We've heard over and over and over how a Blu-ray movie player add-on for the Xbox 360 was a distinct possibility if the HD DVD format ended up losing out. Well, now that the Microsoft-supported format seems just one step away from dead, we're hearing rumblings of just how possible that Blu-ray player possibility is.
Citing "insiders at Microsoft in the USA," Australia's Smarthouse says Microsoft's Blu-ray add-on is already fully designed, and could be on the market within three months, "subject to internal marketing and sales approvals." Smarthouse also repeated the rumors of a built-in high-def drive for the system, although now that rumored drive plays Blu-ray discs instead of an HD DVDs. Regardless, the tech site seems to think Microsoft will focus on digital movie downloads for those who don't want an add-on.
As for Sony, they couldn't be happier that Microsoft is considering jumping over to the "winning" side of this HD disc battle. "We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable," SCE Managing Director Michael Ephraim told Smarthouse. "In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very successful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player." Hey, they just won a format war ... they can afford to be a little smug.