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Microsoft: “Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format”

Posted at 24 September 2010 08:00 CEST by wconeybeer

While Sony seems to be doing everything it can to embrace and promote Blu-ray disc use on the PS3, Microsoft has decided to take the exact opposite path with their console.

In an interview this week, Microsoft’s UK gaming executive Stephen McGill has made it abundantly clear that the company has no plans to add a Blu-ray drive to the Xbox 360 because they don’t believe that the format has staying power.

“Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format,” McGill told xbox360achievements.org. “ People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray? “

While Microsoft seems to think that the lack of a Blu-ray drive is not an issue, game developers disagree. Jun Takeuchi, producer of Lost Planet 2, has reported that his development team at Capcom had to cut “significant” content from the Xbox 360 version of the game due to limited disc space.

In fact, this particular issue shouldn’t be news to anyone. Developers have been voicing their concerns for the past five years about the limited DVD capacity the Xbox 360 would have compared to the PS3.

Of course this will only be a problem as long as games are produced on physical media – which may not be much longer the way things seems to be changing. Digital games outsold those bought at retail stores during the first half of this year by 3 million units. Some analysts are even predicting that the launch of cloud-based gaming services like OnLive will eventually make owning console hardware obsolete.

Considering what the analysts are saying, Microsoft could have made the smarter business move in this situation. In skipping the Blu-ray drive they’ve been able to keep the price of the Xbox 360 lower than the PS3, and customers are able to use Xbox Live to download additional content that may not be included on a disc.  Who really does need Blu-ray?

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There are 8 comments

DukeNukem
MyCE Resident Commenter
Posted on: 24 Sep 10 15:07
    Well, here's my take on this...

    Microsoft's console doesn't have a Blu-ray drive, so of course they're going to stomp on Blu-ray like a narc at a biker rally. You have to trash-talk the competition.

    On the flip side, people like hi-def. As soon as I buy a 55" LED tv in December I'll probably make the move to Blu-ray for a few reasons.

    1) Many Blu-ray movies have come down to $10 at Walmart (with DVD & digital copy on the disc to boot). That's enough to get me started. I don't plan on buying many Blu-ray discs. I have 650 store-bought DVDs and upsampling will do me for most of them.
    2) I like having physical media, just like people want to read a real book.
    3) Not everyone has a big enough pipe to stream hi-def video, and even if they did, the stream is compressed. You can't compare it to Blu-ray quality video.
    4) The next-gen format is already in progress in Japan, so Blu-ray has a limited life. Pair that new format with smell-o-vision, and you bring porn to a WHOLE new level.
    SithTracy
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 24 Sep 10 15:35
      Smell-o-vision... looking forward to "Apocalypse Now" in that format... that way I can fully understand what Robert Duvall was referring to with "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" LOL
      Zzyzxroad
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 24 Sep 10 15:54
        You're looking forward to Apocalypse now on smell-o-vision? I would be willing to try some porn on that format.

        On a serious note. I would prefer the physical media as well over streaming.
        debro
        Blown to smitherines
        Posted on: 24 Sep 10 16:42
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by DukeNukem
          Microsoft's console doesn't have a Blu-ray drive, so of course they're going to stomp on Blu-ray like a narc at a biker rally. You have to trash-talk the competition.


          Quote:
          Originally Posted by DukeNukem
          The next-gen format is already in progress in Japan, so Blu-ray has a limited life. Pair that new format with smell-o-vision, and you bring porn to a WHOLE new level.

          People will resist the push to digital, at least everyone currently over 30
          We like control of our stuff ... kids, everyone under 30, generally, are wholly satisfied with significantly lower quality ... maybe because they're ignorant of the difference, maybe just apathetic?

          Bluray will kill off DVD in the next 2-3 years, and will then be around for another few years after that

          I'd agree that the format after Bluray will likely be HD downloads .. but consumers will really only accept that if they have NO other choice.
          Zod
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 24 Sep 10 17:25
            Microsoft can't really go from dvd to bluray on the current console. Anyone who owned a console up to that, wouldn't be able to play any of the new games that were pressed on blu.

            So of course microsoft is going to bash it. I think its too late for this generation, I wouldn't be surprise if its included in the next version of an xbox though. I don't think it makes much sense for the 360 though.
            paulw2
            MyCE Senior Member
            Posted on: 25 Sep 10 08:32
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by debro

              I'd agree that the format after Bluray will likely be HD downloads .. but consumers will really only accept that if they have NO other choice.
              The only way I'll except HD downloads is for rental stuff. I won't buy it unless I can archive it off onto other media and still pay it in 10~ 20 years as I can now with DVDs..
              nekrosoft13
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 29 Sep 10 15:12
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by debro

                I'd agree that the format after Bluray will likely be HD downloads .. but consumers will really only accept that if they have NO other choice.
                current "HD" streams from stuff like Netflix can't even compare to what you find on blu-ray.

                Can you image Blu-ray quality streaming? can you download 20-40GB within 2 hours? comcast with their crazy 250gb montly limit would have a heart attack.

                And here is the kicker, they are already working on UHDTV 7,680 × 4,320 TV technology.

                Quote:
                The ultimate goal is for UHDTV to be available in domestic homes, though the timeframe for this happening varies between 2016 to 2020, mainly based on supported technical reasons to do with storage and broadcast distribution of content.
                Quote:
                Uncompressed, a 20 minute broadcast would require roughly 4TB of storage.
                good luck streaming that

                Physical media needs to stay
                debro
                Blown to smitherines
                Posted on: 30 Sep 10 01:26
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by nekrosoft13
                  current "HD" streams from stuff like Netflix can't even compare to what you find on blu-ray.

                  Can you image Blu-ray quality streaming? can you download 20-40GB within 2 hours? comcast with their crazy 250gb montly limit would have a heart attack.

                  And here is the kicker, they are already working on UHDTV 7,680 × 4,320 TV technology.

                  good luck streaming that

                  Physical media needs to stay
                  Current bandwidth from most ISP's in most countries cannot support decent quality High Definition video.
                  However, countries like South Korea have 100Mb/s available now, and are rolling out Gigabit connections.
                  Australia (once the government sorts out the ongoing argument) is rolling out 100Mb/s optical fiber, and is likely to increase that to Gigabit as it develops.

                  Quote:
                  Uncompressed, a 20 minute broadcast would require roughly 4TB of storage.
                  The only people that use uncompressed video are the content producers. There really is no reason to haul TB's of data across a wide distribution network (at this point in time) for general consumers.

                  Consider a Bluray - 2Hrs = 25GB -> 1hr = 12.5GB -> 20minutes = 4.17 GB.
                  That works out as ->12.5GB * 1024*1024 / (60*60) = 3640.889 KB/s ->29127.11 Kb/s (28.444Mb/s)
                  You can easily haul that across a reliable 100Mb/s link in real time .. assuming a 40% efficiency on a dedicated 100Mb/s link, and that your ISP has enough capacity in the backbone
                  I'd be hesitant to try it on 24MB/s ADSL2+, or 30Mb/s ... but even this is possible with just a little extra compression ratio (lower quality) and some decent buffering. The extremely low quality that current online HD content is a reflection of the low bandwidth available to most consumers at the moment, and content companies are attempting to maximise their potential customer base.

                  Broadband is getting better, at least in countries that aren't flat-out penniless, and once a large number of high bandwidth customers are available, content quality will increase.

                  It's all a matter of time

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