updated 10:00 am EST, Mon February 18, 2008
MS Blu-ray in May
Microsoft could offer a Blu-ray attachment for the Xbox 360 as early as May, according to a claim by company insiders. The game console maker has reportedly fast-tracked an external drive for the Xbox that could clear marketing and sales hurdles by May. No pricing or features have been suggested for the device, though whether it will be capable of full 1080p output is uncertain and will likely depend on whether the main console is equipped with HDMI video output.
While Microsoft has not commented on the claim, the move is likely a response to Toshiba's likely end to HD DVD after multiple movie studios and retailers said they would drop the format. Microsoft itself discounted its Xbox 360 HD DVD player to $130 earlier this month, partly to bring its device in line with similar Toshiba drops but also reportedly to clear stock of the now obsolete player.
Officially, Microsoft has not confirmed any plans in the past but has said it would adapt its HD strategy for the Xbox 360 to reflect demand. However, sources have said the company ideally seeks to move 1080p movies to online downloads (likely through the Xbox Live Video Marketplace) and sees a potential Blu-ray drive as an interim step.