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Why Microsoft Won't Have Blu-ray on the Xbox

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the wtb-final-fantasy-on-360 dept.

395

Ian Lamont writes "Ever since Toshiba stopped production of HD DVD players, many Xbox 360 owners have been wondering when Microsoft will offer some sort of Blu-ray option for the Xbox 360. The answer: Probably never. Microsoft's product manager for the Xbox 360 has told Reuters that Microsoft is not in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association. Why not? The Industry Standard points to HDi, an obscure Microsoft technology that was part of the HD DVD interactivity layer. HDi may be dead on physical media, but it could potentially be applied to other Microsoft HD-compatible technologies such as Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Media Center, and be part of a long-term play to own a big share of the market for HD content delivered over the Internet."

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The reason is simple... (3, Insightful)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845606)

Have you ever seen Microsoft Office for Linux (w/o any emulator like Wine)?

Nobody is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor (or backed by a direct comepetitor) . Microsoft & Sony are direct competitors.

Re:The reason is simple... (4, Funny)

fructose (948996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845640)

So that's why we can't get iTunes on a PC. Oh, wait...

Re:The reason is simple... (5, Insightful)

tmcfulton (1245028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845880)

Apple just didn't want to miss out on 85% of the computer market. If Microsoft didn't have a near-monopoly, there wouldn't be iTunes for PC.

Re:The reason is simple... (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845892)

So that's why we can't get iTunes on a PC. Oh, wait...
This does not make any sense, Apples iTunes is not from Microsoft. The story is about Microsoft providing Blu-ray for the Xbox, not a 3rd party providing it.

LoB

Re:The reason is simple... (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845950)

This does not make any sense, Apples iTunes is not from Microsoft. The story is about Microsoft providing Blu-ray for the Xbox, not a 3rd party providing it.
Nope. You missed it. The comment was in response to the statement that nobody would support something for a competitor. Microsoft and Apple are the last time I checked...

Re:The reason is simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846080)

No, that's why we can't get iTunes on Linux.

Re:The reason is simple... (2, Interesting)

Kelz (611260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845642)

In the console market. Sony makes a crapload of other things, and Microsoft's presumably main business is it's OS and Office software. Always seems weird to me that companies can get so huge as to be direct partners with a company in one division and direct competitors with the same company in another.

Correction! (5, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845648)

No monopolist is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor. Plenty of other companies do so. Toshiba, Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung all directly compete in many of their core markets. Yet they also often adopt and support technologies developed by one another. The difference? None of them are monopolies and accustomed to monopolistic control in a market.

Re:Correction! (4, Insightful)

Sawbones (176430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846168)

No monopolist is ever going to support a product from a direct competitor...The difference? None of them are monopolies and accustomed to monopolistic control in a market.
That's just a bit of hyperbole there, don't you think? Microsoft was part of the list HD DVD backers - who's members [hddvdprg.com] contain more than a few direct competitors (Corel competes as directly as possible with Office). Nothing is quite as cut and dry as you're making it out - after all, sony still makes computers that run windows, don't they?

Re:Correction! (-1, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846352)

You got some SheepleDotters to give you some moderation points, but your point is stupid. Every business "monopoly" or not makes assessments about these types of things. If supporting a competitor's product is beneficial, they will do it, otherwise they won't. Crybabying about a "monopoly" is laughable in this case, but it sure does get you some mod points from this rabble, huh?

Re:Correction! (1)

mrvan (973822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846396)

And we knew it, too! At least, of us! [slashdot.org] ...

Offtopic... The benefit of being a /. subscriber (-1, Offtopic)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845674)

You got the chance to post 1st :-D

Re:The reason is simple... (3, Interesting)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845732)

OS X is much more of a competitor to Windows than Linux, and last time I checked (on friday), my work computer (an iMac running Leopard) had a current version of MS Office on it.

but by your own admission (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22845982)

you are a raving mac faggot cock gobbler so your point is moot

look at the macfags modding me down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846226)

choke on it macfags you know its true

Re:The reason is simple... (3, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846036)

OS X is much more of a competitor to Windows than Linux,

No. You can't (legally or easily) load OS X onto your generic or HP, Dell or Lenovo PC. OS X only runs on Apple hardware, therefore it does not compete with Windows in the non-Apple hardware space. Linux does.

Re:The reason is simple... (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846084)

No. You can't (legally or easily) load OS X onto your generic or HP, Dell or Lenovo PC. OS X only runs on Apple hardware, therefore it does not compete with Windows in the non-Apple hardware space. Linux does.

I don't think many people buy hardware based upon the binary "Apple or non-Apply hardware?" decision point. OS X absolutely is a competitor to Windows, regardless of whether it implicitly binds additional decision points.

Re:The reason is simple... (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846074)

Linux is the competitor according to Microsoft. OSX is contained, Linux is not, and has the potenial. A fine example of this: why Gears of War (a Microsoft-published game) is ported to OSX but not Linux (although the studio behind the game has always prted to Linux): http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.php?story=07/11/21/0433201 [linuxhardware.org]

Re:The reason is simple... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846216)

And why shall we really care about the XBox 360 anyway?

It's yesterday now and we are waiting for the next big thing in gaming...

And maybe the next game console won't have any drive at all, instead it will download the games over the net on demand since everybody have broadband. - Eh right?

And why not save the game setup on a central server where you pay a yearly fee for the account?

Doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845630)

Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.

Re:Doesn't make sense (2, Interesting)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845656)

Because they want to push their own standard.

Re:Doesn't make sense (2, Interesting)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845724)

But their standard is completely dead now it seems, and to keep pushing for it is incomprehensible. I mean, they have to be more intelligent than that, right?! Although, as usual I'll expect my assumptions on the level of intelligence of others to be sadly disproven.

I don't know... (3, Interesting)

keirre23hu (638913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845920)

Reading the article (yes foreign for slashdot) it says that they can use the HDi for other things. My money says they're planning some form of distribution down to the road via X-Box live perhaps? Especially now that vendors like NetFlix do online video rental.

Of course, with HD content you have the not so insignificant issue of transferring many Gigabytes of data for any feature length content, and how many of them could you store on a stock 360?

In any case, this is probably a boneheaded move destined to backfire.

Re:Doesn't make sense (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846010)

But their standard is completely dead now it seems, and to keep pushing for it is incomprehensible.

HD-DVD is indeed completely dead, and Microsoft has stopped manufacturing the HD-DVD add-on (more correctly they no longer Toshiba to make it for them). Microsoft knows that HD-DVD as a physical format is dead.

However XBox Live! isn't dead, nor is traditional DVD. The former has great future potential (it, and similar services like iTunes movies, aren't something I'm interested in because the bitrate is going to remain far too low until the end-to-end infrastructure of the internet is dramatically improved, but it's good enough for a lot of people), and the latter is easily good enough for most consumers.

So no, their "standard" isn't dead. DVD is easily going to be dominant until the next generation of game machines, possibly even to the one after that. And then there comes a point where optical media doesn't even matter anymore.

Really this is all rather silly. Microsoft barely supported HD-DVD. Why do people think they're going to rush and support Blu-ray, especially given that the technical requirements of Blu-ray guarantee that such an add-on would be very pricey: How can you compete with Sony that is already selling a full game machine with Blu-ray at less than the cost of a competing companies stand-alone, no-game-machine-included players.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845708)

Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.

My opinion? Because it is too late for Microsoft to have any sway over the Blu Ray spec. Microsoft has always been reluctant to use standards defined by other people that they can't push in one direction or another.

They have a strategy to try to make a Microsoft technology integral to web delivery, and then they can monetize and control it. Blu Ray doesn't offer them such an option.

If they did build the add-on, they'd have to license it, conform to the spec, and go through the problems of trying to plug it into a platform which probably is very fundamentally built around their plans for HD-DVD from a few years ago. Historically, things are so heavily tied to how they wanted it to be that it can't be shifted.

Microsoft often bets on the wrong technology, and then has too much inertia to adapt to new realities. They also don't like admitting they were wrong.

Cheers

Re:Doesn't make sense (3, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845722)

Development costs, testing costs, update costs (look how many updates the Blu-Ray player on the PS3 has received), shipping costs, inventory costs, shelf space costs, etc.

I always figured that MS rushed the 360 HD-DVD so that they could have something out there to help counter the Blu-Ray install base generated by the PS3. Something to give their HDi some installed base to compete with the Java on Blu-Ray.

It doesn't surprise me at all that they wouldn't make a Blu-Ray drive. Even without that point, an HD drive doesn't add to the console's value as much as it did when all players were $600+. As players get cheaper, the reason to buy the add-on over a stand along player drops.

MS Gaming Based Profit Just Died. (1)

Sinesurfer (40786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846302)

I agree and can only find one single competitive advantage for Xbox 360 over the PS3 now that HD-DVD has failed and it's in the past.

The other problem MS need to face is that their options are limited to either make a little profit when they sell me a Blu-Ray add-on or zero profit when I buy a stand alone Blu-Ray player. Both options mean I pay Sony on an on-going basis whenever I buy a Blu-Ray disc, the only difference is that MS make a little profit on only the first option.

There is no profit using HD content-wise:
[1] Xbox Live as Sony has their own on-line market place.
[2] Game developers don't (at the moment) produce different content for different platforms (as in GTA IV is multi-platform using the same release date and game).

If I were MS I'd consider two options:
[1] Medium-term - install HD-DVD drives (which are in themselves DVD drives) and tell everyone we're just getting rid of old stock then start releasing 6-10GB of content so you need to purchase the HD-DVD add-on drive. The customers reason for paying more money - Halo 4.

The down side is this fails in the long-term at the start of the next format war because your HD 1.0 discs don't have the features of the next generation discs.

[2] Long-term - Sell a Blu-Ray add-on then compete and win based on customer experience/ease of use (like Apple) and superior games.

Re:Doesn't make sense (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845728)

Profit is profit is profit is profit, so why would they not take the opportunity to have an overpriced blueray disc player accessory for the 360? Doesn't seem like sensible business practices to me.

Because one thing that Microsoft does better than almost any other company is look to the future. They seem more than willing to sacrifice $1 billion today (or $20b for Yahoo!) if they think there is a good chance of $2 billion in a few years. For example, I believe last year their video game department finally broke even (don't quote me on that). So, for 7 years, they lost money to develop a new market.*

Selling a blu-ray player means conceding the format wars. So, even though though the optical media they were using lost, they care more about the format on the discs. So, theypass one the quick buck and hope to get their information recognized a different way.

*Although the XBox didn't come out until 2002, implying it was only 4 years of losses, development occured in 1999, and possibly earlier.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845944)

And it's funny, because we all said, xbox, what the heck is wrong with microsoft!? They don't stand a chance. Playstation clearly holds this market! MS thinks they'll be the jack of all trades... Not a chance!

Years later, Xbox is pretty much the center of the console market. Well played.

And here we are saying, oh come on- Zune? Get real. Ipod has this market, they're not letting go! (truth be told, ipod, in my opinion, will be harder to gain ground against, since the ipod has something sony didn't have- style, and well, MS lacks this lately). But I wouldn't be surprised if the same happens with mp3 players.

So HDi? Microsoft knows that downloading content is the future, and I'll put my money on MS over Sony, since sony doesn't generally have much of a clue anyway! (root kits anybody?)

**Disclaimer. The only game system I have is a Nintendo Gamecube. The only mp3 player I own is a SanDisk sansa connect. And I have an old TV with a crappy DVD player hooked up to it, with no real interest in blue-ray. I'm actually waiting out for downloadable content.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846262)

I would be very surprised if MS ran off with the mp3 players.

Samsung is a more likely bet for that, they have made some very nice cool products lately.

Re:Doesn't make sense (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846296)

Years later, Xbox is pretty much the center of the console market.

No it ain't, unless you're defining that market as the subset of the real console market focused on games that could as easily by played on a PC. Probably the real center of the market (in unit sales) is the Nintendo Wii with its innovative controller. (Just checked online [blorge.com] ; February '08 sales for Wii were 432,000 vs Xbox 360's 254,600).

The games available for the Wii are attracting people that would never consider your traditional console games (especially not first-person shooters). There was something in the newspaper recently about bowling leagues of all things built up around the Wii's virtual bowling game, made up of the kind of AARP crowd that Xbox doesn't cater to.

Re:Doesn't make sense (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846282)

Because one thing that Microsoft does better than almost any other company is look to the future.
I disagree. Microsoft has consistently been late to the game. They were late to figure out how big the world wide web would be, and they didn't see the possibilities of "convergence in the living room" until their competitors started moving that way - THAT'S when the XBox was born. They want Windows to be everywhere, and eventually realized the popular game consoles presented a big problem for them.

The one thing Microsoft does do better than almost any other company, though, is to throw truckload after truckload of money at these missed opportunities. But very few other companies have the cash on hand to do that. Also, it still remains to be seen if it'll even work - remember, as popular as the 360 is among the hard-core gaming crowd it's still selling far less than even the PS2, and not outselling the PS3 anymore.

Re:Doesn't make sense (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845834)

Now that Sony essentially wields monopoly control over all things Blu-ray, you may have noticed that the prices of all things Blu-ray have gone up in non-trivial ways. This would seem to indicate that Sony has jacked up the cost of using Blu-ray technologies in response to their having won the HD war. Sony seems to be characteristically abusive to their 'partners' and ultimately to the consumer. Resources for Blu-ray technology didn't suddenly become scarce, it just didn't have competition and so they decided to raise the prices anticipating increased demand.

One thing I find interesting is that for the most part, people aren't seeing High definition DVD as anything but an 'extra' at the moment. It's not a base-line functionality requirement for entertaining your family. DVD is still the base-line and few people feel motivated to buying the new stuff yet.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, is definitely a much more proud operator and probably isn't willing to spend money on the new higher prices. They should have allied themselves with Sony from the beginning to lock in a more affordable rate. They are arrogant, however, and didn't feel the need to do anything but do the opposite of whatever Sony was doing. They gambled and lost. I'm unsure which side of that to be happy for... but I have to say that if Microsoft won its bet on HD-DVD, it would have been better for the consumer. Most of us in the tech community knows and understands how abusive Sony is. Most of us knew to fear what Sony would do if they won. Now it has happened and the fall-out has just begun.

I would not be surprised to find that Sony will attempt to further leverage their Blu-ray victory for further control of the video media market in ways that are likely to be found illegal in many countries. I would not be surprised to find a new coalition of HD-DVD-interested companies form to create a new, open, set of technologies to compete with Blue-ray and bring that rampaging giant down. (I can't get images of Ultraman and Mecha-Streisand out of my head now... damnit!) I guess it all depends on whether or not Sony knows where to draw the line on its abusive behavior... but I'm going to bet that they don't know how to stop.

Re:Doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846276)

I saw that. I say... wrong. The prices went up. That's economics. There are two resons.

  1. The closest substitute good (HD-DVD players/software) is now gone
  2. Development

People were pushing the players at a loss (Toshiba, et. all too, from my understanding). Now that the pressure is gone, the prices have moved from the dumping range to the "possibly sustainable" range.

I've seen people complain about the new players being more expensive than the old ones, but that always happens when the new players have more features (BD-Live and all it's costs like Ethernet, flash storage, etc) than the old ones.

They're not "leveraging a monopoly", they are just not competing at/near a loss anymore. You can't leverage a Blu-Ray monopoly, because there is no market share for it right now. DVDs will be the "monopoly" in the video market for a few years yet.

I would not be surprised to find a new coalition of HD-DVD-interested companies form to create a new, open, set of technologies to compete with Blue-ray and bring that rampaging giant down.

Sarcasm: Yes. That worked so well the last time. I'm sure they'll try it again with yet another incompatible format.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845868)

They don't need it to have a Blu-Ray player. Blu-Ray isn't popular enough yet to warrant it. A Blu-Ray drive can easily make it into the next console release when it's cheaper and more available and maybe more popular. It has already and will sell enough consoles regardless. Xbox live has high-def downloads. Computer -> Xbox media streaming. What's not there that people need that would help sell them? Buying a 360 then buying an addon that will cost more than a PS3? Not their game.

Re:Doesn't make sense (4, Interesting)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845960)

You're right. Profit is profit. The simplest answer is that having a Blu-Ray drive available for the Xbox 360 is simply not profitable. The initial HD DVD drive sold relatively poorly. I believe sales were about 500,000. There's no reason to think a Blu-Ray drive would sell any better.

Sure, it makes them money, but it doesn't make them enough profit. Otherwise, they would've done it.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846388)

That is why Hollywood/ Pro TV stayed away from HD DVD. They knew Microsoft would act like a spoiled rich kid and it was a really funny dream to expect a "platform neutral" HD-DVD from a company who abandoned their Windows Media Player for OS X just as a "punishment" to Apple users... For getting popular!

By rejecting BluRay for 360, they once more prove that the studios and entire pro video industry was right going with a Sony solution. If there is significant market in "geeks wanting to watch 1080p", Sony would ship a Linux BluRay player in matter of weeks. Would you expect such thing from Microsoft? Never. We did the ultimate sin, rejected to use their OS so we should be punished.

If you had a working full feature Media Player which even supports DRM on a platform which popularity explodes in mobile usage rates, would you abandon it? Even after that platform got rid of ultimate "endian" issue switching to Intel x86? That is MS for you. The content providers who trusted their availability for OS X should sue them since they can't serve a BYTE of paid content to people who would pay $600 for a phone and $1700 for a laptop. That is all they get for trusting Microsoft for their media. They are all busy with talking with Adobe to implement something flash based and securable (from Joe Sixpack).

It wasn't only $ millions transferred under the table at a Hollywood restaurant (which people think) that made BluRay the standard over HD-DVD. It is the "Microsoft" in standard. They all live "MOV based, AVI based" problem for years now, they didn't allow the spoiled kid to torture their customers for using a different platform.

Slashdot Polls (5, Funny)

ke5aux (1180175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845646)

I guess the recent poll was wrong then. "who cares" was not the correct answer.

Re:Slashdot Polls (1)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845812)

Usually, "Who Cares" means "I am not going to throw my $ either way until a clear winner emerges."

Disappointed yesterday (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845684)

I recently bought a Wii. I've been trying to lose a few pounds with the Wii Fit controller. No weightloss so far, but my balance is much better.

Anywho. I popped in a DVD the other day to see if it could play. Not at all, apparently.

I wish I could use the console as a DVD player (or BluRay player, or whatever) as well as a game device.

Microsoft going against the Apple trend? (4, Funny)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845710)

Apple would have called it iHD so Microsoft had to call it HDi

Dibs on PODi and TUNEi!

-> I use my TUNEi to fill my PODi :P

Re:Microsoft going against the Apple trend? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845952)

No, they're marketing it as the successor to CD-i [wikipedia.org]

Re:Microsoft going against the Apple trend? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846088)

It's a pretty good example of a company not learning from the past IMHO.

Raise your hands, how many of you have ever seen an actual real-life CD-i?

Re:Microsoft going against the Apple trend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846052)

iCroSoft for all your MyCroSoft needs... because you're worth it...

Oh well. (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845718)

I was hoping Microsoft would come around with a Blu-Ray solution, so that I can get my game system AND Blu-Ray player in one go. Looks like I'll have to pony up for a PS3 if I want that.

Why blu-ray? (1)

uuxququex (1175981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846298)

Why would you want a blu-ray player? Are you going to buy uber-expensive movies?

Or is it just an "ooh, shiny!" purchase?

Re:Why blu-ray? (3, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846460)

Because standard def looks like poop after having seen so much HD content.

HDi (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845720)

Can't say I'm the biggest fan of MS technologies, but I will say that I think they did a pretty decent job with HDi (all of the menus, animations, bookmarks and other interactive features on an HD DVD are done using it). I'm sure there are any number of other companies who could've done the same thing, too. But if MS wants to use this technology for downloadable videos, then I'm all for it. It'd be nice to actually have a downloadable video that has menus and chapters and the other niceties that we've grown used to.

Re:HDi (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846148)

It'd be nice to actually have a downloadable video that has menus and chapters and the other niceties that we've grown used to.
Including niceties like unskippable FBI warnings and adverts...

I agree that having additional functionality (soundtracks, subtitles, chapter icons, menu system) grouped with video files can be great... however a raw video file has the advantage of being easier to play on a myriad of devices and being under the user's control.

I know nothing about HDi, so I don't know to what extent it locks out the user from accessing the internal data directly... but I really hate data containers that companies use to force user-hostile features (like unskippable content), and so I'm wary in this case.

Live marketplace (5, Interesting)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845726)

Ummm, because like others have said, the war is not over. Blu-ray discs still have to compete with digital distribution. Even Gates mentioned at CES. They've partnered with quite a few places (One is Disney!) so they will likely pursue downloads through their Live marketplace, including HD content before trying to license something from a competing console.

Re:Live marketplace (5, Interesting)

katorga (623930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845816)

Digital distribution will get killed by the ISP's and their bandwidth throttling in the US. It competes directly with their core content distribution model. Disk is still the high-bandwidth, lowest cost distribution model for 20GB files in the current environment.

Sony's BR 2.0 spec with a hybrid digital-physical model is the best fit.

Re:Live marketplace (0, Redundant)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846050)

Agreed. You are correct and where are my mod points when I need to give them to you?

Re:Live marketplace (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846116)

If big players like Microsoft are banking on digital distribution it's good for the net neutrality cause... no?

Re:Live marketplace (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846130)

I don't think so. The ISPs are not going to want to face Microsoft, Google, Apple, Disney, and Sony. Yes I know that it seems that it is a battle of who can buy the most congressmen but Microsoft, Google, Apple, Disney, and Sony all have deep pockets and they all feel this is a battle they must win.
If need be Google and Microsoft both have the bucks to become the worlds largest ISPs. They both have the technology base and the motivation if the ISPs get too nasty with them.
Also the cable companies are hated. They are hated by the public at large. Congress know this so it may be a battle that they are willing to take on since Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Disney's money is just as green as Comcast's.

Re:Live marketplace (1, Interesting)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846274)

You're making an incredibly bad assumption that an HD movie streamed over the Internet is 20GB in size. It is not in the same format you would find on a blue-ray disc. It would be compressed and ultimately be at most a couple of gigs easily streamed at a respectable bit-rate. People all the time download HD content. Azureus has a whole section just for it and I stream it without any issue over a standard cable Internet connection.

ISP's could wreck the model but they have always adapted to the increases and I see no reason why that would stop now.

Re:Live marketplace (4, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846248)

Digital dsitrubution is NOT a competitor. It is for reneted or short term materials, but lets face it, if my choice is to save $5 or less to download a movie instead of buying the hard copy, or risking loosing the media and also incurring the cost for it's storage.

With physical media I:
- can easily loan it to a friend or family member, without wasting blank media or time to burn it.
- can move it from system to system in seconds, not hours over a network connection
- don't need systems to be compatible for steaming or sharing, a BD player in each room costs about the same as (and will cost less than) the equipment to connect the TV to the network for streaming HD.
- Can make electronic copies for backup (wether currently legal or not)
- can move it off my hard drives at will without buying media and wasting hours (days) to burn it (If I want to encode it on the computer I can, and in less time than burning a DVD...)
- don't have to buy bigger and bigger hard drives and RAID system as my collection grows
- don't have to wait DAYS for Antivirus scans to complete, or copying to new drives as my old ones fill up.
- don't have to back it up

Digital distribution works fine for music, for which I can have tousands of songs on cheap hard drives, and streaming works great over even the cheapest wireless devices for stereo surround audio. It's easy to maintain and copy when your whole collection is less than 100GB (and that's a BIG collection). When a single HD movie is 20-50GB, it's not easy or cheap to maintain my own collection electronically. heck, even standard definition DVDs are hard to maintain on a sharing network.

On-demand video? yes, digital downloads may very well replace Blockbuster. If an all-you-can-eat subscription was available (netflix size library, digitized in HD, and available to start playing within 5 minutes) and the fee was equivolent to current subscription fees ($15 per month) it might become feasable, but you still can't take it with you unless you download the entire movie before leaving... When I go on vacation, or to a friend's house, I want a few dozen good classic movies with me, and a few new ones to. Even at over 8MB downspeed, I'm looking at typing up my pipe for days to download a weeks worth of movies, and hundreds of GBs to store them on. Also, my laptop, even if it had that much storage, doesn't plug into most hotel TVs...

Digital downloads are strong competition for HBO and other networks. Why pay $12/month per channel when you could pay $20/month and see every movie your hear desires on demand? This I see is where digital downloads will make their mark. They're obviously competition for the rental industry, provided the set top box is part of a service and not several hundred dolars by itself.

The best solution in my mind? ...best of both worlds. A set top DVR that can record and play back live HDTV, integrates on on-demand service allowing both per-purchase options as well as monthly all-access subscriptions (hot releases cost a buck or two extra each). Also, instead of a $4 rental, offer a $14 download-to-own option, and for an additional $3 they'll send the original media to you in the mail in a few weeks so you don't have to make backup copies. The set top box should integrate a BD writer so anything you've downloaded (or recorded live) you could burn to your own media. Also integrate it into the network so movies and other content of the DVR can be shared on the network and vice-versa. Also allow an agent to run on a computer so you can not only download movies, but select which PCs they're automatically copied to, like podcasts, so you can keep the most recent, unwatched movies, as well as a few selected favorites, on your laptop and your iPhone without having to copy them there (and waste hours) when you're on the go.

I support Microsoft (1, Redundant)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845736)

I am rarely on Microsoft's side when there are contentious issues...but that does not matter. I am an insignificant player in the IT world anyway. But I support Microsoft's stand on this. Why? Because I do not see why Microsoft should support another proprietary technology.

The trouble is, there is no open source alternative, but even if it existed, all these companies including Microsoft will not use the alternative.

Re:I support Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22845922)

It's really not that hard to figure out. Blu-Ray is the HD standard now. All new HD content will be delivered on Blu-Ray discs. So people are going to want to watch HD movies... and if it comes down to one console with a Blu-Ray player and one without, which do you think people will buy?

This is just Microsoft being typically arrogant by thinking that they should define the standards for everything simply because they're Microsoft (OOXML anyone?). Screw em! I hope they don't EVER put a BR player in the x-box. Let PlayStationX take that additional segment of the market.

Because they don't want to, or need to (2, Interesting)

keineobachtubersie (1244154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845744)

The media the games come on is irrelevant, Nintendo proved success is possible with an unusual format.

Microsoft also has stated they are trying to move toward a content-download type system, so the physical media would, again, be irrelevant.

As others have said, there may be a standalone Blu-ray player in the future, but I think MS thinks they simply don't need it. And Ballmer himself has said no Blu-ray for Xbox, of course that's not really worth much and could change with the market.

http://www.crn.com/digital-home/206903456 [crn.com]

Good way to lose market share... (2, Insightful)

mycroft822 (822167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845768)

This seems like a bad idea to me. I would assume that a lot of gamers will just buy a PS3 as their BluRay player, in absence of a 360 add on, now that HDDVD is dead. At least that's my most likely course of action. If the PS3 ends up getting a decent selection of games, it is just going to cause MS to lose market share where they previously would have taken all of my gaming money.

SUN vs. MicroSoft - Fight (BD-J vs. HDi) (4, Interesting)

erexx23 (935832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845770)

This is SUN vs. MicroSoft
(BD-J vs. HDi aka MSJava Script)

Java is the platform for the world wide distribution of IPTV.

I don't think that MS will be pushing anything that competes with their version of a Java virtual machine much less include a Sony product in their 360.
(the final offer by MS and Toshiba to prevent a format war was the inclusion of HDi... Sony and Sun walked away)

While it makes Cents that they should, I don't think they will.

Re:SUN vs. MicroSoft - Fight (BD-J vs. HDi) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846044)

I think you might be close, but consider this

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/java/faq.mspx [microsoft.com]

It may be legally problematic for MS to support BluRay on the 360 because doing so requires them to ship a java implementation.

Re:SUN vs. MicroSoft - Fight (BD-J vs. HDi) (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846244)

If that is what this fight boils down to, then it will never be resolved. Microsoft still is entrenched in business apps.....and so is Java. And neither camp will concede. Personally, I prefer MS languages, but I work daily in Java, too (I do both). Neither is really any better than the other for the purposes they are tasked with and anything you can accomplish in one, you can accomplish in the other (end-results, don't tell me about feature X that one has that the other doesn't). So that fight will never go away (there isn't some small group of content producers that can force the fight one way vs the other like there was in HDDVD vs BR).

Layne

Another reason... (4, Informative)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845794)

Another reason for not including Blu-Ray capabilities... Like I'd be able to hear the movie?

This isn't a troll. I love my 360, I do. But I've used it to watch DVDs and stream videos from my laptop, and honestly, even in the most well-ventilated of spaces, the console is just too loud for me to enjoy it as a media center at all.

Re:Another reason... (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845884)

You must have a bad one.
Mine is rather silent, outside of the occasional whirring when it first spins a disc up. It never bothered me before.
I recently added a receiver and speakers, so even that I can't hear anymore.

Re:Another reason... (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846068)

I doubt I have a faulty unit. It ran for over 15 hours straight without even a hiccup in less-than-optimal conditions. I would think if anything would make it fail, that situation would.

More than likely, I, like others I know, don't really enjoy the television as loud as others due, and easily pick up background noise such as air conditioners, etc.

Oh well, to each their own.

Re:Another reason... (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846206)

Well, I'm saying it could be a faulty fan, skewed bearings or the like. Not something that would make the unit fail completely, but make quite an irritating noise.
Like I said, mine is nearly silent when compared to my PC. If it were loud, I would be as irritated with it as you seem to be.

Re:Another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846134)

mine is nearly silent. the only time is makes noise is when it first spins up a disc to full speed then it quiets down. do have abnormally large ears?

So, where does this leave future Xbox 360 games? (2, Insightful)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845802)

Microsoft may well take charge of online HD content distribution, but what about games on the 360? Surely those can't be downloaded, as you'd need tons of space, right? If they choose not to adopt Blu-Ray, then how will they keep up with the PS3 in terms of next gen games? By limiting themselves to dual layer DVDs, don't they risk being overtaken by superior offerings on the PS3? We've heard Kojima say that MGS4 can barely fit on a Blu-Ray disk, so that must mean the 360 is screwed, right? In a few years when developers start to fully utilise the vast amounts of space available on Blu-Ray disks, I can forsee the 360 being left behind and fading into obsolescence - unless Microsoft decides to act. Adopting Blu-Ray may seem counterproductive for Microsoft's business interests, but if they want the 360 to survive, I can't really see any other options for them. They're gonna have to support Blu-Ray eventually.

Re:So, where does this leave future Xbox 360 games (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846422)

This is the real problem - space for games. As you say, Microsoft will be forced to do something, though I'm not sure whether they'll do it for the 360 or for their next-gen. They could actually just use HD-DVD. Just because it's dead for home video doesn't mean they couldn't scavenge it to use as the internal drive for a next-gen console.

I can think of another good reason (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845808)

With HD-DVD being more or less dead, we can safely assume that consumer HDDVD writers will never happen, and the number of plants around the world capable of mastering HD-DVDs will be very few. What better way to drastically reduce the amount of piracy on a platform than by using a media format that relatively few people are able to produce?

Re:I can think of another good reason (1)

colesw (951825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846212)

Well this would make sense if Microsoft was releasing games on HD-DVD, and hadn't stop producing HD-DVD drives for the system.

Shooting themselves in the foot (2, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845820)

I have a 360. I have the HD-DVD drive for my 360 because I want to play HD content (Microsoft clearly recognizes this market segment exists, why else create the HD DVD drive in the first place). Now instead of buying a Microsoft brand 360 Blu-ray Player, I will be buying a Playstation 3. Seems like a brilliant plan on Microsoft's part - if they wanted me to buy a competing product.

So when you want Blu-ray content... (1)

keineobachtubersie (1244154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845988)

You think buying a PS3 makes sense? Instead of a standalone player?

Sorry, I just don't see how what you said makes any sense at all.

Re:So when you want Blu-ray content... (5, Informative)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846122)

It makes perfect sense if you realize that the PS3 is the only really future-proof Blu-ray player on the market right now. That, and the fact that it's almost the same price as a stand-alone player, plus you can play games, media, and install Linux on it.

Re:So when you want Blu-ray content... (0, Redundant)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846292)

It makes perfect sense if you realize that the PS3 is the only really future-proof Blu-ray player on the market right now. That, and the fact that it's almost the same price as a stand-alone player, plus you can play games, media, and install Linux on it.
Couldn't have put it better myself, so I'm just quoting you :P

Re:So when you want Blu-ray content... (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846448)

You think buying a PS3 makes sense? Instead of a standalone player?

You tell me.

Prices from walmart.com just now:

Sony BDP-300 BluRay player: $378.88 (sale price)
Sony PS3 40GB game console: $399.00

Five percent more for a game console with BD player vs just a BD player? Why not?

(Now, when/if BD player prices ever come down to something reasonable, that logic changes.)

Re:So when you want Blu-ray content... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846474)

The 40GB PS3 is just about the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market. Also, pending the upcoming 2.20 firmware update, it's about the only BD-Live player you can find.

Re:Shooting themselves in the foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22846480)

Well, basically any REAL hardcore gamer DOESN'T play console games. They will have a rig with dual 512s and 4 gig ram, and a 30 inch screen to do that. Those are what I have to play the games that really matter, 3 good fire-breathing desktop rigs (and a Alienware laptop, but they suck pretty bad since Dell bought them).
Secondly, I have all the three mainstream consoles with all the possible subscriptions, and mostly of all the available games for each one, and I will say Wii is a 1000 times better, XBox360 comes second, and PS3 comes well behind on a third.
But if you hate M$ you can keep pouring your anger not buying a 360, and just being out of the club.

they don't have much choice (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845822)

Their next gaming console will have to have some kind of optical drive in it. And DVD isn't big enough anymore an the 12X spin rate needed to get good transfer rates also is one of the things that makes their console annoyingly loud.

They'll have to use a new optical format for the next Xbox, and with HD-DVD dead it seems to mean they have to use BluRay.

And for those who want to say you'll get your games over the next, I really can't see that in the next 2-3 years. By the end of the next console's lifetime (6+ years) it seems pretty natural though.

Re:they don't have much choice (2, Interesting)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846118)

I don't know... just because HD-DVD is dead in the consumer market, it may not stop them from using it as a proprietary system for the console. If anything, it might afford them more protection from piracy than any DRM. If no one can get HD-DVD drives to read the disks, no one can decrypt or copy them. The Blu-ray BD+ DRM has already been broken by Slysoft (AnyDVD), for instance.

I could see a problem with production. They'd have to find a company willing to continue to manufacture the drives for them; knowing that MS might be their sole customer. They wouldn't want to get into a position of being dependent on that manufacturer and then have to pay through the nose for the hardware. So either pay more for them, or bring production inhouse. Either option more costly than Blu-ray drives.
I'm curious to see where they go with it myself.

Oh, just great... :-\ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22845870)

Looks like MS is going to be doing exactly what MS always does. The new Xbox is gonna have an MS-proprietary, oddball, incompatible-with-everybody-else's-standard, optical drive technology that nobody else will adopt or inter-operate with.

Blurry Compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22845890)

Is there a good reason why MS can't just develop their own drive which is capable of playing Sony discs?

HDi v/s BDj (1)

ilyanov (142645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845900)

Wasn't HDi one of the main bones of contention that caused the schism in the first place? I remember reading Microsoft wanted to enter the consumer software market on the back of HDi should HDDVD have won. Look up the supporters of the HDDVD from a computer industry perspective, you will find that the Wintel camp went with HDDVD.

Ain't going to happen... (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845942)

Pay-per-view.
Yep, as in, MS' technology now completes with the cable company's product. So, do you think that cable companies are going to roll out fiber to everyone's door just so MS, Apple, Blockbuster and Netflix can deliver video on demand?
Nope.

Wrongly quoted (1)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845946)

"We're the only console offering digital distribution of entertainment content"

What he really wanted to say-

"We're the only guys who can charge you double the amount that you should be paying for watching a movie at home on your XBox."

How many HD games are there anyway? (-1)

eltonito (910528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845966)

How many games on the market for either the PS3 or the 360 actually utilize the HD capabilities for gaming? Are there any yet? I think we are years away from HD gaming content becoming commonplace, in which case Microsoft could roll out Blu-Ray or whatever HD delivery spec is ideal in 4 or so years when they release their next gen device. Waiting it out might not be such a bad strategy for Microsoft and the Xbox team if they are viewing the current Xbox primarily as a gaming device and not a full-blown media hub.

Re:How many HD games are there anyway? (1)

aaron.axvig (1238422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846478)

Most (all?) Xbox 360 games can be output at HD resolutions. Look at all computer games: they don't use 25GB of storage but they still have up to 2560x1900 resolutions (or whatever those huge LCDs run). So you don't need "HD" discs to have HD output. Hell, you could probably put a few seconds of "HD" video on a floppy disk.

The "HD" discs are just providing more storage so that they can have more music, more cutscenes, more textures, etc.

My Slashdot Biases Are Colliding (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22845994)

Sony vs. Microsoft. I guess Slashdot is going to have to go with Sony. We have been triangulated.

And all I can think of... (3, Funny)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846014)

is how Nintendo is just laughing their asses off at all of this.

Media Center too? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846016)

that wont be a smart move to use HDi on the media center, what then? customers could only play HDi videos? while the rest of the world plays video in BlueRay? if BlueRay is the new standard for video/movies , while the xbox is ok i guess providing the game manufacturers are willing to implement that format for the xbox. but for media center (HDi) it would be the odd egg since BlueRay seems to be the way the market is going (just a thought)...

No Blu Ray in the 360 is fine by Sony (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846056)

If Microsoft wanted to licence Blu Ray they'd go to the BDA, not to Sony. They'd then be free to implement the standard through any OEM they felt like which could even be Toshiba. After all, Toshiba and Samsung jointly own TSST that makes Blu Ray OEM drives.

Sure if MS doesn't include a Blu Ray drive, it would mean Sony was deprived of some royalties. But at the same time it would negate the one major advantage the PS3 has over the 360 so they'd lose sales. So I think Sony would be quite happy if MS skipped Blu Ray altogether. It would be just another reason for many people to buy a PS3.

Re:No Blu Ray in the 360 is fine by Sony (2, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846182)

When it comes time for MS to make a Blu-Ray drive, they will go to the BDA for the license. However, let's face it, it's going to be Sony trying to get them to come over.

Great News! Another Reason to Marginalize MS (-1, Flamebait)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846180)

This is great news. Yet another example of Microsoft's arrogance harming the company. We can only hope they keep blasting away at their feet like this.

This sucks (3, Informative)

rikkards (98006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846220)

XBox Live is about to take a kick in the teeth in Canada. Rogers has announced that they will start capping their bandwidth this June. If you go over it will cost you $2/gig (up to $25) extra per month. Until now we have been fortunate. Not sure if Microsoft has taken something like this change into account especially with higher quality videos creating larger data costs for the end user. At this point if no Blu-Ray player is coming, I go out and buy a separate Blu-Ray player (or PS3) and rent movies than risk going over my limit. I already pay Rogers enough.

Buy a DirectX console and expect otherwise? (0)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846224)

What does a person expect a different thing when he/she buys a game console, one of few things which has meaningful competition going on, from Microsoft?

For example, as Apple only Desktop/Server user, I can't stand to iPhone limitations so I go and buy Symbian S60 based handset from Nokia. Is it used easy, clever as iPhone? No. I can say iPhone has a great user experience but I want to have a brand neutral, considerably open platform which allows me to do anything. E.g. I am free to say "S60 browser is junk" and buy/install Opera Mobile (which I did).

There are options like Nintendo, Sony Playstation and others even including a high end PC packaged in small form. (gaming machine)

They have enough monopoly on other things, please don't get prisoned to Microsoft at least on game consoles.

Lessons Learned From "Sewer Shark" (3, Insightful)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846284)

I don't think Microsoft cares that Blu-Ray is Sony's standard, just that it's not Microsoft's standard.

From there, the decision to forget about a high-definition player add-on for this generation makes sense. The attach rate for the HD-DVD drive wasn't very good (typical for a console add-on), but Microsoft was willing to take that hit for the sake of promoting HD-DVD. (Not to mention keeping up with the Playstation 3 Joneses.) A Blu-Ray movie player for 360 would be just another console accessory that doesn't sell enough to justify the cost. (See also: Sega CD)

XBox "720", if it uses an optical drive at all, will probably use Blu-Ray out of necessity. As a baseline for the platform, it will be far easier to justify that cost as upfront R&D.

Based on previous history... (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846288)

Microsoft NEVER go with a pre-existing stadard as-is. Its like they feel the need to have their own customized version of everything for some reason. I guess they feel it gives them control of something.
Consequently even if Microsoft licenced Blu-Ray, I'd bet they'd change parts of it somehow to make it their own in some way that would be incompatible with everything else.

BluRay Reader (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846392)

... Wouldn't you be able to place an existing BluRay Reader (5.25" drive) in an external case and hook it up? I am sure it would have some issues with drivers and decoders, but isn't the 360 at least software hackable in some way? Worst case scenario is you have a drive that can read files off a disc (DivX, MP4, etc.)

I don't see how this couldn't be done... However I am not in any way familiar with the innards of the 360.

Monopoly First (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22846424)

Why would Microsoft abandon HD-DVD now that it's got a monopoly on them with Toshiba exiting the market?

Inferior quality and lone support has never stopped Microsoft from exploiting a monopoly position on a technology.
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