“We’ve just taken a different strategy. Sony bet on the physical disc, and there are costs associated with that”
There have been many rumors swirling around about upcoming features headed to the Xbox 360, a possible Xbox Slim, USB HDD support, and even mumblings of a summer season price drop. There is one rumor that can be put to rest for now, and that is the Xbox’s adaptation of a built-in Blu-Ray player.
Xbox Product Director, Aaron Greenberg, said in a recent Edge interview that Microsoft’s decision to remain DVD compatible is part of the reason the Xbox 360 has been so successful in retail sales.
“The fact that we’re able to offer a console starting at $199 is a benefit of not being burdened with that cost. Being $100 cheaper is part of the reason why we’re nearly twice their installed base.” Greenberg said referring to Xbox 360’s US installed base. “For us, our bet was on digital distribution, that that was the future – the ability to do 1080p movies with no disc, no download required; we have the largest movie and TV library, the largest HD library of any console,”
Streaming movies with Netflix and downloading from the Xbox Live Marketplace are convenient options, especially with faster internet connections headed our way. Could a strictly digital distribution business model be the final blow to Blu-Ray that sends it spiraling down like the ill-fated Sony product, Betamax? Only time will tell.