Why not? Peripherals are easy. Strategy is hard. Figure out the latter and assuming Blu-ray wins the gold, plugging a Blu-ray add-on into your Xbox 360 sounds like a no-brainer. According to this Australian news site, a Microsoft exec said almost as much in response to the question “What if HD DVD fails?”
“It should be a consumer choice, and if that’s the way they vote, that’s something we’ll have to consider,” answered Microsoft group marketing manager Albert Penello.
And indeed it should be, the operative words being “consumer” and “choice.” Currently you can buy an HD DVD player for the Xbox 360, but unlike the PlayStation 3 which comes with an expensive integrated Blu-ray drive, you’re not required to eat everything on your plate. Sony makes gamers stomach that cost up front, love it or leave it, and even though Warner Bros just declared “love it,” those of you without high definition TV sets could probably care less. Well, you care that you’re being asked to fork over an extra couple hundred for technology you may or may not ever use, anyway.Isn’t it ironic that Sony has managed in less than 12 months to come out with four or five entirely different versions of the PlayStation 3? What do you want, wireless or no? Flash card or no flash card? SACD support? And the big thinker, PlayStation 1 and 2, or just PlayStation 2 support?
But “To Blu-ray or not to Blu-ray”? Non-negotiable as far as Sony’s concerned.
How many PS3s do you think they would have sold in 2007 if their console cost $300-$400 instead of $500-$600? We’ll never know, but with incredible games like Ratchet & Clank Future and Uncharted, I’m guessing up to twice as many.
Why not Blu-ray for 360 now? Because Microsoft’s biding its time, and because it can afford to. It has a vested partner-driven interest in winning the format wars, even if it seems more likely than ever to lose them. The Xbox 360 is the number one and two console in software and hardware sales respectively. The company’s just spinning its wheels strategically, and probably views Sony’s initial PS3 sales as largely Sony-enthusiast driven, not explicitly 360 losses.
by Matt Peckham (PCWorld)