At last year's Consumer Electronics Show
, Warner Bros. made seismic waves by announcing that it would no longer be supporting the Toshiba-backed HD DVD high-definition digital media playback player
. The move spurred a number of other studios to follow suit, signaling the end of the Microsoft-supported device and giving the format war win
to Sony's Blu-ray Disc player, which comes built in with the PlayStation 3.
Robbie Bach with Bill Gates.
With this year's show
in full swing, the talk has once again returned to the possibility of an Xbox 360-compatible Blu-ray player. In contrast with the "maybe
, maybe not
" stance the company took last year, Microsoft has come out definitely opposed to the option. In an interview with Seattle-based news site Tech Flash
, Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices division, ruled out a Microsoft-supported Blu-ray player for three specific reasons.
"It's not a feature we get a ton of requests for," Bach told Tech Flash. "When you ask people the list of things they want to see us spending time creating in Xbox, Blu-ray is way, way down on the list. The second thing is, from a technical perspective, it doesn't help us in the core of what Xbox does, which is in gaming. We can't have publishers produce games on Blu-ray disc. Because then they won't play on the 28 million Xboxes we've already shipped. So it doesn't help us in the core gaming space."
Bach went on to say that the final reason is that a Blu-ray-equipped Xbox 360 SKU simply wouldn't make much economic sense. "And so the scenario is," he continued, "OK, let me get this straight: I'm going to add something to the product that's going to raise the cost, which means the price goes up, consumers aren't asking for it, and by the way, my game developers can't use it."
Bach went on to reiterate Microsoft's commitment to serving video content digitally through Xbox Live. Specifically, he called out the Xbox 360's ability to stream high-definition video through a collaboration with Netflix
, a service that was introduced with the New Xbox Experience dashboard update in November.