Blu-ray never coming to the Xbox 360?

— 5:05 PM on March 24, 2008

Back in January, Microsoft spoke out saying it might consider supporting Blu-ray if the market ended up choosing the format over HD DVD. After Toshiba called it quits on HD DVD, Microsoft discontinued the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive, and we heard whispers that the software giant was in talks with Sony over a Blu-ray drive for the console—a rumor Microsoft subsequently shot down.

So, is a Blu-ray drive on its way for the Xbox 360, or will Microsoft continue to shun the format? If a report by The Industry Standard is accurate, the latter option seems likeliest. TIS says Microsoft is still pushing HDi, the platform that gave HD DVDs their interactive functionality (and, as it happens, rivaled the Java-based BD-J platform used in Blu-ray media). The team in Redmond responsible for HDi reportedly hasn't been disbanded, TIS says, and HDi technology is alive today on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Windows Vista's Windows Media Center.

In other words, TIS believes Microsoft doesn't need HD DVD to push HDi, but that supporting Blu-ray in the Xbox 360 would jeopardize its plans for the platform. Microsoft may instead opt to expand the high-definition offerings on the Xbox Live Marketplace and thereby give users another alternative to Blu-ray.

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