Microsoft to launch Blu-ray 360?

Could the Xbox 360 soon come with an internal Blu-ray drive?

Microsoft is getting ready to launch a stand-alone Blu-ray player to replace its dead-in-the-water


drive. That’s according to


, which claims that Microsoft is several steps down the line towards joining team Blu-ray.

Unnamed ‘insiders’ at Microsoft are reported to have said that, along with a stand-alone Blu-ray drive for existing Xbox 360 consoles, a new Xbox with internal Blu-ray drive will also be launched.

It’s not the first time such rumours have surfaced, of course. And what with HD DVD’s demise seemingly imminent, it was almost a given that the rumours would surface again this week.

Xbox 360 to go Blu-ray?

However, it would certainly make sense for Microsoft to join the likes of Panasonic, Philips, Sharp and Sony in the Blu-ray camp. One of the key selling points of the PS3 is that it’s an affordable Blu-ray player. So an Xbox 360 with internal Blu-ray drive would certainly go some way towards castrating the PS3 and seizing the initiative once more.

The only problem for Microsoft is that PS3-creator, Sony, is in charge of giving out Blu-ray licenses. And so if it feels that giving Microsoft permission to go Blu-ray would be detrimental to its own sales, it might refuse any application for a licence.

The flipside of this argument is that Microsoft has already invested vast amounts of cash in its Xbox Live Video Marketplace service. It allows Xbox 360 gamers to download full-HD movies and video clips. It’s still early days, but Microsoft certainly expects digital downloads to play a big role in the future.

So does Microsoft want to spend money on going Blu-ray? And would Sony be happy about it if that were the case? These questions will surely be answered soon.

We’ve contacted the Blu-ray Disc Association to see what it thinks about Microsoft joining up. We’ll let you know what it says as soon as it gets back to us.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.