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Why Microsoft Won't Have Blu-ray on the Xbox 395

Ian Lamont writes "Ever since Toshiba stopped production of HD DVD players, many Xbox 360 owners have been wondering when Microsoft will offer some sort of Blu-ray option for the Xbox 360. The answer: Probably never. Microsoft's product manager for the Xbox 360 has told Reuters that Microsoft is not in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association. Why not? The Industry Standard points to HDi, an obscure Microsoft technology that was part of the HD DVD interactivity layer. HDi may be dead on physical media, but it could potentially be applied to other Microsoft HD-compatible technologies such as Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Media Center, and be part of a long-term play to own a big share of the market for HD content delivered over the Internet."
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Why Microsoft Won't Have Blu-ray on the Xbox

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  • by New_Age_Reform_Act ( 1256010 ) * on Monday March 24, 2008 @11:56AM (#22845606) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever seen Microsoft Office for Linux (w/o any emulator like Wine)?

    Nobody is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor (or backed by a direct comepetitor) . Microsoft & Sony are direct competitors.
    • by fructose ( 948996 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @11:59AM (#22845640) Homepage
      So that's why we can't get iTunes on a PC. Oh, wait...
      • by tmcfulton ( 1245028 ) <thing@place.com> on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:18PM (#22845880)
        Apple just didn't want to miss out on 85% of the computer market. If Microsoft didn't have a near-monopoly, there wouldn't be iTunes for PC.
        • by mweather ( 1089505 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:38PM (#22847152)
          And Microsoft wants to miss out on 100% of the HD movie market? They're not dumb enough to think downloadable content is going to be a competitor any time soon. And if consumers buy separate blu-ray players, they'll buy the cheapest one: the PS3. And that cuts into 360 game sales.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tempestdata ( 457317 )
          I think what he was trying to say was, companies bow down and embrace competitor's products when it makes financial sense. Just like Apple didn't want to miss out on 85% of the computer market, Microsoft may not want to miss out on % of the HD movie market.
      • by Locutus ( 9039 )

        So that's why we can't get iTunes on a PC. Oh, wait...
        This does not make any sense, Apples iTunes is not from Microsoft. The story is about Microsoft providing Blu-ray for the Xbox, not a 3rd party providing it.

        • by imamac ( 1083405 )

          This does not make any sense, Apples iTunes is not from Microsoft. The story is about Microsoft providing Blu-ray for the Xbox, not a 3rd party providing it.
          Nope. You missed it. The comment was in response to the statement that nobody would support something for a competitor. Microsoft and Apple are the last time I checked...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Geoff ( 968 )
          So you're saying Microsoft wouldn't put out a product on a competitor platform, like, say, Microsoft Office on Mac OS X?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kelz ( 611260 )
      In the console market. Sony makes a crapload of other things, and Microsoft's presumably main business is it's OS and Office software. Always seems weird to me that companies can get so huge as to be direct partners with a company in one division and direct competitors with the same company in another.
    • Correction! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:00PM (#22845648)
      No monopolist is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor. Plenty of other companies do so. Toshiba, Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung all directly compete in many of their core markets. Yet they also often adopt and support technologies developed by one another. The difference? None of them are monopolies and accustomed to monopolistic control in a market.
      • Re:Correction! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sawbones ( 176430 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:37PM (#22846168)

        No monopolist is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor...The difference? None of them are monopolies and accustomed to monopolistic control in a market.
        That's just a bit of hyperbole there, don't you think? Microsoft was part of the list HD DVD backers - who's members [hddvdprg.com] contain more than a few direct competitors (Corel competes as directly as possible with Office). Nothing is quite as cut and dry as you're making it out - after all, sony still makes computers that run windows, don't they?
      • by mrvan ( 973822 )
        And we knew it, too! At least, of us! [slashdot.org]...
    • by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:07PM (#22845732)
      OS X is much more of a competitor to Windows than Linux, and last time I checked (on friday), my work computer (an iMac running Leopard) had a current version of MS Office on it.
      • by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:29PM (#22846036) Homepage
        OS X is much more of a competitor to Windows than Linux,

        No. You can't (legally or easily) load OS X onto your generic or HP, Dell or Lenovo PC. OS X only runs on Apple hardware, therefore it does not compete with Windows in the non-Apple hardware space. Linux does.
        • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:32PM (#22846084) Homepage Journal

          No. You can't (legally or easily) load OS X onto your generic or HP, Dell or Lenovo PC. OS X only runs on Apple hardware, therefore it does not compete with Windows in the non-Apple hardware space. Linux does.

          I don't think many people buy hardware based upon the binary "Apple or non-Apply hardware?" decision point. OS X absolutely is a competitor to Windows, regardless of whether it implicitly binds additional decision points.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AJWM ( 19027 )
            OS X absolutely is a competitor to Windows

            Only in the initial purchase of hardware, which is not the context of the discussion. The great(n)-grandparent post wondered why Microsoft would create a version of Office for Mac but not for Linux.

            Once the Mac sale is made, making Office available for it increases the potential pool of Office sales without hurting Windows sales. Making Office available for Linux could have a severe impact on Windows sales. If it were possible to install OS X on a (non-Apple) PC
        • by node 3 ( 115640 )

          OS X is much more of a competitor to Windows than Linux,

          No. You can't (legally or easily) load OS X onto your generic or HP, Dell or Lenovo PC. OS X only runs on Apple hardware, therefore it does not compete with Windows in the non-Apple hardware space. Linux does.

          You can't say "no" about what someone says, and then change the scope of what they said.

          OS X very much *does* compete with Windows. When people buy a computer, the question is "PC or a Mac?" which, as it applies to the OS, is "Windows or Mac OS X?". An absolutely miniscule number of people who buy a PC, also ask themselves "Windows or Linux?".

          The original scope was not how much of a competitor Mac OS X is with Windows "in the non-Apple hardware space". It was not qualified in any way at all, except for the

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )
      And why shall we really care about the XBox 360 anyway?

      It's yesterday now and we are waiting for the next big thing in gaming...

      And maybe the next game console won't have any drive at all, instead it will download the games over the net on demand since everybody have broadband. - Eh right?

      And why not save the game setup on a central server where you pay a yearly fee for the account?

  • Doesn't make sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spleen_blender ( 949762 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @11:58AM (#22845630)
    Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jfbilodeau ( 931293 )
      Because they want to push their own standard.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But their standard is completely dead now it seems, and to keep pushing for it is incomprehensible. I mean, they have to be more intelligent than that, right?! Although, as usual I'll expect my assumptions on the level of intelligence of others to be sadly disproven.
        • I don't know... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by keirre23hu ( 638913 ) <j2k4real@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:21PM (#22845920) Homepage
          Reading the article (yes foreign for slashdot) it says that they can use the HDi for other things. My money says they're planning some form of distribution down to the road via X-Box live perhaps? Especially now that vendors like NetFlix do online video rental.

          Of course, with HD content you have the not so insignificant issue of transferring many Gigabytes of data for any feature length content, and how many of them could you store on a stock 360?

          In any case, this is probably a boneheaded move destined to backfire.
        • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:26PM (#22846010) Homepage Journal

          But their standard is completely dead now it seems, and to keep pushing for it is incomprehensible.

          HD-DVD is indeed completely dead, and Microsoft has stopped manufacturing the HD-DVD add-on (more correctly they no longer Toshiba to make it for them). Microsoft knows that HD-DVD as a physical format is dead.

          However XBox Live! isn't dead, nor is traditional DVD. The former has great future potential (it, and similar services like iTunes movies, aren't something I'm interested in because the bitrate is going to remain far too low until the end-to-end infrastructure of the internet is dramatically improved, but it's good enough for a lot of people), and the latter is easily good enough for most consumers.

          So no, their "standard" isn't dead. DVD is easily going to be dominant until the next generation of game machines, possibly even to the one after that. And then there comes a point where optical media doesn't even matter anymore.

          Really this is all rather silly. Microsoft barely supported HD-DVD. Why do people think they're going to rush and support Blu-ray, especially given that the technical requirements of Blu-ray guarantee that such an add-on would be very pricey: How can you compete with Sony that is already selling a full game machine with Blu-ray at less than the cost of a competing companies stand-alone, no-game-machine-included players.
        • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:00PM (#22846530)

          But their standard is completely dead now it seems, and to keep pushing for it is incomprehensible. I mean, they have to be more intelligent than that, right?!
          The fact that they lost this one does not mean they will be willing to chance the loss of their position in the market with Windows. They exist only because Windows exists and believe it or not, Blu-ray is a platform threat to Windows. Also remember that Microsoft only "supports" products which are Windows platform lock-ins. They tolerate others doing things on their platform only until those vendors products become a threat or start enabling capabilities on other platforms. One thing about Blu-ray Microsoft despises is its menu system is implemented in Java and every Blu-ray device ships with embedded Java in it.

          Check this out and look for the word "pawn" in it:
          http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03096.pdf [slated.org]

          So thinking that Microsoft will do what the market asks and help a potential threat to their existence is asking a very lot of Microsoft. They've never done this without either a way to own or destroy the cross-platform capabilities or a way to force their own product(s) onto the market. Microsoft's profits in a market sector have been traded many many times for protection of the Windows platform. Again, Microsoft exists only because Windows exists and without that, over 60% of the profits go away very very quickly. If Blu-ray is seen as a platform threat, Microsoft will not support it without some plan to eliminate the platform threat. And I think the threat has more to do with Java being the Blu-ray spec than Sony's ownership or creation of the spec. IMO.

          I find it hard to believe they think the distribution/network is mature enough to jump on a network distribution mechanism instead. But they may feel that they can slow the adaption enough with disabling or stalling the Blu-ray devices on their platform(s). Xbox is the obvious one because they attempted to leverage it for promoting HD-DVD. They knew they couldn't embed it in the Xbox because the price increase would have given PS3 more leverage. We should soon start to see see how they will try to stall Blu-ray on Windows as the devices start moving to PCs.

          • But they HAVE to see that this pattern of behavior cannot keep going as it is. Even Microsoft can't keep this up too long after the Vista debacle. I'd think that this would be a wonderful opportunity for them to shift their strategy to a more friendly manner of business. Not saying they should go all Google on us, but at least collaborating with other companies that aren't IMMEDIATE direct competitors as far as blu-ray is concerned.
    • Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.

      My opinion? Because it is too late for Microsoft to have any sway over the Blu Ray spec. Microsoft has always been reluctant to use standards defined by other people that they can't push in one direction or another.

      They have a strategy to try to make a Microsoft technology integral to web delivery, and then the

    • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:07PM (#22845722) Homepage

      Development costs, testing costs, update costs (look how many updates the Blu-Ray player on the PS3 has received), shipping costs, inventory costs, shelf space costs, etc.

      I always figured that MS rushed the 360 HD-DVD so that they could have something out there to help counter the Blu-Ray install base generated by the PS3. Something to give their HDi some installed base to compete with the Java on Blu-Ray.

      It doesn't surprise me at all that they wouldn't make a Blu-Ray drive. Even without that point, an HD drive doesn't add to the console's value as much as it did when all players were $600+. As players get cheaper, the reason to buy the add-on over a stand along player drops.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.

      Because one thing that Microsoft does better than almost any other company is look to the future. They seem more than willing to sacrifice $1 billion today (or $20b for Yahoo!) if they think there is a good chance of $2 billion in a few years. For example, I believe last year their video game department finall

      • And it's funny, because we all said, xbox, what the heck is wrong with microsoft!? They don't stand a chance. Playstation clearly holds this market! MS thinks they'll be the jack of all trades... Not a chance!

        Years later, Xbox is pretty much the center of the console market. Well played.

        And here we are saying, oh come on- Zune? Get real. Ipod has this market, they're not letting go! (truth be told, ipod, in my opinion, will be harder to gain ground against, since the ipod has something sony didn't have-
        • by Splab ( 574204 )
          I would be very surprised if MS ran off with the mp3 players.

          Samsung is a more likely bet for that, they have made some very nice cool products lately.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AJWM ( 19027 )
          Years later, Xbox is pretty much the center of the console market.

          No it ain't, unless you're defining that market as the subset of the real console market focused on games that could as easily by played on a PC. Probably the real center of the market (in unit sales) is the Nintendo Wii with its innovative controller. (Just checked online [blorge.com]; February '08 sales for Wii were 432,000 vs Xbox 360's 254,600).

          The games available for the Wii are attracting people that would never consider your traditional console g
      • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:45PM (#22846282)

        Because one thing that Microsoft does better than almost any other company is look to the future.
        I disagree. Microsoft has consistently been late to the game. They were late to figure out how big the world wide web would be, and they didn't see the possibilities of "convergence in the living room" until their competitors started moving that way - THAT'S when the XBox was born. They want Windows to be everywhere, and eventually realized the popular game consoles presented a big problem for them.

        The one thing Microsoft does do better than almost any other company, though, is to throw truckload after truckload of money at these missed opportunities. But very few other companies have the cash on hand to do that. Also, it still remains to be seen if it'll even work - remember, as popular as the 360 is among the hard-core gaming crowd it's still selling far less than even the PS2, and not outselling the PS3 anymore.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by erroneus ( 253617 )
      Now that Sony essentially wields monopoly control over all things Blu-ray, you may have noticed that the prices of all things Blu-ray have gone up in non-trivial ways. This would seem to indicate that Sony has jacked up the cost of using Blu-ray technologies in response to their having won the HD war. Sony seems to be characteristically abusive to their 'partners' and ultimately to the consumer. Resources for Blu-ray technology didn't suddenly become scarce, it just didn't have competition and so they de
      • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:45PM (#22846276) Homepage

        I saw that. I say... wrong. The prices went up. That's economics. There are two resons.

        1. The closest substitute good (HD-DVD players/software) is now gone
        2. Development

        People were pushing the players at a loss (Toshiba, et. all too, from my understanding). Now that the pressure is gone, the prices have moved from the dumping range to the "possibly sustainable" range.

        I've seen people complain about the new players being more expensive than the old ones, but that always happens when the new players have more features (BD-Live and all it's costs like Ethernet, flash storage, etc) than the old ones.

        They're not "leveraging a monopoly", they are just not competing at/near a loss anymore. You can't leverage a Blu-Ray monopoly, because there is no market share for it right now. DVDs will be the "monopoly" in the video market for a few years yet.

        I would not be surprised to find a new coalition of HD-DVD-interested companies form to create a new, open, set of technologies to compete with Blue-ray and bring that rampaging giant down.

        Sarcasm: Yes. That worked so well the last time. I'm sure they'll try it again with yet another incompatible format.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by xtracto ( 837672 )
        Howdy shit yeah, now that Sony has a monopoly over Blu ray, just sharing that monopoly with [wikipedia.org]

        * Acer Corporation
        * Alpine Electronics Inc.
        * Asahi Kasei Microsystems Co., Ltd.
        * Ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG
        * Bandai Visual Co. Ltd.
        * BASF AG
        * Basler Vision Technologies
        * BenQ Corporation
    • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:24PM (#22845960)
      You're right. Profit is profit. The simplest answer is that having a Blu-Ray drive available for the Xbox 360 is simply not profitable. The initial HD DVD drive sold relatively poorly. I believe sales were about 500,000. There's no reason to think a Blu-Ray drive would sell any better.

      Sure, it makes them money, but it doesn't make them enough profit. Otherwise, they would've done it.
      • People weren't buying the drives because on the uncertainty. Now that the format war is over things might very well change.
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *
      That is why Hollywood/ Pro TV stayed away from HD DVD. They knew Microsoft would act like a spoiled rich kid and it was a really funny dream to expect a "platform neutral" HD-DVD from a company who abandoned their Windows Media Player for OS X just as a "punishment" to Apple users... For getting popular!

      By rejecting BluRay for 360, they once more prove that the studios and entire pro video industry was right going with a Sony solution. If there is significant market in "geeks wanting to watch 1080p", Sony w
  • by ke5aux ( 1180175 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:00PM (#22845646)
    I guess the recent poll was wrong then. "who cares" was not the correct answer.
  • by jfbilodeau ( 931293 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:06PM (#22845710) Homepage
    Apple would have called it iHD so Microsoft had to call it HDi

    Dibs on PODi and TUNEi!

    -> I use my TUNEi to fill my PODi :P
  • I was hoping Microsoft would come around with a Blu-Ray solution, so that I can get my game system AND Blu-Ray player in one go. Looks like I'll have to pony up for a PS3 if I want that.
  • HDi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:06PM (#22845720)
    Can't say I'm the biggest fan of MS technologies, but I will say that I think they did a pretty decent job with HDi (all of the menus, animations, bookmarks and other interactive features on an HD DVD are done using it). I'm sure there are any number of other companies who could've done the same thing, too. But if MS wants to use this technology for downloadable videos, then I'm all for it. It'd be nice to actually have a downloadable video that has menus and chapters and the other niceties that we've grown used to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It'd be nice to actually have a downloadable video that has menus and chapters and the other niceties that we've grown used to.

      Including niceties like unskippable FBI warnings and adverts...

      I agree that having additional functionality (soundtracks, subtitles, chapter icons, menu system) grouped with video files can be great... however a raw video file has the advantage of being easier to play on a myriad of devices and being under the user's control.

      I know nothing about HDi, so I don't know to what extent it locks out the user from accessing the internal data directly... but I really hate data containers that companies use t

  • Live marketplace (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tonyreadsnews ( 1134939 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:07PM (#22845726)
    Ummm, because like others have said, the war is not over. Blu-ray discs still have to compete with digital distribution. Even Gates mentioned at CES. They've partnered with quite a few places (One is Disney!) so they will likely pursue downloads through their Live marketplace, including HD content before trying to license something from a competing console.
    • Re:Live marketplace (Score:5, Interesting)

      by katorga ( 623930 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:13PM (#22845816)
      Digital distribution will get killed by the ISP's and their bandwidth throttling in the US. It competes directly with their core content distribution model. Disk is still the high-bandwidth, lowest cost distribution model for 20GB files in the current environment.

      Sony's BR 2.0 spec with a hybrid digital-physical model is the best fit.
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:35PM (#22846130) Homepage Journal
        I don't think so. The ISPs are not going to want to face Microsoft, Google, Apple, Disney, and Sony. Yes I know that it seems that it is a battle of who can buy the most congressmen but Microsoft, Google, Apple, Disney, and Sony all have deep pockets and they all feel this is a battle they must win.
        If need be Google and Microsoft both have the bucks to become the worlds largest ISPs. They both have the technology base and the motivation if the ISPs get too nasty with them.
        Also the cable companies are hated. They are hated by the public at large. Congress know this so it may be a battle that they are willing to take on since Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Disney's money is just as green as Comcast's.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Vancorps ( 746090 )

        You're making an incredibly bad assumption that an HD movie streamed over the Internet is 20GB in size. It is not in the same format you would find on a blue-ray disc. It would be compressed and ultimately be at most a couple of gigs easily streamed at a respectable bit-rate. People all the time download HD content. Azureus has a whole section just for it and I stream it without any issue over a standard cable Internet connection.

        ISP's could wreck the model but they have always adapted to the increases an

    • Re:Live marketplace (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sandbags ( 964742 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:44PM (#22846248) Journal
      Digital dsitrubution is NOT a competitor. It is for reneted or short term materials, but lets face it, if my choice is to save $5 or less to download a movie instead of buying the hard copy, or risking loosing the media and also incurring the cost for it's storage.

      With physical media I:
      - can easily loan it to a friend or family member, without wasting blank media or time to burn it.
      - can move it from system to system in seconds, not hours over a network connection
      - don't need systems to be compatible for steaming or sharing, a BD player in each room costs about the same as (and will cost less than) the equipment to connect the TV to the network for streaming HD.
      - Can make electronic copies for backup (wether currently legal or not)
      - can move it off my hard drives at will without buying media and wasting hours (days) to burn it (If I want to encode it on the computer I can, and in less time than burning a DVD...)
      - don't have to buy bigger and bigger hard drives and RAID system as my collection grows
      - don't have to wait DAYS for Antivirus scans to complete, or copying to new drives as my old ones fill up.
      - don't have to back it up

      Digital distribution works fine for music, for which I can have tousands of songs on cheap hard drives, and streaming works great over even the cheapest wireless devices for stereo surround audio. It's easy to maintain and copy when your whole collection is less than 100GB (and that's a BIG collection). When a single HD movie is 20-50GB, it's not easy or cheap to maintain my own collection electronically. heck, even standard definition DVDs are hard to maintain on a sharing network.

      On-demand video? yes, digital downloads may very well replace Blockbuster. If an all-you-can-eat subscription was available (netflix size library, digitized in HD, and available to start playing within 5 minutes) and the fee was equivolent to current subscription fees ($15 per month) it might become feasable, but you still can't take it with you unless you download the entire movie before leaving... When I go on vacation, or to a friend's house, I want a few dozen good classic movies with me, and a few new ones to. Even at over 8MB downspeed, I'm looking at typing up my pipe for days to download a weeks worth of movies, and hundreds of GBs to store them on. Also, my laptop, even if it had that much storage, doesn't plug into most hotel TVs...

      Digital downloads are strong competition for HBO and other networks. Why pay $12/month per channel when you could pay $20/month and see every movie your hear desires on demand? This I see is where digital downloads will make their mark. They're obviously competition for the rental industry, provided the set top box is part of a service and not several hundred dolars by itself.

      The best solution in my mind? ...best of both worlds. A set top DVR that can record and play back live HDTV, integrates on on-demand service allowing both per-purchase options as well as monthly all-access subscriptions (hot releases cost a buck or two extra each). Also, instead of a $4 rental, offer a $14 download-to-own option, and for an additional $3 they'll send the original media to you in the mail in a few weeks so you don't have to make backup copies. The set top box should integrate a BD writer so anything you've downloaded (or recorded live) you could burn to your own media. Also integrate it into the network so movies and other content of the DVR can be shared on the network and vice-versa. Also allow an agent to run on a computer so you can not only download movies, but select which PCs they're automatically copied to, like podcasts, so you can keep the most recent, unwatched movies, as well as a few selected favorites, on your laptop and your iPhone without having to copy them there (and waste hours) when you're on the go.
  • I am rarely on Microsoft's side when there are contentious issues...but that does not matter. I am an insignificant player in the IT world anyway. But I support Microsoft's stand on this. Why? Because I do not see why Microsoft should support another proprietary technology.

    The trouble is, there is no open source alternative, but even if it existed, all these companies including Microsoft will not use the alternative.

  • by keineobachtubersie ( 1244154 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:08PM (#22845744)
    The media the games come on is irrelevant, Nintendo proved success is possible with an unusual format.

    Microsoft also has stated they are trying to move toward a content-download type system, so the physical media would, again, be irrelevant.

    As others have said, there may be a standalone Blu-ray player in the future, but I think MS thinks they simply don't need it. And Ballmer himself has said no Blu-ray for Xbox, of course that's not really worth much and could change with the market.

    http://www.crn.com/digital-home/206903456 [crn.com]
  • This seems like a bad idea to me. I would assume that a lot of gamers will just buy a PS3 as their BluRay player, in absence of a 360 add on, now that HDDVD is dead. At least that's my most likely course of action. If the PS3 ends up getting a decent selection of games, it is just going to cause MS to lose market share where they previously would have taken all of my gaming money.
  • by erexx23 ( 935832 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:10PM (#22845770)
    This is SUN vs. MicroSoft
    (BD-J vs. HDi aka MSJava Script)

    Java is the platform for the world wide distribution of IPTV.

    I don't think that MS will be pushing anything that competes with their version of a Java virtual machine much less include a Sony product in their 360.
    (the final offer by MS and Toshiba to prevent a format war was the inclusion of HDi... Sony and Sun walked away)

    While it makes Cents that they should, I don't think they will.
    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      If that is what this fight boils down to, then it will never be resolved. Microsoft still is entrenched in business apps.....and so is Java. And neither camp will concede. Personally, I prefer MS languages, but I work daily in Java, too (I do both). Neither is really any better than the other for the purposes they are tasked with and anything you can accomplish in one, you can accomplish in the other (end-results, don't tell me about feature X that one has that the other doesn't). So that fight will ne
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TeknoDragon ( 17295 )
      I'm surprised the OP didn't catch on to this.

      Java's inclusion in the BluRay menu system means forcing Microsoft back into implementing a Java VM on a new platform. Let's hope that none of the Sun v Microsoft legal agreement prevents them from doing so.

      Not that MS seems to be doing much to capture the developer market (and it wouldn't take much effort to do better than Sun in this regard... I even find the Apache community lacking in some aspects).
  • Another reason... (Score:5, Informative)

    by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:11PM (#22845794) Journal
    Another reason for not including Blu-Ray capabilities... Like I'd be able to hear the movie?

    This isn't a troll. I love my 360, I do. But I've used it to watch DVDs and stream videos from my laptop, and honestly, even in the most well-ventilated of spaces, the console is just too loud for me to enjoy it as a media center at all.
    • by jasen666 ( 88727 )
      You must have a bad one.
      Mine is rather silent, outside of the occasional whirring when it first spins a disc up. It never bothered me before.
      I recently added a receiver and speakers, so even that I can't hear anymore.
      • I doubt I have a faulty unit. It ran for over 15 hours straight without even a hiccup in less-than-optimal conditions. I would think if anything would make it fail, that situation would.

        More than likely, I, like others I know, don't really enjoy the television as loud as others due, and easily pick up background noise such as air conditioners, etc.

        Oh well, to each their own.
        • by jasen666 ( 88727 )
          Well, I'm saying it could be a faulty fan, skewed bearings or the like. Not something that would make the unit fail completely, but make quite an irritating noise.
          Like I said, mine is nearly silent when compared to my PC. If it were loud, I would be as irritated with it as you seem to be.
  • Microsoft may well take charge of online HD content distribution, but what about games on the 360? Surely those can't be downloaded, as you'd need tons of space, right? If they choose not to adopt Blu-Ray, then how will they keep up with the PS3 in terms of next gen games? By limiting themselves to dual layer DVDs, don't they risk being overtaken by superior offerings on the PS3? We've heard Kojima say that MGS4 can barely fit on a Blu-Ray disk, so that must mean the 360 is screwed, right? In a few years wh
    • This is the real problem - space for games. As you say, Microsoft will be forced to do something, though I'm not sure whether they'll do it for the 360 or for their next-gen. They could actually just use HD-DVD. Just because it's dead for home video doesn't mean they couldn't scavenge it to use as the internal drive for a next-gen console.
  • With HD-DVD being more or less dead, we can safely assume that consumer HDDVD writers will never happen, and the number of plants around the world capable of mastering HD-DVDs will be very few. What better way to drastically reduce the amount of piracy on a platform than by using a media format that relatively few people are able to produce?
  • by BarryJacobsen ( 526926 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:13PM (#22845820) Homepage
    I have a 360. I have the HD-DVD drive for my 360 because I want to play HD content (Microsoft clearly recognizes this market segment exists, why else create the HD DVD drive in the first place). Now instead of buying a Microsoft brand 360 Blu-ray Player, I will be buying a Playstation 3. Seems like a brilliant plan on Microsoft's part - if they wanted me to buy a competing product.
    • You think buying a PS3 makes sense? Instead of a standalone player?

      Sorry, I just don't see how what you said makes any sense at all.
      • by Dorkmaster Flek ( 1013045 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:34PM (#22846122)
        It makes perfect sense if you realize that the PS3 is the only really future-proof Blu-ray player on the market right now. That, and the fact that it's almost the same price as a stand-alone player, plus you can play games, media, and install Linux on it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jimlintott ( 317783 )
          The problem with a PS3 as an HD player is that it lacks discreet analogue audio outputs for 7.1 sound. This means that to get the 7.1 sound you have to have a receiver that does HDMI 1.3 and have the proper codecs to decode the audio.

          My current amp has discreet analogue inputs and the BD players have the outputs. Four pair of audio cables later and I get the new HD 7.1 surround. With a PS3 I need to also drop about a grand on an amp. I consider the audio more important than the video so I wouldn't even cons
      • by AJWM ( 19027 )
        You think buying a PS3 makes sense? Instead of a standalone player?

        You tell me.

        Prices from walmart.com just now:

        Sony BDP-300 BluRay player: $378.88 (sale price)
        Sony PS3 40GB game console: $399.00

        Five percent more for a game console with BD player vs just a BD player? Why not?

        (Now, when/if BD player prices ever come down to something reasonable, that logic changes.)

  • Their next gaming console will have to have some kind of optical drive in it. And DVD isn't big enough anymore an the 12X spin rate needed to get good transfer rates also is one of the things that makes their console annoyingly loud.

    They'll have to use a new optical format for the next Xbox, and with HD-DVD dead it seems to mean they have to use BluRay.

    And for those who want to say you'll get your games over the next, I really can't see that in the next 2-3 years. By the end of the next console's lifetime (
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jasen666 ( 88727 )
      I don't know... just because HD-DVD is dead in the consumer market, it may not stop them from using it as a proprietary system for the console. If anything, it might afford them more protection from piracy than any DRM. If no one can get HD-DVD drives to read the disks, no one can decrypt or copy them. The Blu-ray BD+ DRM has already been broken by Slysoft (AnyDVD), for instance.

      I could see a problem with production. They'd have to find a company willing to continue to manufacture the drives for them; k
  • Pay-per-view.
    Yep, as in, MS' technology now completes with the cable company's product. So, do you think that cable companies are going to roll out fiber to everyone's door just so MS, Apple, Blockbuster and Netflix can deliver video on demand?

  • by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:25PM (#22845994) Homepage
    Sony vs. Microsoft. I guess Slashdot is going to have to go with Sony. We have been triangulated.
  • is how Nintendo is just laughing their asses off at all of this.
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) *
      As far as I know, Nintendo Wii is SD, not HD device. BluRay or HDDVD has very little meaning for them.

      If BluRay Disc prices goes down to DVD prices somehow (Hollywood needs HD), PS3 users may laugh to both platforms. Of course Wii got excuse, XBox 360 is just "Our standard failed, no bluray for you!" thing.

      Hollywood needs some level of quality that can't be reached without 50 GB of data. BluRay really serves to that. Of course, thanks to Java, they may implement "chatrooms of people who watches same movie"
  • that wont be a smart move to use HDi on the media center, what then? customers could only play HDi videos? while the rest of the world plays video in BlueRay? if BlueRay is the new standard for video/movies , while the xbox is ok i guess providing the game manufacturers are willing to implement that format for the xbox. but for media center (HDi) it would be the odd egg since BlueRay seems to be the way the market is going (just a thought)...
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:30PM (#22846056)
    If Microsoft wanted to licence Blu Ray they'd go to the BDA, not to Sony. They'd then be free to implement the standard through any OEM they felt like which could even be Toshiba. After all, Toshiba and Samsung jointly own TSST that makes Blu Ray OEM drives.

    Sure if MS doesn't include a Blu Ray drive, it would mean Sony was deprived of some royalties. But at the same time it would negate the one major advantage the PS3 has over the 360 so they'd lose sales. So I think Sony would be quite happy if MS skipped Blu Ray altogether. It would be just another reason for many people to buy a PS3.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by njfuzzy ( 734116 )
      When it comes time for MS to make a Blu-Ray drive, they will go to the BDA for the license. However, let's face it, it's going to be Sony trying to get them to come over.
  • This sucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:41PM (#22846220) Journal
    XBox Live is about to take a kick in the teeth in Canada. Rogers has announced that they will start capping their bandwidth this June. If you go over it will cost you $2/gig (up to $25) extra per month. Until now we have been fortunate. Not sure if Microsoft has taken something like this change into account especially with higher quality videos creating larger data costs for the end user. At this point if no Blu-Ray player is coming, I go out and buy a separate Blu-Ray player (or PS3) and rent movies than risk going over my limit. I already pay Rogers enough.

  • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:45PM (#22846284) Journal

    I don't think Microsoft cares that Blu-Ray is Sony's standard, just that it's not Microsoft's standard.

    From there, the decision to forget about a high-definition player add-on for this generation makes sense. The attach rate for the HD-DVD drive wasn't very good (typical for a console add-on), but Microsoft was willing to take that hit for the sake of promoting HD-DVD. (Not to mention keeping up with the Playstation 3 Joneses.) A Blu-Ray movie player for 360 would be just another console accessory that doesn't sell enough to justify the cost. (See also: Sega CD)

    XBox "720", if it uses an optical drive at all, will probably use Blu-Ray out of necessity. As a baseline for the platform, it will be far easier to justify that cost as upfront R&D.

    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )

      XBox "720", if it uses an optical drive at all...
      I think it safe they won't call it that. They'd look behind the times if it wasn't instead the XBOX 1080.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @12:45PM (#22846288)
    Microsoft NEVER go with a pre-existing stadard as-is. Its like they feel the need to have their own customized version of everything for some reason. I guess they feel it gives them control of something.
    Consequently even if Microsoft licenced Blu-Ray, I'd bet they'd change parts of it somehow to make it their own in some way that would be incompatible with everything else.

  • ... Wouldn't you be able to place an existing BluRay Reader (5.25" drive) in an external case and hook it up? I am sure it would have some issues with drivers and decoders, but isn't the 360 at least software hackable in some way? Worst case scenario is you have a drive that can read files off a disc (DivX, MP4, etc.)

    I don't see how this couldn't be done... However I am not in any way familiar with the innards of the 360.
  • Why would Microsoft abandon HD-DVD now that it's got a monopoly on them with Toshiba exiting the market?

    Inferior quality and lone support has never stopped Microsoft from exploiting a monopoly position on a technology.
  • DLC is not true HD (Score:4, Informative)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @03:20PM (#22848836)
    The videos are only 720p, the bitrate is not high, and it's a problem to transport the videos to bring to someone else's house to watch (you have to bring your 360) much less another room in the house. You can't purchase movies and keep them, and it costs $6 to rent one. You need a Live account. The selection is not that great. Although it might be a good companion, it's just not a suitable replacement for Blu-Ray.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard