Thursday, March 13, 2008

Left Hand Not Talking

Another bizarre Microsoft stance (note the "already" comment)...

The Channel Wire
March 13, 2008

Windows to Get Blu-ray, Not Xbox

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer last week confirmed that Microsoft Windows will support Blu-ray, but the same can't be said of Xbox.

Microsoft is not in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to bring the high-definition DVD technology to the Xbox 360 game console, Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, told Reuters Wednesday, scuttling rumors that Microsoft was already in discussions to license Blu-ray for Xbox.

Gamers have been on pins and needles waiting to see whether Microsoft would shift allegiances to Blu-ray after revealing at the end of February that it will no longer make high-def players based on Blu-ray's rival, HD DVD. Blu-ray won the high-def crown after Toshiba, the main backer of HD DVD, admitted defeat in the format war.

Ballmer at Microsoft's MIX08 last week confirmed that Microsoft will support Blu-ray, at least on Windows. "I want to make sure there's the right support. We've already been working on, for example, in Windows device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like," Ballmer said.

Ballmer also said that, while it might be important for Xbox 360 to have a DVD player today, more HD content could eventually be pushed over the Internet rather than delivered in a physical format.

"Today, I think it is actually pretty important to have some kind of drive. Five years from now, it may not make a bit of difference," Ballmer said.

According to Greenberg, that's the direction Microsoft is leaning by continuing to invest in its Xbox Live online content service, which already allows users to rent high-def movies.
"We're the only console offering digital distribution of entertainment content," Greenberg said.