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Media Microsoft Upgrades XBox (Games) Hardware

Xbox 360 Finally Getting Blu-ray 174

Starturtle writes "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. 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."
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Xbox 360 Finally Getting Blu-ray

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  • by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:53PM (#23286958)
    Well, in the mean time we can try to find the original news article. Its from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. Here's the Chinese original [udn.com] (thanks Kotaku's Dutch!) and the Google translation [google.com]
  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @08:17PM (#23287534)
    The Xbox architecture was never designed to support anything other than DVD's? Nonsense, it was built with extensibility in mind, just like any other console. The fact that there was an HD-DVD add-on proves that. An integrated Blu-Ray (or even an add-on) won't be any harder for them.

    What *is* true is that games can't take advantage of the storage space, because you have to build games with the lowest-powered SKU out in the market - that is, DVD drives. Technically speaking, I suppose they could make both Blu-Ray OR DVD versions of games (where DVD versions ship with multiple disks), but I'd wager heavily against that ever happening.

    And, it's also true that the 360 is one of the most flawed pieces of major consumer electronics in recent history. I don't think it's quite as big a deal as most people think, though, since MS is replacing them for free. Most of my friends, while annoyed at the lost of gaming time, simply get a replacement console from MS and keep playing.

    Here's partly why I think the Xbox is still going to be ok... A large number of my friends and co-workers have both a 360 and a PS3. Even so, most of us will still pick up a 360 version of a game given a choice. The games are pretty much equivalent, but the 360's online experience is so much better, and people like adding to their GamerScore*.

    * Whoever thought this up at MS should get a promotion. It's one of the simplest yet most brilliant things MS has ever done.
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:36AM (#23288924)

    that's a warranty, which they promised, presumably, before they knew it was going to fail on such a large scale. they're legally obligated to honor that warranty. if microsoft were to replace it for free, AND give us a half off coupon for the next time our 360s fail (by which time the warranty will be gone), i might consider giving them credit for that.
    Actually, they extended the warranty to three years after they found out how high the failure rate was.

  • by @madeus ( 24818 ) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Sunday May 04, 2008 @02:27AM (#23289482)
    I'm not sure why you feel the XBox 360 is dated (from a functional point of view).

    It's true that most cross platform ports do look identical, at least when they are not moving. Unfortunately when they are moving, there are issues on the PS3.

    GTA, for example is worse quality on the PS3 (upscaled from less than 720p, unlike the 360 version, and it's much jerkier in very active screens), the only other cross platform title I've seen which comes to mind is Assassin's Creed, which is also far from smooth on the PS3 (that and - has has been noted - the load times were longer, which I found quite puzzling).

    I am not sure what you mean by "doesn't have WiFi" as mine certainly does, WiFi has been available as an option since launch, nor do I know what you mean by HDMI being a "sort of hack".

    Personally I prefer to use the RGB output and the optical audio out to my surround sound system, as the quality is identical and I have more RGB inputs than HDMI inputs (4 RGB, 2 HDMI) on my Denon, but there is nothing "hacky" about the HD support on the 360.

    I would note that the 360 has shipped with HD support out of the box since launch, while the PS3 still does not (HD cables must be purchased separately for the PS3).

    Personally I am biased though, not in favour of the X-Box (though I do think Microsoft have done a MUCH better job on their console software) but rather I am very sceptical of Sony and their claims for the PlayStation.

    The PS3 no more lives up to the hype than the disappointing PS2 did. There are still multi platform ports to the Dreamcast (which was released quite bit before, and was cheaper), XBox and PS2 which look most inferior on the PS2.

    Sony - largely thanks to the success of the original Playstation and great brand positioning - have been very successful in controlling the building the hype machine though, particularly among casual observers.

    The inclusion of a hard disk on all PS3 models was a smart move (and removing it as standard from the 360 has proven to be a big mistake by Microsoft, which has really hurt the performance and design of some titles on the 360).

    I think Sony made a mistake by choosing to go with an esoteric CPU design (yet again, after all the developers moaned about how hard it was to develop for the PS2). To me that is madness, particularly when Microsoft are really strong in that area (providing an architecture that was so generic, that initial 360 demo's were designed and developed on PowerMac G5's).

    The upshot of Sony's mistake is that it takes developers much longer to get titles running acceptably (with high levels of detail and still high frame rates) on the PS3, and they are going to resent spending time having to do that when then simpler but more effective 360 design allows them to spend much more time focusing on making the gameplay better and on polishing.

    What has happened thus far is that the more ambitious cross platform titles have not lived up to scratch on the PS3, including titles that were scheduled to be PS3 exclusives at one point (which is rather damning).

    I think Sony are still playing catch up with the PS3, there are no killer exclusives yet (GT5 looks good, but really I don't think it raises the bar much above PGR4) and the approach to the on line experience thus far has been one of determined indifference. Perhaps that will change when "Home" arrives though.

    Unfortunately, developers (and Sony) are stuck with the hardware...

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak