updated 07:00 pm EDT, Thu October 22, 2009
Major Nelson says no Blu Xbox
Xbox Live Programming Director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb tonight quickly denied Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's statements pointing to an Xbox 360 Blu-ray player. He now claims that Ballmer was referring to PC drives and repeats Microsoft's frequent public statements that it has "no plans" to add Blu-ray. He maintains instead that the Zune Video Marketplace will be the only HD video option in the near future.
Rumors have repeatedly surfaced of a Blu-ray drive coming to the game console, typically as a USB add-on rather than as an internal drive. However, Microsoft's justifications have shifted over time from a focus on gaming to video services like Netflix and Zune. Outside of its own claims, objections to Blu-ray have revolved around the high price of an add-on drive, its possible division of the Xbox market and the necessity of a separate drive versus dedicated readers that now cost $200 or less.