Microsoft dismisses Blu-ray as irrelevant
Even with the Xbox 360 featuring an HD DVD add-on, many may believe that Microsoft was never a full supporter of that format. Michael Bay was a strong proponent of the view that Microsoft only used HD DVD to thwart or offset the HD format war to make way for digital distribution via downloads.
Well that belief might be coming even clearer as Microsoft rejected the rumor that they are in talks with Sony about bringing the Blu-ray format to the Xbox 360.
“Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience," said Xbox 360 Product Manager, Aaron Greenberg. "We're the only console offering digital distribution of entertainment content."
Furthermore, Microsoft goes on the record to pretty much dismiss the success of Blu-ray, by labeling it something of irrelevance in 12-18 months.
In regards to digital distribution, Senior Xbox Executive, Chris Lewis explains:
"That's the future direction, and I think that's going to be the case in the next 12-18 months. I think we're going to be talking much more about that than anything else. Do I think that this Christmas will somehow be defined by DVD playback? I genuinely don't think that will be the case. I do not think that [the demise of HD DVD] will have any material impact on our console velocity. And I think other factors, specifically our architecture around downloads, is far more advantageous and important for the future."
While Microsoft believes that disc formats will begin to die out in 12-18 months and that Blu-ray will not have any significant affect on the PlayStation 3 or the console race in general, Sony’s CES Jack Tretton explained, "The emergence of Blu-ray as the de facto high-def standard is one more reason why PS3 is a great value to consumers. The combination of strong sales, Blu-ray dominance and widely-anticipated games all point to 2008 as a breakthrough year for PS3."
Sony was already doubted at the start with the whole Blu-ray concept, as they were continuously reminded of the Betamax failure of the 1980s against VHS. They fought off HD DVD and now they have an uphill battle to prove to the industry, to consumers and indeed to Microsoft that their disc format has a future. On the other hand, perhaps Microsoft's reluctance to adopt Blu-ray is a good thing, as it will allow the PS3 to maintain one of its unique selling points.