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January 09, 2008

Report: Microsoft's Xbox Might Go With Blu-ray Support

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

As more and more Hollywood studios migrate to Blu-Ray format, the HD DVD format could soon receive another jolt, with Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Xbox hinting that the gaming console might be offered in Blu-Ray format, should the users demand it.

But according to a report in CNET, such an add-on drive could be done by a third party and not by Microsoft itself. Also, the company does not believe that by Time Warner (News - Alert) unit Warner Bros., the top seller of home movies, to abandon HD DVD format in favor of Blu-ray should affect sales of its Xbox 360 video game console.

Microsoft feels that although people bought PlayStation 2 as a DVD player in the beginning, which was not the case after one or two years. While Microsoft offers a plug-in HD DVD accessory that is bought separately, Sony Corporation, looking to give its next-generation video format a boost, has included a Blu-ray player into its PlayStation 3 machine.

The war between the two of the latest formats have taken its toll and the analysts estimated that domestic DVD sales fell by nearly 3 percent in 2007, partly because of confusion in the marketplace over the various formats.

Microsoft wants its consumers to have a say in the ultimate technology that will be used. Indeed, customers will definitely appreciate the warring groups to give a thought to their dilemma, as they miss out on their games and movies.

With major companies like Warner and Microsoft hinting that they are ready to embrace Blu-Ray technology, the supporters of this technology have a lot to cheer for. This was evident at the International Consumer Electronics Show where Sony CEO Howard Stringer seemed extremely pleased with the recent developments.

Also, the main media event scheduled for the show by the North American HD DVD Promotional Group, which includes Intel (News - Alert) Corp. and Microsoft Corp., was canceled because of Warner's sudden U-Turn.


Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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