updated 12:35 pm EDT, Fri May 2, 2008
Fresh Xbox Blu-ray rumors
Microsoft is turning to Pegatron Technology, a subsidiary of ASUS, to produce Xbox 360 consoles with integrated Blu-ray drives, according to reports. Exactly one month ago, Microsoft denied rumors of Lite-On producing a Blu-ray drive for its popular game console, but chose words carefully to avoid excluding other suppliers. The new account claims that Blu-ray Xboxes will ship in the third quarter, but at this stage it is not known exactly which markets will get the HD-capable consoles, nor at what price, or even if the launch is guaranteed.
Industry insiders believe that Microsoft needs a Blu-ray drive, in spite of downloadable movies and arguments to the contrary, in order to stay competitive with rivals Sony and Nintendo. The Wii outsold both Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 in March, and the former two each have unique selling points the Xbox lacks. Nintendo has a low price and a unique motion-based controller, while the PS3 has Blu-ray playback capabilities in all its models; both consoles also offer free online gaming, whereas people must pay for this on Microsoft's Xbox Live service.