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back to article Xbox 360 to go Blu, says Ballmer

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has promised that an external Blu-ray drive is coming to the Xbox 360. During a recent interview on the future of Project Natal, the motion-control system for Xbox. Ballmer was asked if Microsoft plans to put Blu-ray into the games console. Although he told website Gizmodo that he doesn’t know if Blu- …

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I'm starting to like Ballmer

He's doing some sensible with MS's products, like listen to what the money spending crowd want. And before i get the old "downloads are the way forward" bullshit, can i point those persons to 1. Dire broadband in the UK and 2. The popularity of the PGP Go.

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Bod

Integrated

Not sure what the point of integrating it will be unless they plan to have games released on Blu discs, but then you'll have compatibility issues leading to existing users having to buy an external drive to play the latest games. I know where I'd want to tell them to stick it if that was the case.

For movies, no real point. We're starting to see the cheap Chinese BD players now that undercuts the consoles, and some are multi-region. Not sure what MS expect to get out of it. Just shifting the drives can't make them that much I would have thought. The potential for games however could be lucrative. Movies seems unlikely to make them money, especially as they are not a studio owner and don't earn royalties from BD sales, unlike Sony.

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Gates Horns

Java?

Doesn't Blu-ray make use of Java for it's menus and so on? I bet that smarts.

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Stop

So the big questions.

1/ How much will it cost (ontop of the already bank-busting Total Xbox costs).

2/ Will it be able to be used as game storage, or a movie only format?

The second question is the biggest, as if it's movie only, that sucks for all Xbox owners, it does games too, than that sucks for current Xbox owners, as they will get left behind if they don't spend even more Microsoft dollars.

All in, someones gonna be upset over this, there is no happy solution. They could of course make it available for games, but because it;s not standard, it will always be underutilised, like the 360's HDD is...

Every day, the 360 is trying to become more like the PS3, what does that tell you, now that the RRP's are the same? It tells me Sony clearly had the right long-term strategy, and microsoft went for the short term "sell it, and then sell it to them again" strategy.. It demonstrates nicely how Microsoft have royally screwed over gamers this generation.

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makes sence... to little to late tho?

I cant see games being brought out on blu-ray, microsoft cant expect everyone to buy a blu ray drive to play the latest games.

For watching movies, this is a good idea, but wont alot of people need new xbox's because of a lack of HDMI??

Could also cause your system to RROD?

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Anonymous Coward

Once again, Mystic Ballmer demonstrates

that he doesn't know how to differentiate the arse experience from the elbow experience

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Unhappy

Video only?

External drive, so I'm assuming that means you'll only be able to watch films on it?

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Stop

Or not?

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-xbox-bluray-makes-no-sense-blog-entry

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MJI
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Grenade

Already have BluRay on my console

XBox is a bit behind the times.

My console already has BluRay and plays back the discs rather well.

Grenade for Nate to throw at the Russians.

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Grenade

why bother?

blueray missed the bus.

download Hi Def content to my NAS, playback on whatever.

physical media is gone. apart from my vinyl collection. everything else is ripped to my server.

game over blueray.

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Re: Andy 70

When you say "download hi def content", where are you getting this Hi Def content from? There don't seem to be a huge number of legitimate sources for downloading (and keeping) hiDef content.

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FAIL

@Anon 12:10

Nice to see the SDF getting in on this story early.

> Every day, the 360 is trying to become more like the PS3

How? Are they reducing the game catalogue and doubling the price?

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Stop

LOL

Big difference from this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/2009/1/microsoft-blu-ray-never-coming-to-xbox-360-msft

I suppose they fooled enough people into thinking they were safe buying Xbox, and now the plan has changed it doesn't matter...

I bet Sony are happy, with Microsoft paying Blu-Ray royalties.....

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FAIL

@Andy 70

You know that Download HD is not the same as Blu-Ray HD?

The HD bit only determines the resolution, NOT the bitrate, which is equally important (if not more) than resolution alone.

Try taking a 1080P movie and using maximum compression on it to demonstrate my point. Anyone that thinks they are getting a proper HD download service from Apple/Microsoft/Sky/Sony or whoever is being conned. Blu-Ray delivers 30Mbit/Sec. Most download services are more like 4Mbit/sec. using the same compression technologies...

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Flame

What would really make headlines

Hate to say it but pretty much the battle for this generation of consoles is over. Both Sony and M$ will move some more units but will largely stay for the most part tied (which is a coup for also ran M$ and a big fail for the dominator Sony). This story would be much bigger if they said the sorry crappy but super popular WII (sad but sold as many as PS3 and XBOX360 combined) was getting BR. Not that it could really utilize it for games or anything. The WII sucks balls with its shovelware and games for 8 yo kids (lmao best shooter on it is Pokemon snap). The worse part is the next generation of consoles is going to suck because everyone will try to be the next WII. Its great to have a system to cater to kids and non gamers but don't forget who spends the money on DL content and games. I hope someone is smart enough to continue to cater to the 18-35 yo male as that demographic is in demand for many products even if it not the largest group.

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Bod

@MarkOne

Few people need the bandwidth that Blu-Ray provides for HD. Having watched a good few (admittedly less legitimate in some cases) HD TV shows and movies, downloaded, I can assure you that the quality is perfectly adequate for the vast majority on a typical 40" or less HD TV (as most will have). Myself I'd be happy with it for stuff I have a casual interest in, and would splash out on BD for the odd few things I really love (until download bandwidths and storage equals BD, which be honest, will happen).

To me it looks distinctly 'HD' to distinguish it from DVD enough, but even then the majority of the public couldn't give a rats arse about the quality of HD anyway. The real competitor to shiny disc Blu-Ray is download SD. Exactly the same as how crap quality music downloads are competing with better (but still poor) quality CD and better still Vinyl, etc.

i.e. Downloads are still the future. Even if it's crap. Convenience over quality I'm afraid.

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Grenade

@MarkOne

Newsgroups have full Blu-ray disc rips -- no compression... if you're willing to download a 25GB or 50GB file.

/AC for obvious reasons

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FAIL

@Mr Brush

Everyone with any sense knows that it's not about the cost on the box, it's the real cost of the console. And PS3 is actually much cheaper to own than a 360 (and better spec'd too).

The same with games, it's only good games that really count. And PS3 has more good games than any other system (PS2 perhaps excluded there). Sure the 360 has more games, but there is also a huge amount of shovelware. It's only got more games because Microsoft rushed it out early to get those early adopters with it's last-gen specs... (sorry but my PS2 had a DVD and no harddrive or HDMI just like the XBox360).

You fail badly at trolling... You must have worked that by now Microsofts mouthpeices (like yourself) 2006 arguments about the PS3 don't work anymore...

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Terminator

Could be a good thing

If its an external drive allowing movies or for big games (remember they could always release the game on multiple DVDs for those without BR) then where's the problem? If you're in a place with good download for HD content then maybe you won't need it. Otherwise you can get a nice easy way to good HD movies. And to the fanbois STILL arguing about which console is best please for the love of all that is holy GROW UP and follow my patented steps to console happiness:

1. Find out which console has more of the games you like.

2. Buy said console and games

3. Enjoy.

There, that wasn't hard was it?

@Bod: With music I agree with you - sadly people seem happy to ditch anything resembling quality for convenience but with Video I'm not so sure, HD content is proving a big winner for BSkyB (40% rise in Q1 profits!) so there must be some drive from consumers for better video quality.

Terminator: because one day the consoles will rise up and kill us all just to stop the whining

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@MarkOne

Pop over to Metacritic and have a look at the games scoring 90%+ on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Then have a look at Eurogamers series of comparisons on multiplatform titles across the PS3 and Xbox 360 and rule out those that are vastly inferior on the PS3 (due to the hardware limitations, mostly based round the gfx unit and flawed memory allocation). Once you've done that, count the games that are worth having on the PS3 on one of your hands and slink off into the sunset to wonder why it is you fell for the Sony hype again.

The number of games I've owned on each Playstation has steadily decreased as they've come out. If Sony can afford to make a PS4, there will probably only be a couple of games worth having on it, a far cry for the dozens on the PS1 and PS2 that were must buys.

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WTF?

What's the point?

If you want to watch movies you won't do it with a 360 which gives a Eurofighter Typhoon a run for its money in the who is loudest stakes. BD players are falling in price all the time and it won't be long before you can pick up a dedicated BD player for DVD like prices - so unless M$ is going to give them away there really isn't a point in releasing an ugly add on drive.

Sony, despite their stupid pricing model, have got it right. The PS3 has BD incorporated, is damn quiet and fails far less than the 360. I know which one I want under my TV for watching movies and playing games ... except I made the wrong choice and bought a 360. D'oh!

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