Microsoft: Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format

By on September 23, 2010, 1:08 PM
Microsoft is reinforcing its stance regarding Blu-ray: even though HD DVD lost the war, the software giant is not switching to Sony's offering. Despite constant rumors about the Xbox 360 supporting the format, Microsoft continues to deny that Blu-ray is coming to its gaming console. Now, the software giant has gone one step further, predicting that Blu-ray is going to die a slow death.

Microsoft was recently asked about the DVD format holding the Xbox 360 back in terms of its lifespan, suggesting that embracing Blu-ray would have been a better long-term solution. "I think people now recognise what a smart decision it was to keep the pricing low, and actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format," UK Xbox head Stephen McGill told Xbox 360 Achievements. "People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?"

It appears that the departure from focusing on HD physical media early on forced the Xbox team to look towards digital downloads for future products. Now, the company says streaming HD content defeats the need for Blu-ray. While streaming content is definitely the future, and will eventually kill physical media, we're thinking Blu-ray isn't going away anytime soon: discs and players are selling just fine. Furthermore, there are still many consumers who find themselves on a capped Internet connection, and if they want HD, Blu-Ray is still the way to go.

Many people are seeing this stance from Microsoft as a demonstration to side with Apple, which also hates on Blu-ray, but the fact is the company has always been against Blu-ray due to its fight in the console market with Sony. Interestingly, Microsoft recently used Blu-ray as one of many arguments against Apple's Macs.





User Comments: 38

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sounds like a big case of sour grapes, along with an attempt at a marketing spin. Seriously, why would we think Microsoft are the experts in what formats will or will not survive? Fact is, the Blu-Ray is a big selling point in favor of the PS3 vs Xbox, so of course they are trying to downplay the importance. Easier to do that than to actually get a grasp on the reality of the internet broadband marketplace, and maybe realize that not everybody has the speed and reliability needed for streaming HD content. That day may be a long while off yet, so Blu-Ray will survive just fine in the interim period.

fullmetalvegan fullmetalvegan said:

I never bothered getting Blu-ray because it had very little (and in my experience, no difference over HD). I'll wait for the next format that actually does something different thank you very much. ^_^

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

MS putting their foot in it's mouth for the second time in a week. Blu-ray is exploding right now - just take a look at the daily sales Amazon.com, Borders and all the other distributors have going on. Plus all the new releases and blu-ray conversions of older movies. It's happening by the hundreds each week. I just saw an ad for the entire TV Twilight Zone collection from the early 60's now available on blu-ray. I'll be all over that as soon as it comes down in price...

MS - as per usual - is just trying to push their own agenda and making themselves look foolish while doing it.

tengeta tengeta said:

I don't personally see a future for the format and I have yet to use it unless I'm hooking a player up for someone and want to test it out. That said, its still foolish for Microsoft to do this because they could expand their system and interest in it. In the console world, discs still have a needed use and place.

MrAnderson said:

It's all business. MS continues to downplay Blu-ray because it saves them face. They really don't need it for this generation after making it this far... they are making use of the console HD. It would only server to increase costs where profit no is steady. Apple probably does not do blu-ray because it will cut into their profit margins because they cannot justify raising the price on their systems for cost of hardware and software drivers.

DVDs took a while to come to PCs. I remember it took forever for games to be released on one DVD instead of 6 CD. Fortunatley general software still fits on DVD. The PC will just have to take the market share for Blu-ray authoring, somthing Apple might regret at another time. Their customers don't seem vocal enough to force their hand or have since found alternate solutions.

Guest said:

Microsoft: Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format

Coming from the people who brought you Vista.

IamBD said:

Apple doesnt like it (even though they are on the Blu Ray association) because they want to sell you a movie on iTunes. Microsoft doesnt like because of ego. To tell you the truth though, there is no way streams on apple tv can compete with 1080p DTS-HD movies, and the download all that for your 360 would take a while and probably cap out your bandwith after a couple of movies.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

What are they smoking? Please share MS!

Even with my 100/100mbps connection it would take 1 hour and 7 minutes to download a full Bluray

50000MB / 12.5MB = 4000s / 60 = 66,666 minutes

Now lets say an average movie is 2 hours long, that means to stream this movie while you play it back would require a connection speed of 56mbps (and I'm not taking TCP/IP overhead into account here)

Last time I checked the world population did not have an internet connection that averaged above 50mbps

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If you think about it, CDs are already on their way out as a music format, and they've only really been around for about 20 years.

DVDs are also on their way out, and their lifespan has been even shorter.

It may be sour grapes, but they do have a point.

Content already is worth more than the medium, so its basically about getting the content to the consumer. BD disks are the best way right now, but I doubt they'll have the lifespan of the DVD.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Yeah - I'm with you Per - I would love to see some of this full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. That guy is out of his mind - anyone who can't tell the difference between Youtube 1080p vids and Bluray sourced media shouldn't have an HDTV.

Chazz said:

I used to be an avid movie collector until Blue Ray came out. It's just not affordable anymore at 30 bucks a movie, not in the numbers I typically buy in. I stick to netflix streaming and download.

Not saying MS is right, Blue Ray should be used on their next system, but for movies..I'm not interested.

Richy2k9 said:

hello...

sorry, been quite silent lately (what a relief must have been!) ...

i just hope i won't sound fanboyish here, but i admit i agree with most of your comments for this particular issue.

1st - MS can't accept blu-ray for would admit defeat, but should keep it low in order not to sound foolish

2nd - It is too early for big digital distribution, for music it's OK, the files are rather small, DVD quality even if good is far behind the 1080p HD format & some movies being 50 Gb, Blu-ray wins

3rd - Someone should experience blu-ray before comparing it, i pity the children of MS people, for i read once that their parents wouldn't allow 'em to use the competitors' devices. (humm, bill gates kids can't play on PS3 & watch blu-ray movies ... oh yeah seriously!) ...

4th - the format has a future, for it already has a present, the net won't be ready for high quality movie streaming for @ least 10 years & we will see upgrade in quality of video contents again that will need more space or compression method & in the blu-rays or any other high capacity optical storage would be cheaper options.

5 - Blu-ray movies are as cheap as $13 & the qualilty for bothe video & audio, while being 'almost' scratch-proof makes 'em for collectors (I want an Airwolf collection, if ONLY they would remaster! :P )

It's about time people from MS shut their mouth & let time decide whether they were right for till now they look just unrealistic today.

cheers!

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For home use and or purchase, Bluray is it right now, and will be for a while. Digitally downloading a 25-50GB movie on a connection with a cap makes it very hard to even consider, the only thing I see surpassing Bluray is flash memory. I can see this being a good way to rent high definition video as an example. Go to your video store (That you already have an account setup with and have a Flash Memory stick) Download the video onto your Flash key (obviously lots of DRM will be implemented for obvious reasons) get home watch it and repeat. Thats never going to happen tho because its just too convenient. Honestly MS should stop who ever is responsible for they're press releases and fire them too. If this stupidity continues I think I'm going to have to stop paying for MS products all together...

alcarin2030 alcarin2030 said:

Per Hansson said:

What are they smoking? Please share MS!

Even with my 100/100mbps connection it would take 1 hour and 7 minutes to download a full Bluray

50000MB / 12.5MB = 4000s / 60 = 66,666 minutes

Now lets say an average movie is 2 hours long, that means to stream this movie while you play it back would require a connection speed of 56mbps (and I'm not taking TCP/IP overhead into account here)

Last time I checked the world population did not have an internet connection that averaged above 50mbps

Streaming full HD in no way requires 56mpbps. I stream HD content all the time on 15mbps. Even back with my parents on 6mbps I streamed HD. Your argument is flawed.

alcarin2030 alcarin2030 said:

lncpapa said:

Yeah - I'm with you Per - I would love to see some of this full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. That guy is out of his mind - anyone who can't tell the difference between Youtube 1080p vids and Bluray sourced media shouldn't have an HDTV.

I do it all the time. Media is naturally going to "pre load" faster than you can watch it.

Guest said:

laugh not to sound like an *** but you have no clue what you are talking about alcarin, hansson is 100% correct.

Try steaming a Blu ray movie on your 15mbps connection while trying to watch it and then comeback and comment here again.

Chazz said:

You guys know that the movie portions of the blue ray disc(english and subtitles) are around 10-15 gigs right? All the extras are what adds up to this massive 50GB file size( I say 50, when in reality it's around 25-30 gigs).

15000MB/12.5MB=1200s/60=20 minutes.

@ Richy's point # 5. You mean the crappy movies right? When it comes to shopping for movies on blue ray. Shopping for decent blu ray movies can only be done on black friday or some other type of amazing sale. Even the "tuesday specials" for Blu Ray movies aren't good like they were for DVD. Grabbing very old movies for cheap is nice and all, but when it comes to the more current stuff the price rises. Taking the fun out of the hobby completely.

Video games on the other hand take up quite a bit of data and Microsoft needs to do something different for their next-gen system. I understand they don't want to pay their competitor but dual-layered DVDs are being stretched far too thin.

Guest said:

Coming from the people who brought us MS-DOS, Windows 3.1/NT,95,98,2000,XP,Server 03/08,HS,7, Office etc...

tonylukac said:

Netflix doesn't even stream in 1080p. What are they talking about? Last time I checked it was 720p. Then, once more, who has the bandwidth or lacks the cap?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

For those talking about blu-rays running $30 a pop, you obviously haven't been shopping lately. I routinely buy blu-rays for $10 and often for less. I just bought the blu-ray Blues Brothers the other day for $8.99. In general, they're still more expensive then DVD's, but not by much and the prices are dropping rapidly. If you take the time to look, the sales are there.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

@ Chazz - You see TomSea is confirming this :P

I do buy new blu-rays at around 13 - 25$ online, for in my part of the world they are indeed @ $30, but that's another story.

MS being reluctant about blu-ray for a gaming machine, i think this is where it fails.

@ Adhmuz - i once stated this idea, but flash memory cost more & so can ONLY be used the way you said, i.e., you as a customer, you go & download off kiosks/ etc. For streaming, local servers can help but the companies need to invest in each & every country they want to do business & finally it will still mean a high risk for piracy. I do believe that someday everyone would go around with really high capacity cards & buy/download digital contents from various shops/kiosks with subscription or not.

Still, movies / games & everything multimedia would need more & more space, it evolves, time showed that.

I just hope MS do find a good alternative to the 500Gb-TB sized Blu-rays coming soon, for i intend to have each console from most manufacturers next-gen along a gaming PC :P

cheers!

Guest said:

I really think you are all missing the point here. Ask yourself what is MS really going to gain from this? Imagine an Xbox with only a hard drive. You can only download content from Xbox Live. No more media means no more contending with the second hand market. No more renting from Gamefly or borrowing a friends copy to play for a week. It will now cost you to down load a game and you'll never be able to sell it on EBay. It's the same with new movie releases. Big corporations are in business to make money, period. Of course if this hypothetical new Xbox is resisted by the consumers and Sony takes over the console market with the PlayStation IV then I'll bet you they'll be adding a blue-ray player real fast, i.e. that Vista flop a couple of years ago. Who's the ***** now, Microsoft?

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Geez with that logic, no wonder the Xbox had such a huge failure rate they were probably waiting for the next generation of cooling fans to!

LightHeart said:

I think they have a point that before too long other methods will be used for getting data. It may take a while yet to have affordable, reliable, high speed internet access however that is the way things are going. Many companies are betting on "the cloud", Microsoft being one of them which makes them rely on internet access. Before too long BluRay will be like CDs are now, still out there but just not used as much.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

You guys know that the movie portions of the blue ray disc(english and subtitles) are around 10-15 gigs right? All the extras are what adds up to this massive 50GB file size( I say 50, when in reality it's around 25-30 gigs).

15000MB/12.5MB=1200s/60=20 minutes.

When was the last time you ripped a bluray disk? The feature portion of the disk can easily reach 25-30GB without the extras.

@Others who've posted in this thread - I think some of you have proven my earlier statement about not being able to tell the difference between a youtube 1080p stream and a good HD source.

Make friends with iNetVideo.com if you want some cheap bluray vids - and keep an eye out at the constant stream of specials from BB and other brick & mortars.

I agree that optical disk is on its last legs - and it's probable that bluray will be the end of it... but I don't think there's currently a viable alternative for audio and videophiles.

Chazz said:

I used rip them all of the time. I've never had a movie greater than 15 gigs. I'm talking Avatar, dark night, pirates of the caribbean, district 9, 9, iron man,and watchmen. a ton of newer movies that would take better advantage than something digitally remastered. This is, as I said, with subtitles and audio.

@richy: Blues brothers is a decade old. I'm aware that old movies are cheap.

30 dollars is the max that I've seen them recently but 25 isn't that far off. The cheapest I can find Iron Man 2 is 20 bucks and I'll admit thats cheaper than I expected but that's after checking 9 sites. For someone that used to wlk into target and walmart and buy 4 DVDs a week, thats not good enough. Once the price comes down further then I'll be interested.

I'm just saying, in my personal experience, I went from move aficionado to the casual theater showing and occasional download. My excitement over blu ray died years ago, maybe in another year or two it'll be decent.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree that optical disk is on its last legs - and it's probable that bluray will be the end of it... but I don't think there's currently a viable alternative for audio and videophiles.

Not far from the truth, if I had a good connection (like PH described earlier) I wouldn't even bother about any optical drive in my PC ..... but for now I do need it, and it doesn't bother me that it isn't a blue ray, perhaps I'll be among the last few who are holding out for something better, or else BR to get dirt cheap like DVDs are. Beside, if I like a movie, I prefer to watch it in cinema anyway instead of being a couch potato

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I'm lazy and surprisingly not fat, but a couch potato nonetheless so I dump lots of cash into my home theater and prefer to watch things at home. I'll go to the movies occasionally, but having small kids limits how often I can do that. I'd like to call myself an audio and videophile, but in truth I don't spend nearly the amount of money I used to on AV stuff so I'm more of a fan than fanatic these days - maybe when I start my midlife crisis I'll be back

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

maybe when I start my midlife crisis I'll be back

Perhaps you may choose to buy an motorcycle to celebrate the occasion?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Not a bike - but a sports car for sure. And whatever is the biggest TV I can get under $10k at that time.

Giwrgos said:

Blue ray....why don't they just make 3D like in the movies?it would be awesome...

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@LNCPapa

sports car, ..... considering that you are in NC, will it be a muscle car?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Maybe the next format will be solid state, cartridge type things. There are already 64GB SD cards, sure they are insanely expensive. But 32 GB ones are about 1/4 the price, so waiting for them to drop to 'reasonable' levels might not be too long. If a 64 GB one could get down to less than $20, then movies might start appearing on them. Some Blurays are already $40, get the SD Card version for $45-50 and it would never scratch..

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That is a very good point SNG, that may give these companies some leverage as well with regard to implementation of DRM or other restrictive options.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I can't bloody stand Microsoft and their ego...(Writing this on a windows 7 OS.. lol)

teklord teklord said:

The next HD optical format after Blu-ray may not be too far away but I still think MS should embrace it for it's next-gen game system before the next format is released. Until fast internet connections are easily accessible to all people, they will still need the physical disc because they don't want to wait days for one movie download.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Maybe the next format will be solid state, cartridge type things. There are already 64GB SD cards, sure they are insanely expensive. But 32 GB ones are about 1/4 the price, so waiting for them to drop to 'reasonable' levels might not be too long. If a 64 GB one could get down to less than $20, then movies might start appearing on them. Some Blurays are already $40, get the SD Card version for $45-50 and it would never scratch..
Here we'd be going "Back to the Future" so to speak. After all, isn't this what the Atari 2600 was all about?

I actually think that we spend too much time nitpicking the reproduction quality, and not enough nitpicking the content. To be sure, VHS is no longer watchable, (for the most part), since we've been spoiled by HD. But DVD, with (upconversion), is still great stuff. As for all the BS "premium content" that Blu-Ray has to offer, I find that you can only watch a "making off" featurette a maximum of once. Well, unless the ingenue is next to naked. Beyond that, they usually manage to ruin the "suspension of disbelief" effect altogether, with the "how we did that shot" shorts. Call me foolish, but I still want to believe the the planet "Pandora", actually exists.

Many of us spend so much time talking about quality, and then stand around trying to watch Hi-def content on a smart phone. That's paradoxical, if not outright idiotic.

Oh, and I'd still like to point out, if we let the optical disc die, due to laziness and complacency, then the content providers have us exactly where they've been trying to herd us for years, right where they can control the content, and make you pay the max for it.

Guest said:

Ha Microsoft is so silly. As a gamer and an owner of their console I have to say they are making a mistake. Blu Ray is good. And in the future they really are going to be taking a dive for this. But I am sure they do not care considering that they have enough money that a loss in the Blu Ray market is barely going to hurt them. Way to go Microsoft. If game developers would just start making games for Linux based computers I could finally stop using their retarded OS lol.

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