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No talks for Blu-ray in Xbox, says Microsoft exec

Posted: 18 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Blu-ray? Microsoft Xbox 360? game console?

Microsoft Corp. is not in talks to add Blu-ray high-definition technology in the Xbox 360, an executive with the software maker told a British news agency last week.

The comments of Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for the videogame console, to Reuters put a damper on reports that Microsoft would turn to Sony-backed Blu-ray following the demise of the rival format HD DVD.

"Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience," Greenberg told Reuters in an interview.

Stan Glasgow, Sony Electronics U.S. president, had earlier said that Microsoft and Sony were in discussions aimed at adding Blu-ray to the Xbox, according to a report in London's Financial Times.

But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer a week later injected some doubt over the report during a speech at the company's Mix '08 conference. Ballmer said that Microsoft's long-term view is that the Internet, and not discs, would be the primary vehicle for delivering HD content. "Five years from now, it may not make a bit of difference" whether the Xbox or other devices have DVD drives, he said.

Until recently, Microsoft had used the Toshiba-backed HD DVD format to add high-definition movie playback to the Xbox 360. That strategy, however, imploded when Toshiba said it would drop HD DVD. The decision followed defections from virtually all major Hollywood studios to Blu-ray.

Ballmer, however, did say that Microsoft is developing software for the Windows operating system to add native support for devices that play Blu-ray movies.

- Antone Gonsalves

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