Rumor: Microsoft Ready to Ship Blu-Ray Equipped Xbox 360


Stop us if you've heard this one before. According to the latest rumor, Microsoft plans to offer an external Blu-ray drive for its Xbox 360 console. Wait! On second thought, just hear us out.

We've heard this rumor time and time again, and in each instance, Microsoft has been quick to deny the speculation. So what makes this time any different? Possibly nothing, but it's worth noting that Microsoft hasn't publicly squashed the rumblings, at least not yet. Nor has Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology Corp (let's just call them TSST), a joint venture that XbitLabs says has been contracted to produce the external drives. If the rumor pans out , the targeted price point will be in the vicinity of $100 to $150.

Maybe Microsoft comes out and says it isn't happening, or maybe not. But the notion is at least worth considering. At $100 to $150, an Xbox 360 + Blu-ray combo would offer a competitive all-in-one solution to Sony's Playstation 3 console, and while the current response to Blu-ray can be described as lukewarm at best, that might not always be the case. HDTV's have come down in price since the days of bulky rear-projection units, and if a struggling economy doesn't have us all soon living a Mad Max lifestyle, even more homes will be equipped with high definition television sets this winter as companies look to capitalize on the Super Bowl frenzy. And with Blu-ray player pricing still relatively high, it makes sense to pick up a PS3 rather than a dedicated player. That is, unless Microsoft offers a compelling alternative.

Do you think Microsoft should finally jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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