Blu-ray add-on not coming to the Xbox 360

Steve Ballmer said in a recent interview with Gizmodo that Blu-ray drives will be available as accessories. But they won't be coming to the Xbox 360.

Xbox 360
Blu-ray add-on, anyone? Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told Gizmodo in a recent interview that a Blu-ray accessory could be on its way. But speculation over the possibility of that accessory being offered for the Xbox 360 has been put to rest by the software giant.

"Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there," Ballmer told Gizmodo, responding to a question about Blu-ray in the Xbox 360. "You'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories."

Ballmer then quickly hedged his bets a little, saying that he believes that "the future of movies is on-demand, actually, as opposed to via distribution on physical media." He then said that his company is focused on trying to create the "best overall entertainment experience" that it can.

Ballmer's comments about on-demand video echoes what we've heard from the Microsoft camp all year . The company has consistently said that it's tying its future to Netflix and streaming HD content.

But it was the Blu-ray comment that caused some raised eyebrows. It was originally believed that Ballmer was talking about accessories for the Xbox 360. But a Microsoft spokesperson wrote to me on Thursday, saying he was really talking about accessories for the PC.

"Steve was referring to Blu-ray accessories for the PC," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. "As we have said in the past, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360. In fact, the future of home entertainment starts this fall when Xbox 360 becomes the first and only console to offer instant-on 1080p streaming HD movies. With a library of thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from, Xbox 360 owners can instantly watch the movies they want, when they want, in the highest form of high definition."

Rumors have been swirling for over a year that a Blu-ray add-on is coming to the Xbox 360. In fact, last October, it was reported that Microsoft had Blu-ray add-ons from Samsung and Toshiba ready for store shelves. Those products (if they existed) were never released. And by the looks of things, they won't be.

But we leave it up to you. Should the Xbox 360 feature a Blu-ray add-on? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. PDT to include Microsoft's comments.

 

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