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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 oberondarksoul ( 723118 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:15PM (#23286758) Homepage
    to confirm it. All this article is is a claim that a Blu-Ray version of the 360 is being manufactured - which is what rumour sites have been suggesting since the death of HD-DVD. Until Microsoft confirms it, or we see one in the wild, this is still hearsay and speculation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:17PM (#23286768)
    Why do people want Blu-ray in their 360? Just to watch Blu-ray videos?

    Certainly no game manufacturer would do a Blu-ray game since it could not be guaranteed to be in every machine. So what is the point?

    If you want to watch Blu-ray videos then you could use some other method, why hook it to a 360?
  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:49PM (#23286938)
    Third, it will also presumably be a lot cheaper than buying either a PS3 or a dedicated blu-ray player.

    I dunno. I just got a new 40GB PS3 for $230 using some well known deals/tricks (plus the 50 buck credit that Amazon gave me for buying a $50 360 HDDVD drive last month).
  • Killer Features (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:11PM (#23287086)
    There are only a few real killer features that separate one console from another. Integrated Blu-Ray movie support was the PS3's biggest advantage. If the 360 can manage this and beat the PS3 on price, Sony may be screwed.

    The 360's killer feature is Xbox Live. They nailed it, and it's going to be a license for them to print money just as Windows has been. Even if Sony comes out with better online support, it's too late. What good does that do when all your friends are on Microsoft's service?

    This may be a death blow to the PS3, because it may not have anything left to offer over the 360. Better reliability and the ability to run Linux in a limited environment aren't going to be enough.
  • Re:Killer Features (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Akaihiryuu ( 786040 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:59PM (#23287418)
    Indeed. The Wii is going to win the "console war" this generation for outright sales. The PS3 will be the console of choice for the more "hardcore" games. Not saying that the Wii won't have any, but a lot of "big" games like MGS4 are going to PS3-only. The 360 is basically dead everywhere but the US. 360 sales in Japan are abysmal, not even close to what the original Xbox sold (and even it did terribly there). I've owned a Wii since launch day, and I'm going to get a PS3 once the price goes down a bit more.
  • What's your point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @09:19PM (#23287908)
    Did you have the right to know Microsoft's future plans 6 months ago? Does Microsoft have the right to know yours?

    Why should they pre-announce a new feature 9-12 months in advance? People might wait to buy an XBox 360 until then. And sales would go down for 360s and fewer games would be made, and Microsoft shareholders would lose, and current 360 owners would lose. I wonder why they might lie?

    What would you do? Tell the truth and screw over the 360 owners and the MS shareholders?
  • by p0tat03 ( 985078 ) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @10:02PM (#23288168)
    Thank God. That was a match made in hell. MS doesn't have any strengths in their own company that would be a good match with Yahoo's products and expertise. The move was nothing more than a panic buy to "compete" against Google.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2008 @10:02PM (#23288170)
    Perhaps because lying is immoral. Even those who obey strict rationality / utilitarianism would come to the same conclusion: if I lie, people will not trust me, or my word on my products / warranties / commitment to the customer in the future.

    I see your point, but a much better way of handling things without giving away your plans is to blanketly state "we do not comment on unannounced products," similar to most other major corporations.
  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:36AM (#23288920)
    It's a little more complex than that.

    20,000 people might be willing to buy them at $500. With that volume, it might cost $350 to manufacture.

    If 25,000 people are willing to pay $375, but the manufacturing costs only drop to $300, then it makes sense to keep the price higher and sell less.

    If 1 million are willing to pay $150 though, and the manufacturing costs drops down to $125, then it's worth it at that point to drop the price in order to sell more, and lower the production cost.

    In the old scenario (before the death of HD-DVD), the people who were buying at a high price were early adopters, and the number of buyers wasn't likely to increase nearly as much with a price drop as it is now.

    So, even though people are now more willing to buy them, we'll likely still see a price drop soon. ATM they're still sucking up all the techies who want it and are willing to pay the high prices but who didn't want to buy before the "format war" was decided. Once revenue there wanes they'll drop the price and pickup the next round of customers willing to pay the new price.
  • by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @03:14AM (#23289686)

    There is a huge difference between not telling the truth and lying. Not telling the truth is declining to comment to keep a secret without being deceptive, in most countries that is always an individual's right outside of court and even inside court when you're the one on trial, a company also doesn't have that right when dealing with shareholders and certain commissions, but that's a different matter. Lying is saying something that you know to be false which is a completely distinct matter.

    Now there are plenty of people out there who condone this in some circumstances, but it is my belief that if someone shows you enough respect to take your word at face value, then you owe it to them to allow them to make their decisions with the right facts nomatter the consequences. If Microsoft was to change the subject, or take another path in deception, like continuing to sling mud at Blueray that would just be sly because they had never given their word. But when you ask someone to trust you by making a public statement then say the opposite of what you know to be true, then it is nothing short of betrayal.

    The 360 owners wouldn't be disadvantaged, it doesn't affect them if other people do or don't buy XBoxes. As for the MS shareholders, they own part of what Microsoft is really worth, not what it can be built up to through deception, if they can be better served through a lie who cares? That same lie is depriving shareholders of Blueray affiliated companys the value that their stock should have. As a whole, the world is almost always better served by truth.

  • Re:Cost? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @06:11AM (#23290188)

    What will the cost be? TFA doesn't say anything. Also, can you hook it up to your 360 simultaneously with your HD-DVD drive?
    You can now buy laptops with inbuilt Bluray reader and DVD/CD read/write drive for not much more than that same laptop without the Bluray reader. The reason why it is relatively cheap to do this is the actual Bluray diode is right next to the DVD/CD diode and the mechanics and electronics are fully integrated to share/decode the two diodes. Go to your local computer store and eject the BD/DVD/CD drive and you can plainly see both diodes.

    If Microsoft produces a Bluray add-on like they did with HD-DVD drive it is going to be about the same price as the original HD drive and this would possibly be attractive to Xbox360 owners although like the HD-DVD drive it would be not be that popular especially when the total costs are greater than that of a PS3. This is up to the customer since they do have a choice.

    If Microsoft brought out an Xbox360 with inbuilt BD/DVD/CD drive they are going to alienate many millions of people who already own an Xbox360, especially if game companies start to bring out games on Bluray disk. Personally I don't think this will happen but you never know, it would be interesting to see how Microsoft could spin this. Of course you get people who like to buy the latest thing and something like this would not bother them.

    It must be noted that while the PS3 went through some changes the fundamental configuration which consists of a BD/DVD/CD player, wireless/blutooth, USB (4 to 2 but still there) and hard disk (20GB,60GB and 80GB and whatever you feel like adding) was never changed. The only things that got dropped were the SD/MS/CF readers (nice but not critical) and backwards compatibility which personally I feel was not a good move but it may be possible that software compatibility will be brought back. If the Xbox360 came out with an in-built BD/DVD/CD player this will be a radical change that could seriously undermine their credibility, still only time will tell.
  • Re:Cost? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fyrewulff ( 702920 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @09:10AM (#23290868)
    Games would never come out on Blu Ray for 360. Drives are too slow, and it'd be market suicide to release your game on Blu Ray for the 360, since there's already about 13-14 million people with 360s already.

    And I'm also pretty sure they could easily make the 360 not boot from Blu Ray, or simply not sign blu ray discs for retail games.
  • The point is... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:21AM (#23291818)
    Because then there's no real reason to go for the PS3 instead of the 360 unless it has some specific game you want as things stand now. IMHO, based on facts, figures and looking into both consoles when trying to figure out which to get:

    - The 360 has more games, more of which are higher rated and that sell far more units even when available on both platforms

    - The 360 wins on cost, whether that'll be true with Bluray in I don't know, and whether it remains true with the XBox live cost on top I'm still not sure

    - The 360 wins on downloadable content, it simply has more equally as good content

    - The 360 wins on online experience, it's just better integrated, the downside of course is cost of XBox live, it's down to personal opinion whether or not people feel it's worth it

    - When it comes too both consoles are pretty much as powerful so there's not much of an argument there, Cell is great but the 360s graphics card is also superior, when everything is taken into account they do balance out pretty evenly perhaps with an ever so slight edge to the PS3, whether we'll see any real edge in action though is questionable

    - The 360 has better indie developer support via XNA

    As it stands, the PS3 wins as a media centre simply because of Bluray support. It's also the only real futureproof Bluray player and as such if you want a Bluray player it's the best choice out there even if you never play a single game so Sony can increase sales figures by selling the PS3 as a Bluray player.

    It would be silly of Microsoft not to challenge this and provide a similar offering by creating a Bluray addon or 360 with Bluray built in so that people have the same reasons to buy the 360 as they do the PS3. This is especially the case if MS can keep the cost down below that of the PS3.

    The real question is what Sony's move will be in response, they'll surely have to add value to their console in some form or another - arguably this could be via Home and LittleBigPlanet so it could well be the case that Sony put more money and effort into getting these out the door as they'll be pretty major selling points.

    Either way by the end of the year I'm sure there'll be plenty of reasons for people to own both consoles, why settle for just one - chances are by the end of the year or thereabouts you'll be able to buy both for the cost of the PS3 at it's original release although I suppose that's little comfort for those who already purchased.
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @03:22PM (#23293804)
    Also, saying "we do not comment on unannounced products" pretty much admits that the product in question exists.

    Not if your smart enough to reply that way when asked about products that don't exist too...

    Hey Microsoft, are you going to realease Windows for the Cell processor?
      "we do not comment on unannounced products"

    Are you going to release a universal remote to compete with logitech's harmony?
      "we do not comment on unannounced products"

    What did we learn? not much.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.