This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard such rumours. Long before the demise of HD DVD, shadowy unnamed Microsoft types were heard to say that a Blu-ray alternative to the HD DVD add-on would be highly possible. With HD DVD out of the picture, there’s now a good reason for Microsoft to find an alternative accessory to sell to 360 owners.
Sony might not actually want this though. While the PS3 plays catch up with its game portfolio, one of its strongest differentiators from the 360 is that it includes a Blu-ray drive for playing the latest high definition movie discs. Offering the same technology to Microsoft would just make the two consoles harder to distinguish from each other, other than the fact the 360 is cheaper.
On the other hand, Microsoft adopting the technology would provide extra revenues for Sony. There’s even the possibility that Microsoft could produce a version of its console with am integrated Blu-ray drive, similar to the idea being floated around pre-CES.
However, now that Blu-ray has conquered its direct competition, the biggest threat on the horizon comes from downloads, Microsoft already has a massive system in place offering HD downloads to Xbox 360 users and so if they fail to take up Blu-ray as an alternative, that competition would only grow stronger over time.
So far though, Microsoft has continued to deny any involvement with Blu-ray stating “We have made no such announcement. Games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.”
(via Financial Times)