Microsoft: Blu-ray 'to be passed by as a format'

Blu-ray - a dirty word, according to Microsoft
Blu-ray - a dirty word, according to Microsoft

Microsoft has re-iterated its non-Blu-ray stance this week, explaining in an interview that the hi-def disc format favoured by Sony and its PS3 is 'being passed by'.

Microsoft has always vehemently defended its decision to not add a costly Blu-ray drive to the Xbox 360 system.

While it did have a brief-but-doomed affair with HD DVD, it seems that the company is sounding the death knell on HD discs altogether and bigging up downloads as the future of how we consume our entertainment.

UK Xbox boss Stephen McGill, in an interview with Xbox Achievements, said about Blu-ray: "I think people may have spoken about [Xbox's lack of a Blu-ray drive] originally, but that's long gone.

"I think people now recognise what a smart decision it was to keep the pricing low, and actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format.

"People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?"

HD streaming

Considering the question put to McGill was about the Xbox 360 still packing an old-school DVD drive and how this is effecting the console in terms of lifespan, the Xbox boss managed to spin a rather cutting riposte about the state of the Blu-ray market.

It's clear that Microsoft is sticking to its guns and not going to add Blu-ray functionality to its consoles.

But Full HD 1080p quality streaming available to all in the UK is still something of a pipe dream, regardless of what McGill says – and won't be a reality until our broadband infrastructure is given a much needed kick-start.


Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.