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XBOX 360 Finally Getting Blu-ray

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 39 comments

After months of rumors and denials, the XBOX 360 with a Blu-ray disc drive is due to be manufactured soon and shipped in Q3 of 2008. Pegatron Technology, an OEM subsidiary of Asustek Computer, is reported to have received the winning order from Microsoft for a Blu-ray equipped XBOX 360.

Earlier reports cited Lite-On as the company with the privilege of building the new console for Microsoft. Lite-On is also currently one of the suppliers of the internal DVD drive fro the XBOX 360.

One of the strong points for Sony’s Playstation 3 has been the integrated Blu-ray player. The PS3 had the ability to draw both gamers and audio/video enthusiast, and this was proving to be a major advantage over its XBOX rival. It is estimated that 85% of Blu-ray players in use are PS3s. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer had admitted that Microsoft had been working on support for Blu-ray under Windows during this year’s Mix08 conference. Rumors began to swirl and many began to expect Microsoft to announce a Blu-ray peripheral for the XBOX 360.

However, Microsoft came out and denied all rumors, stating that they were not exploring any kind of Blu-ray add-on or in talks with Sony about integrating Blu-ray into the XBOX experience. The software giant stated they would continue to invest in its XBOX Live online service as the means of high-definition content delivery. Toshiba received a crushing blow earlier this year at CES that Warner Brothers would be Blu-ray exclusive. This eventually led to Toshiba withdrawing from the HD format war and the demise of the XBOX 360’s HD-DVD add-on. It is interesting to note that sales of the XBOX 360 lagged behind Sony’s PS3 in the month of February, the same month Toshiba withdrew.

Many expected the death of HD-DVD would trigger a growth in Blu-ray hardware sales. However, to the dismay of the industry, acceptance and adoption of Blu-ray has been dismal.

The PS3 is one of the cheapest (relatively speaking) Blu-ray players available — and you get the console thrown in for good measure.

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  • 1 Hide
    1971Rhino , May 2, 2008 8:16 PM
    Well I was getting ready to take the plunge with a PS3 since my 360's HD drive is essentially a boat anchor, although I have about 20 HD DVD titles. Of course the article says "Xbox 360 consoles equipped with a Blu-ray Disc (BD)-ROM drive" so that makes it look like there won't be an add on box like the HD-DVD drive. So if they don't make an add an drive for Blu Ray current 360 owners get screwed again!
  • 1 Hide
    iron-e , May 2, 2008 8:31 PM
    I hope they make an add-on. My Hitachi 57'' rp hdtv doesn't have hdmi though I doubt that MPAA would allow blue-ray without HDCP.

  • 0 Hide
    deathrage4life , May 2, 2008 8:57 PM
    Thats dumb!
    cant sony do anything about it? it might kill ps3s sales unless there at the same price range.
  • -4 Hide
    o-ooo-o , May 2, 2008 9:45 PM
    Blue-ray can go to Hell.
  • 1 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , May 2, 2008 10:24 PM
    I have both, so I'm not worried.
    I believe that in the future discs will no longer be neccessary, downloadable content will rule the day. Why clutter my small apartment with discs and boxes when I could just fill up a hard drive.
  • -3 Hide
    Blackopsninja , May 3, 2008 1:06 AM
    it might kill ps3 sales? HA sony did that all by themselfs LOL
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 3, 2008 7:32 PM
    Well I havent bought a XBOX yet but I do have the add-on HD drive for my PC so now with it coming with BD then I think I will get that with the HD add on drive I will have a dual player which will be sweet for some of the HD DVD titles I already own.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 4, 2008 11:28 AM
    Even if they did release X360 internal bluray drive, no games are released on bluray discs. PS3 can benefit all the storage capacity BD provides, along with the quaranteed harddrive ecosystem. So this is not so big thing for X0 gamers.
  • 0 Hide
    wingsofzion , May 4, 2008 4:39 PM
    Here is why Sony won't be worried. The big difference between PS3 and 360 is that Sony is actually making their games on Blue-Ray disc and 360 won't be able to till the next generation of Xbox system. Why? Because then they'll alienate the over 20 MILLION 360 owners who's system's won’t be able to play a 360 Blue Ray game. And what does that spell? Instant disaster. Current 360 games are made on standard DVD's and a firmware upgrade will not magically allow current 360's to play Blue-Ray games, the drives in the current systems would have to be physically taken out and replaced with blue-ray drives in order to do that. And that is why the PS3 will rule over 360 because devs have more room to play with on a PS3 game than a 360 game because of blue ray (MGS4 for example is over 40GB on a single disc). So Sony has nothing to sweat because this move my Microsoft is their way of trying to play catch up while the PS3 will continue to sell. Them going to Blue-ray is just another instance of Sony one upping them once again.
  • 0 Hide
    cisco , May 4, 2008 7:54 PM
    RADIO_ACTIVEI have both, so I'm not worried.I believe that in the future discs will no longer be neccessary, downloadable content will rule the day. Why clutter my small apartment with discs and boxes when I could just fill up a hard drive.


    Downloadable content is the way Microsoft wants to go, and I will fight it all the way. They would love downloadable content, no longer giving a person a hard copy. Hey I haven't seen that movie can I borrow it? Nope it on my hard drive, so you'll have to watch it here and only on this t.v. Oh wait, my hard drive crashed last week so I'll have to buy it again before you can see it. People are idiots if they buy into downloadable content. It's not meant to improve your experience, it's to increase profits. Any small benefit to the end user is negated by its drawbacks.
  • 0 Hide
    wingsofzion , May 4, 2008 8:23 PM
    Well downloadable games vs downloadable content are two big different things. Content usually isn't that big, biggest DLC i ever downloaded off Live was 500MB or so. Now if Microsoft and Sony enter the age of giving players the option to download games from them direct then that'll take alot of effort plus it'll kill stores like Best Buy and EB Games. Why pre-order when you can just download the game from home. Good for us yes, bad for them. Also unless MS and Sony decide to increase the storage space of thier game consoles, downloading whole games from them is pointless. 40 to 80GB offered by sony and 20 and 120GB (120GB on the Xbox Elite) is very little especially when games these days are 8GB to 40GB big (MGS4 for instance). So if the average game is 8GB big on a 20GB drive you can only fit 2 games on your HDD. PC games can get away with it with services Direct2Drive or Steam, but consoles games are far far away from offering whole games to be downloaded directly from the console makers.
  • -3 Hide
    Christopher1 , May 4, 2008 11:12 PM
    Well, downloading games is already killing the game stores, as is the ability to buy from sites like Amazon for quite a bit less than a game will cost in the stores.

    Personally, I have NEVER, EVER had a hard drive crash. Not even the 10 year old one in my 1992 Packard Bell computer.
    People who have hard drives crashes are an infinitesimal amount of people, and frankly.... I thought Microsoft allowed you to redownload things if you have bought them as long as you are using the same console. It was supposed to be locked to the CONSOLE, not the hard drive because Microsoft knew that people would have catastrophic failures of them sooner or later.
  • 0 Hide
    traviso , May 5, 2008 2:13 PM
    I still haven't heard an official (or MS employee blog) announcement of BluRay in the Xbox 360. Has it crossed anybody's minds that MS is merely setting up hardware deals for the next Xbox, which they are working on and will arrive Nov 2010 (unless MS doesn't want to be a year ahead of PS4 and releases at the same time in 2011).
  • 0 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , May 5, 2008 3:05 PM
    ciscoDownloadable content is the way Microsoft wants to go, and I will fight it all the way. They would love downloadable content, no longer giving a person a hard copy. Hey I haven't seen that movie can I borrow it? Nope it on my hard drive, so you'll have to watch it here and only on this t.v. Oh wait, my hard drive crashed last week so I'll have to buy it again before you can see it. People are idiots if they buy into downloadable content. It's not meant to improve your experience, it's to increase profits. Any small benefit to the end user is negated by its drawbacks.

    This is not true I share files (movies, pictures, etc.)
  • 0 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , May 5, 2008 3:08 PM
    wingsofzionWell downloadable games vs downloadable content are two big different things. Content usually isn't that big, biggest DLC i ever downloaded off Live was 500MB or so. Now if Microsoft and Sony enter the age of giving players the option to download games from them direct then that'll take alot of effort plus it'll kill stores like Best Buy and EB Games. Why pre-order when you can just download the game from home. Good for us yes, bad for them. Also unless MS and Sony decide to increase the storage space of thier game consoles, downloading whole games from them is pointless. 40 to 80GB offered by sony and 20 and 120GB (120GB on the Xbox Elite) is very little especially when games these days are 8GB to 40GB big (MGS4 for instance). So if the average game is 8GB big on a 20GB drive you can only fit 2 games on your HDD. PC games can get away with it with services Direct2Drive or Steam, but consoles games are far far away from offering whole games to be downloaded directly from the console makers.

    Well personally I do not care about GIANT CORPORATIONS like Bestbuy, GameStop. I plan on downloading Age Of Conan before it release and before I the box and disc. Hence I pre-ordered it and will be able to play 3 days before the retail release. Download WINS...
  • 0 Hide
    jdavenport , May 5, 2008 3:20 PM
    How many people actually watch a movie multiple times. I have seen multiple movies over and over. Only because they were on network TV. I rent a movie and then never watch it again except for network showings. Think of downloaded content that way. If your keeping a library of DVD's consider that library of VHS tapes so many are trying to convert to DVD. Download it, rent it, borrow it, then forget it.
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    coreyandj , May 5, 2008 4:32 PM
    Hard drive failures will be a thing of the past. Single State Drives are going to take over the market soon. Downloaded content is here to stay, there will still be options to buy at the store for people who do not have a good internet conncetion.
  • 1 Hide
    Zanko , May 5, 2008 5:45 PM
    Sorry to say it but no, downlaoded content will enver fully take over, that would shut out a lot of retailers, also you can't share. Try and download a game on a Wii and transfer it to anohter Wii, it doesn't work because why would they let you download it if you can just take it wherever and make copies? I still see music CDs around and people thought downloading music was going to take over. Sorry but it won't happen. XBOX might do it but it will be a draw back. Also you mean Solid State Drives?
  • 0 Hide
    chaseacej , May 5, 2008 7:06 PM
    Microsoft denied the claim.
  • 1 Hide
    the_stiffmeister , May 5, 2008 7:21 PM
    blackopsninjait might kill ps3 sales? HA sony did that all by themselfs LOL


    If Microsoft build a 360 with an integrated blu-ray it may dent sales of the PS3 but Sony will be getting a share of the sale of 360. You don't think people can just start building blu-ray drives and shipping them without some kind of licensing agreement from Sony (LOL). I would love to see the faces of the chief's at Microsoft though for getting it all wrong and knowing that in the future everytime someone buys a 360 a percentage goes to their bitter rivals. If they had shipped the 360 with an integrated HD drive to start with I doubt Sony would have won. Just think how many people would have a HD drive and would therefore be buying the HD disks.
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