I guess we all understand why the HD drives in the Xbox 360 are external components don’t we? Lots of people faulted Microsoft for making the HD drive an external attachment but it was obviously a smarter move than making the same drive an internal component wasn’t it? No one could know who would win the format war and Microsoft hedged their bets by choosing the HDDVD drive in partnership with Toshiba by making it an add on component that can easily be changed over for another drive in the future.
Making the 360 a modular system was smarter in many ways. It helps keep the cost of the base unit lower and gets more users on your consoles. This is a safer bet then the move Sony made by including the Blu Ray player in the Playstation 3 whereby they have priced themselves above many entrants to the market and made themselves a high end system trying to compete with more affordable consoles like the 360 or Wii. Sony is sitting pretty now that the format war is over but they took one hell of a risk by integrating the Blu Ray and had this format war gone the other way this discussion would more likely be about the death of Sony and the Playstation than it is about a potential partnership between 2 of the top 3 console makers in the industry.
Microsoft has no problem in shifting sides, gears or partnerships and they will gladly open up to a partnership with Sony and include a Blu Ray device for the Xbox 360 in the near future I am certain. Why else would they have built the 360 with an external drive connection? What other choice does Microsoft have even? They are not going to develop some other format are they? No. They have no other choice but to concede a portion of future HD drive sales to Sony for every 360 sold if they want their player to be compatible with the only HD format available any longer. Don’t they?
And what about Sony? Do you think they will keep the Blu Ray a proprietary system and force Microsoft to develop an alternative or do you think they will settle for a slice of all HD drive sales on future Xbox units by establishing the Blu Ray as the HD standard for all game platforms? Do you think they want to risk the victory they have just claimed as the only HD format available? No. Sony will gladly take a piece of HD drive sales on Xbox because they know that at some point in the future all HD players will be Blu Ray and Sony will make money on every game console their competitors sell.
Sony Reportedly Discussing Blu-ray Xbox With Microsoft
Sony turned to Microsoft for a possible Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360, a senior executive told the Financial Times yesterday. On one hand, Microsoft has always supported the HD DVD format, which is now dead and buried, while Sony said they wanted to adjust to the consumers’ needs. After all, if we think of it, as there is no more HD DVD, what can the two companies do but talk?Everyone is curious to know how this collaboration would materialize in terms of prices, as Sony has kept a pretty high price tag on its Blu-ray so far. The question is: is Sony ready to give up the advantage the PS3 has now over Microsoft’s Xbox 360? As it appears, they’re nor afraid of a little competition, and that’s not all, as Sony will also get some great revenue from a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.
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