NEWS - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Microsoft Clarifies Blu-Ray Rumors

Microsoft clarifies Blu-Ray compatibility comments Xbox 360 fully supporting HD-DVD format In response to recent comments from Microsoft’s VP of marketing, Peter Moore, the company has issued a formal statement clarifying its position on next-generation DVD support for the Xbox 360 console. Speaking to Japanese website ITMedia at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Moore had stated that a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360 could be released if the Blu-Ray standard - which is backed by Sony - wins the next-generation DVD format battle. The Xbox 360, the first of the next-generation of games consoles to reach market, currently uses the standard DVD format, but a peripheral HD-DVD drive has been announced. Microsoft has publicly backed Toshiba’s Blu-Ray rival, despite strong support for Sony’s preferred technology (which will ship as standard in the forthcoming PlayStation 3 console) from the majority of film studios. Moore’s comments were, it appears, intended to add weight to Microsoft’s believe in the ’future-proof’ flexibility of the Xbox 360, and the company is keen to clarify that a Blu-Ray drive for the machine is not an option in reality. The official statement reads: "It is important to understand the context in which that statement was made. Microsoft firmly stands behind the HD-DVD format as the best choice for our consumers. As we’ve said before, we’re confident that HD-DVD will bring the excitement of high definition movies to the consumer faster and at a greater value. We believe that consumers have signaled what format they want to enjoy high definition DVD and we’re going to follow them down that path." "The question of whether Xbox 360 has the flexibility to adapt to consumers’ needs is a different issue entirely," the statement continues. "Xbox 360 is a future-proofed system - one that allows us to add features as consumers demand them - as evidenced by our offering of the HD-DVD drive as an accessory. Current reports indicating that we have a back-up plan, which includes Blu-Ray support are incorrect. At this point, we’re fully committed to HD-DVD and have absolutely no plans to support other optical formats."


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