Once Again, Microsoft Explains Why It Won't Go Blu-ray

Illustration for article titled Once Again, Microsoft Explains Why It Wont Go Blu-ray

Blu-ray won the format war. One HD game console (the PS3) already uses the format. The other one (the Xbox 360) doesn't. Microsoft says it plans to keep it that way.

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We've heard this before. Microsoft isn't going Blu-ray. Still, Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, lays out three years why the company isn't keen on the format:

It's not a feature we get a ton of requests for. We really don't. When you ask people the list of things they want to see us spending time creating in Xbox, Blu-ray is way, way down on the list.

The second thing is, from a technical perspective, it doesn't help us in the core of what Xbox does, which is in gaming. We can't have publishers produce games on Blu-ray disc. Because then they won't play on the 28 million Xboxes we've already shipped. So it doesn't help us in the core gaming space.

The third thing, and this maps to all three of those, is that it costs a lot of money. And so the scenario is, OK, let me get this straight: I'm going to add something to the product that's going to raise the cost, which means the price goes up, consumers aren't asking for it, and by the way, my game developers can't use it.

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If HD DVD had won the format war, would Microsoft be singing this song?

Q&A: Microsoft's Robbie Bach on economy, Zune glitch and iPhone [TechFlash via VG247]

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DISCUSSION

I realize that a lot of people miss this point, but the format war *isn't over yet*.

You see, there were from the start not two, but *three* participants in the Format War. They were HD-DVD, Bluray, and Digital Distribution.

HD-DVD has given up the fight and quit, but the other two, Bluray and Digital Distribution, have forged ahead. One of those has made great gains-one of them has made small gains but has inconsistent traction and can really only tap about 35% of the market right now, the HD portion. The other one can tap everything from SD to HD to iPods to Cell Phones to every single game system portable and home alike. One of these formats is the future, and one of these formats is a relic, a throwback to a past that is rapidly dying.

One of these formats is winning. And one of them is just ticking down the days until its time runs out. I'm sure I don't have to spell it out for you which format is which. You already know. We all do. Because we saw it with Music already.