Update: Despite Steve Ballmer explicitly saying "you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories," in reply to a question about supporting the technology in Xbox 360 consoles, Microsoft has issued a new statement confirming once again that there are no plans for a Blu-ray add-on.
Original story: Ever since HD DVD lost the high-definition format war in early 2008, rumors have kept popping about the possibility of Blu-ray support on the Xbox 360 console, only to be rebuffed every time by Microsoft in favor of digital distribution. The latest comes from Redmond boss Steve Ballmer himself, however, who in a recent interview with Gizmodo hinted that a Blu-ray drive could finally join the 360's assemblage of accessories.
Apparently Ballmer spoke with certitude when he mentioned the add-on, but not surprisingly Microsoft's PR guys later added: "Our immediate solution for Blu-ray-quality video on an Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we're not ready to comment." That certainly doesn't rule out Blu-ray on the Xbox 360, but we should note that this is not the first time the outspoken CEO "confirms" support and gets the company in rumor control mode.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens. In any case, if last month's console hardware sales numbers are of any indication, Microsoft better step up their game to remain competitive against a renewed PlayStation 3 console that scores over them with built-in Blu-ray, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support for just $300.