Friday, 07 Mar, 2008 Technology
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Sony and Microsoft Talk about Blu-ray Drive Incorporation in Xbox360

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According to the Financial Times, competitors are currently discussing about adding the Blu ray high-definition technology to consoles that formerly were aligned to HD DVD format. Microsoft did not provide any official information and Sony says that it is open for discussions on the possibility.

After its short campaign to support to the already dead HD DVD format, the software giant, Microsoft, has entered into discussions with Sony, the company that developed the winning high-definition technology, Blu ray, to bring the new format to Xbox360. Such a sudden scenario was provided in a report from Financial Times, 2 months after Albert Penello, the Xbox group marketing manager, revived the idea of the possible decision.

"It should be consumer choice; and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider," outlined Penello during the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, which was held in January. After that, the decisions taken by Wal-Mart, Best Buy and the on-line retailer Netflix, caused the public to vote for Blu ray, thus causing Toshiba to end its HD DVD production in February of 2008.

Financial Times cited a "senior executive," whose name was not stated, that the two giants, Sony and Microsoft, are not simply talking about the follower of the Xbox 360's external HD DVD drive. According to the newspaper there is a probability that an internal Blu ray drive will be integrated into a new "premium" 360 model, which will also be more expensive. It is worth mentioning that the new drive is already incorporated into PlayStation 3.

Microsoft rapidly denied any actions taken to move towards the new Blu ray format. "We have made no such announcement. Games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles, and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available," said a company's representative.

Sony' representatives, however, said that the company is opened for discussions on the possibility of making Blu-ray-equipped Xbox 360. "If Microsoft wants to release Gears of War 3 on a Blu-ray Disc, I think we can make that happen," said Scott A. Steinberg, Sony Computer Entertainment America's vice president of product marketing.

"While of course we are excited that the Blu-ray won the format war and knew that our decision to include Blu-ray in PS3 would pay off, the Blu-ray format is an initiative developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association," said the another SCEA representative, referring to the body governing the BD format. Being headed by Sony, the BDA is composed of 9 companies, these being: Sony, Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG, Hitachi, Sharp, Samsung, and Panasonic parent company Matsushita.

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