Blu-Ray on the Xbox360.. in the news again.

Yep, this time over at [‘The Register: Hardware‘]

The report is reporting a rumor that Microsoft has ordered Xbox 360’s with Blu-Ray drives in a possible partnership with Asus.   It looks like Pegatron Technoloy will be doing the assembly of the new 360’s and we’re looking at about a 6 month turn around time.

Now Microsoft hasn’t ever confirmed or denied that it’s working on a blu-ray player for the 360, then have only confirmed they are NOT in talks with Sony over the technology.

 

[Update: 05/06/08]
According to Microsoft though, it’s not. Talking to Gamepro, a representative has been quick to step forward and deny this latest information saying that “games are what drive consumers to purchase game consoles, and [Microsoft] remains focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.”
[Site]

(It would also help if Blu-Ray wasn’t so freaking slow!!!)

However.. [SLASHDOT] is reporting (and I quote)

“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.”

Which is what *I* said a while ago, M$ wasn’t in talks with Sony.. didn’t mean they weren’t working on getting Blu-Ray to the 360, or that it wasn’t coming for the 360 but for the ‘720’ or what ever the next Xbox is.

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Lite-On developing BD-ROM drives for Xbox 360, sources say

aJimmy Hsu, Taipei; Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 1 April 2008]

Lite-On IT is developing built-in Blu-ray Disc-(BD) ROM drives for the Microsoft Xbox 360 game console, according to industry sources. Lite-On declined to comment, citing client confidentiality.

Lite-On’s shipments of the BD ROMs to Microsoft will start in the second half of 2008, the sources added. Lite-On is currently one of the suppliers of Xbox 360-use internal DVD-ROM drives.

Microsoft has decided to switch to BD for its Xbox 360 game consoles after Toshiba announced to discontinue HD DVD, the sources said. The BD-ROM drives that Lite-On is developing for Microsoft are for the next-generation Xbox 360 game consoles, the sources said.

Power supply makers also revealed that while the present Xbox 360 uses a 210-watt power supply, the next-generation game console will use a 170-watt power supply in order to reduce production cost and the size of the device, according to the sources.

Lite-On has already started steady shipments of BD-ROM drives and BD burners, the sources added.

[Via DigiTimes]

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pogowolf

Normally I don’t post news on the 1st.  Too many sites doing too many lame April fools jokes.   So take this ‘news’ with a grain of salt until tomorrow at least.  =)

[04/02/08]  Ok so it’s tomorrow.  I’ve checked the site.  No change or post to say that this really was a Fool.  However, I noticed one thing in the above information:  “The BD-ROM drives that Lite-On is developing for Microsoft are for the next-generation Xbox 360 game consoles” the kwyword being ‘Next-Generation’.  Since the 360 is nearing the end of it’s life span, are we seeing the first comments about the next version of the XBox having a Blu-ray drive?

 

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[04/03/08 – Update]

If you’re suddenly overcome with a feeling akin to déjà vu, go ahead and kill that speed dial to your physician. For the second time in a month, Microsoft has actually come forward to squash a Blu-ray Xbox 360 rumor. This go ’round, an alleged statement from Redmond states quite outrightly that “Lite-On is not manufacturing Blu-ray drives for Xbox 360,” and it continues on by noting that “customers who want a premium movie experience [can check out the] library of on-demand HD content” available to console owners. Still, we’ve grown accustomed to these denials by now, and while you’d think that having a pair of rumors on the matter smashed would put the issue to rest, we’ve all ideas this one isn’t quite dead and buried just yet.

 [VIA Engadget]

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pogowolf Again.. Notice the wording here.  The Original article states that Light-On was making BD drives for “the next-generation Xbox 360 game consoles”
and M$ is only saying that “Lite-On is not manufacturing Blu-ray drives for Xbox 360”    So the 360 might not have a blu-ray drive.  Which would make sense since the 360 can’t USE a blu-ray disk.  They are slow, and steam at one constant rate.  In order to get any type of speed out of the load times you would need to install
parts of the game to the HD.. which, guess what?, M$ doesn’t allow on the 360.     So you can kiss BD games good bye on the 360.

but what about the 720?  That’s another story. =)

Sony to Introduce New Blu-Ray Players

Sony Corp. President Ryoji Chubachi speaks to the media during a joint news conference with Sharp President Mikio Katayama in Tokyo Japan Tuesday Feb. 26 2008. Sony and Sharp are tying up in the flat-panel TV business with Sony investing in a Sharp p ...

According to Sony’s President, Ryoji Chubachi, some new Blu-Ray players will be hitting the shelves around summer.
The new players will be able to download bonus materials like trailers and games from the Internet

The BDP-S350 player Sony plans to introduce this summer for “about $400” will be the company’s first to feature an Ethernet port, allowing it to connect to a home broadband connection. However, it won’t be able to access Internet content when it ships – a software upgrade will be available later to enable that feature, known as BD-Live.   A second player, the BDP-S550, will be available this fall for “about $500” and will be BD-Live-capable when it ships.

Both players can show picture-in-picture content and will be the first Sony Blu-ray players to do so, apart from the PlayStation 3 game console, which gained this feature via software update last year. The picture-in-picture feature, called Bonus View, can be used to show director or actor commentary in a small window while the movie plays.

 

pogowolf “So, why should you, the consumer care?  One reason is that the current PS3 with the software upgrades is much more cost effective than the Blu-Ray player models above listed.  Another is that the wait time needed for the software upgrades to enable the PnP functionality.  The PS3 is the best choice at the moment, until Sony gets everything smoothed out with its hardware issues as a result of their victory in the Hi-Def DVD race.  What is Sony going to do next?  Stay tuned!

Xbox 360 Blu-Ray Player?

We’ve heard over and over and over how a Blu-ray movie player add-on for the Xbox 360 was a distinct possibility if the HD DVD format ended up losing out. Well, now that the Microsoft-supported format seems just one step away from dead, we’re hearing rumblings of just how possible that Blu-ray player possibility is.

Citing “insiders at Microsoft in the USA,” Australia’s Smarthouse says Microsoft’s Blu-ray add-on is already fully designed, and could be on the market within three months, “subject to internal marketing and sales approvals.” Smarthouse also repeated the rumors of a built-in high-def drive for the system, although now that rumored drive plays Blu-ray discs instead of an HD DVDs. Regardless, the tech site seems to think Microsoft will focus on digital movie downloads for those who don’t want an add-on.

As for Sony, they couldn’t be happier that Microsoft is considering jumping over to the “winning” side of this HD disc battle. “We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable,” SCE Managing Director Michael Ephraim told Smarthouse. “In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very successful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player.” Hey, they just won a format war … they can afford to be a little smug.

[Via Megatonik]

 

[Via JoyStick]

NetFlix goes Blu-ray…

hawaiinetflix.jpg

Another nail in the coffin of the format war: top DVD rental service Netflix has announced that they will be going Blu-Ray exclusive.

The company says that the industry has “picked a winner” in the format face-off and will phase out HDDVD by the end of the year.

From Netflix:

“The prolonged period of competition

between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “We’re now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def. Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer’s preferred means.”

“From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers who want high- definition to be an important part of how they enjoy our service.”

Sorry, HDDVD. Things aren’t looking too good.

Friend of the blog, film critic Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Star, got the following email from Netflix:

Dear Phil,

You’re receiving this email because you have asked to receive high-definition movies in the HD DVD format. As you may have heard, most of the major movie studios have recently decided to release their high-definition movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. In order to provide the best selection of high-definition titles for our members, we have decided to go exclusively with Blu-ray as well.

While we will continue to make our current selection of HD DVD titles available to you for the next several months, we will not be adding additional HD DVD titles or reordering replacements.

Toward the end of February, HD DVDs in your Saved Queue will automatically be changed to standard definition DVDs. Then toward the end of this year, all HD DVDs in your Queue will be changed to standard definition DVDs. Don’t worry, we will contact you before this happens.

You can click here to change your format preferences.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call us at 1 (888) 638-3549.

-The Netflix Team

 

.. OUCH!
[Via Consumerist]