous-gen DVDs at £5 a go which still account for 99% of the market share.

RE: Just one comment....
By encryptkeeper on 2/19/2008 2:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
Forget that, what about $5 (American) DVDs? Unless I'm mistaken, the British Pound is worth twice (maybe more) than the American dollar.

And I agree with you on the next-gen phrase. This should also be the death of that as well. I found a website on StumbleUpon that had some random polls, one was "What Saying Needs to Be Retired". Unfortunately, next-gen was one of them.

Could be great news for 360
By Trent26 on 2/19/2008 8:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
Now that the war is ended if Microsoft releases a Blu-Ray player it will save me from ever having to waste money on a PS3. The PS3 is currently the best buy in Blu-Ray players but it is ruined for lack of a built-in IR port. A Blu-Ray add-on for the 360 would just be easier overall: Keep single universal remote, no additional components to connect to TV/Amp, very little additional space used up.
I had come so close to buying a PS3 to play Blu-Ray, now I'm going to wait.

RE: Could be great news for 360
By Hiawa23 on 2/19/2008 9:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with MS, I buy consoles to play games, bought the HD DVD add on for Transformers, & nothing says I can't continue to enjoy my HD DVD collection for years to come. I plan to pickup a cheap HD DVD stand alone to go with my 360 add on to put in my other room & buy more HD DVD movies hopefully on the cheap, as I did not care who won the war. I wanted Transformers in HD & that is the only reason I bought the add on, of which so far has been great & I think the visual quality is great, & that's all I go by. One of the best things I think is that MS wasn't tied to HD DVD like Sony is to BR so they could freely jump to whichever format came out on top, & looks like that is what they will do. Fine by me, as I am more of a gameplayer than a HD movie watcher, so I don't think the death of HD DVD will affect them at all, as I am more concerned with the PS3 & 360 continuing to get great games than their ability to play HD movies.

HD-DVD add on sucked because of the 360
By Owls on 2/19/2008 1:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
You were limited to a 1.5MB optical connection as your "best" source. For a "next gen" format this was unacceptable. A standalone HD-DVD player was leaps and bounds better in every way. Anyone who actually bought the player did so because either they couldn't fit another system in their rack or didn't have the sound system to support the new sound formats. It's not like the add-on was a good deal or anything.

By mmntech on 2/19/2008 3:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting that it was a cheap way for PC/Mac users to get an HDDVD-ROM drive back when the BD drives were $300-$500. It worked with Vista and OS X out of the box provided you had playback software. I almost bought one for that but ended up getting a PS3 instead.

RROD at GDC 08
By Zark74 on 2/19/2008 8:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
One of microsoft own XBOX360 demostration console RROD at GDC 08

here is the link

RE: RROD at GDC 08
By Zark74 on 2/19/2008 8:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
Devil's Advocate
By Kromis on 2/19/2008 5:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
Gotta love that movie...

Bad for the consumer
By numbnuts on 2/19/2008 8:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
I loved this "war", I have players for both formats and all these buy 1 disc get 5 free offers all over the place was a great deal. Now Blu-ray will drop their aggressive sales and we consumers will suffer. Then following that we can compalin about the region coding ..... oh well .. there is super high def to look forward to in another 10yrs ;)

Never understood
By djc208 on 2/19/2008 9:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Never quite figured out why everyone was so concerned over Microsoft's involvement in HD-DVD. They may have been a major backer in terms of size and have some stake in the programming languange but it's not as if they've tied their fortunes to the format. They hardly even acknowledge their involvement.

I'd think the only problem MS will have with BD winning is having to put a BD drive and JAVA support into their next generation console or even the add-on drive, and even that won't matter as long as they're making money.

The dark horse
By wordsworm on 2/19/2008 10:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
I do believe XXX was what won the day for VHS, and from what I understand, HD-DVD is the format of choice for porn, since it's easier to use. So, maybe when HD DVD went super cheap last fall it was a sign of the end rather than a beginning.

ms making blu-ray palyers
By agent2099 on 2/20/2008 12:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
Now will Microsoft make a $199 Blu-Ray addon please. I don't want to buy a PS3.

By Silver2k7 on 2/20/2008 6:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why not make a X-Box 360 2nd Edition, with a built-in blu-ray drive =)

By Olden Atwoody on 2/23/2008 4:49:22 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not, but just like XP, they'll publish a "support end date" within months and those 270,000 fools who bought the drives will have nice expensive doorstops.

I postulate that the drives won't be compatible with the next-Gen XBox - that's how Microsoft will justify it.

By Emryse on 2/19/2008 6:34:00 PM , Rating: 1
Not that I was any more likely to before...

Seriously though, MS has had some real difficulty with this platform - mostly due to their greed and poor choices in the realm of quality assurance and pricing.

This is just another of the nails in that coffin - I wouldn't consider purchasing an X-Box 360 even IF they provided a Blue-Ray player; I just don't trust them.

In fact, they'll have to do an awful lot to earn my trust back before I'll purchase any of their products, given their track record in recent years.

I'm left wondering if MS will look back someday and question if the profit they made in aggressive business strategy was worth the cost they paid in lost reputation.

By Zensen on 2/19/2008 6:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
at least those with HD-DVD player can still grab some quality videos hopefully on the cheap. So its not all a waste of time. As the HD-DVD videos are still class!

As for the xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on. That was reviewed as one of the worst HD-DVD playbacks of them all. Hopefully, if they do produce an alternative for Blu-ray its at least as decent as the Blu-ray player on the PS3.

By eye smite on 2/19/2008 6:26:39 AM , Rating: 4
It's just a thought, but looking at how many of these add on drives sold and then the article stating that number made up a third of total hd-dvd players sold......that's not very high numbers. Seems like very slow sales on that. If that's accurate, I wonder if blue ray will be just as slow to get customers over time. I have a sneaky suspicion that people won't rush out and buy one, but only time will tell eh? :-)

By Master Kenobi on 2/19/2008 8:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
Short of the PS3, the sales of Blu-Ray movie players have barely passed the 1 million mark. So adoption is no better there. The fact that each PS3 has one adds to the ability of people to watch movies on Blu in the market, but as statistics have pointed out on here on several occasions, most PS3 owners don't even know it plays Blu-Ray movies, let alone purchase them.

By Ringold on 2/19/2008 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
I have a sneaky suspicion that people won't rush out and buy one, but only time will tell eh? :-)

I dont know, I sidelined myself until the market chose a winner.. I'm ready to buy now, just need a price cut and I'll get one player for the TV and, if such a beast exists, a Blu-Ray + DVDR + CDR Uber-SATA-Combo-Burner-of-Doom for the desktop. Definitely need a price cut to attract me though. I can suffer the pain and ignominy of not having the latest, greatest technology at these prices.

By aju on 2/19/2008 12:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it will be $200. You can already by a Blu-Ray PC player for less than that and that is all they really are. If the prices are going to drop like all the Blu-Ray fans believe, you would pay more like $130 for one. Besides, if I can buy one for under $200. Microsoft can buy a couple hundred thousand for deep discount.

By daftrok on 2/19/2008 5:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
My head hurts from reading that. Yes HD DVD is dead but then again there are 400 titles available (and current HD DVD owners can really snag on the deals, I saw Transformers for 13 bucks!).

I agree with the whole "choice" idea. But given that Microsoft was not making any royalties on Blu Ray because it didn't use HDi like HD DVD does, they of course backed up HD DVD. Also at the time it wasn't decided which format would win.

Given the release of this:

and this:

I doubt the add on will be 200 bucks, especially with the price point of the PS3. Also I'm pretty sure that now the rate of sales (not total sales) of the PS3 are higher than the 360 and the release of incredible exclusives for the PS3, the 360 will be at a point where it will have to consider another price drop.

The PS3 won't drop its price because it doesn't make business sense. They just dropped the price to 399 and 499, their Cell processor got another cut in size to 45 nm, Blu ray is the winner and the diodes are cheaper. They are at a point where they can make some serious cash.

360 will probably try to keep the price point of the blu ray add-on to around $99 - $149 dollars but really they aren't in any rush at the moment. Blu ray sales are pretty much increasing the same rate for several months and only until the demand significantly increases will they introduce an add-on.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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