Steve Ballmer confirms Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on?

By on October 22, 2009, 11:12 AM
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.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

I'm surprised and not surprised by this...

1. Using Blu-Ray they have to pay a license to Sony?

2.Blu-Ray is the standard now.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm not surprised either. Especially as the price of Blu-Ray's are dropping like crazy -- and I mean like like CRAZY. I bought a pretty nice network LG Blu-Ray player for $189 a month ago. That was the cheapest by nearly $50 over other retailers at that time. However just noticed that same player selling for $152. A near 25% drop in less than 30 days!

Jos Jos said:

Yeah, but with Microsoft pricing a simple Wi-Fi adapter at around $100 I'm afraid to even think what they'll want to charge for a Blu-ray add-on

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'd imagine it will be the same cost as the HD-dvd addon was originally. Personally I'll be buying a Toshiba Blu-ray player when it's released.

Guest said:

Why bother getting a add on when you could just buy a stand alone? It's not like you will be able to play bluray games on it so why should it be an add on?

Guest said:

There will not be a blu-ray add on.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

And Sony is not the sole owner of the technology behind Bluray - it's a consortium. Sony just happens to be one of the largest partners in this consortium. Here are the 20 board members as of June 09:

Apple Inc.

Dell Inc.


Hitachi, Ltd.

Intel Corporation

LG Electronics (Lucky GoldStar)

Mitsubishi Electric


Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Industrial)

Pioneer Corporation

Royal Philips Electronics

Samsung Electronics

Sharp Corporation

Sony Corporation

Sun Microsystems

TDK Corporation (Tokyo Denki Kagaku)

Thomson SA

20th Century Fox

Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Those are just the groups on the Board of Directors - not to mention the other contributors. Apple joined the board in early 2005 and still doesn't have a device with bluray in it.

Guest said:

Having a Blu-Ray drive for a game system is not just about the movies. I for one am sick of paying for a $60 game and beating in less then a few days because most of the disc is used to make the images look pretty and so the game is short. With a Blu-Ray drive the games can become HUGE and still have beyond awesome graphics. Yeah the movies are becoming cheaper and are great to watch but look at the other advantages of a Blu-Ray disc. More graphics, more content, and more enemies to kill on bigger maps!!!

Guest said:

That's not how it works. Huge beautiful games can fit on a standard DVD.You don't need Blu-Ray for that. Look at Oblivion. And compression and procedural synthesis only improves as time goes on. If a game is short it because the programmers made it short.

Guest said:

Personally, I wouldn't want to use the 360 as a Blu-Ray player (although it is my HD-DVD player). It lacks a very important feature (that I do miss on my HD-DVDs). With it's HDMI 1.2 port, it can't output at 24Hz, which means you don't get the smooth motion that 120Hz TVs offer on Blu-Ray (and HD-DVD) content.

Now, if they release a 360 with a 1.3 (or 1.4) port that will output movies at 24Hz, I would concider this, but with the fantastic Panasonic DMP-BD60 doing 24Hz on both Blu-Rays and DVDs and being fully 2.0 spec at only $140, it would have to be one cheap add-on to get me to buy it.

Guest said:

Totally agree with Guest post on Nov. 4. With the wireless adapter being $100, I can't see M$ charging less than $150 for a Blu Ray option which, given the bottle-necking at its HDMI port, would be a waste of money. Personally, I'm going to invest in a Blu Ray player in my next laptop and use its HDMI port to hook up to my TV. (Perhaps worth noting here that Win7 actually does not have native Blu Ray support seeing as M$ outsourced the Blu Ray playing to Cyberlink so all Win7 Home Premium PCs with Media Player use Power DVD)

RealXboxMaster said:

All of this Blu-Ray news is nothing but HYPE from Sony. MS should focus more on broadband streamin in HD than actual physical meida. The only benefit Blu-Ray has is storage thats it.

Aolish Aolish said:

Depending on how much its going to cost, i'd say getting a PS3 MIGHT be a better bargain. If they charge 150-200$, that's absolutely way to much money for an add-on... I might as well spend a little more for a PS3.

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