Since Microsoft discontinued its HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360, the rumor mill has been grinding away about a possible replacement Blu-ray drive for the console. Microsoft was said to be in talks with Sony over such a drive, but Microsoft itself shot down those rumors, and some news sites are dubious that a Blu-ray offering even makes sense for the 360.
Taiwanese site DigiTimes says it's heard from industry sources that Lite-On is quietly developing Blu-ray drives for the 360. The drives are supposedly on track to ship in the second half of the year. DigiTimes says Lite-On is already Microsoft's supplier for Xbox 360 DVD drives, so the manufacturer's involvement in purported Blu-ray drive development makes sense. Lite-On also offers Blu-ray drives for PCs, like this $129.99 model that reads DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
According to DigiTimes, Lite-On has also received a contract to make Blu-ray drives for Dell. The Taiwanese firm will reportedly be shipping 20,000 to 30,000 drives to the PC vendor each month.