October 22nd 2009 8:02 pm PT

We have no plans for Blu-Ray on Xbox 360



During an interview yesterday, Steve Ballmer was asked about Blu-Ray and the Xbox 360. I wanted to clear something up. Steve was referring to Blu-Ray accessories for the PC. As we have said in the past, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360. In fact, the future of home entertainment starts very soon when Xbox 360 becomes the first and only console to offer instant-on 1080p streaming HD movies. With a library of thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from, Xbox 360 owners can instantly watch the movies they want, when they want, in the highest form of high definition.




Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • ShaggyB

    Why the hell not? If we the consumer are calling for it… why not give us the option like you did with HD-dvd… I dont want blu-ray built into the 360…. I want an external drive that I can add to my hd-dvd drive for 360… a one stop do it all box.

    Is it really that hard for you guys to do?

  • Chux

    Because the Video Marketplace has lossless audio, extras, and I can watch it more than once in a 24 hour period right…

    Oh wait.

  • wolfzero01

    unless you have a fast internet connection that doesn’t have any hiccups & your ISP doesn’t decide to implement a bandwith cap, digital distribution is not going to be the future. why not find a way to release a cheap (although I think that word is banned from MS thinking) add on for Blu-Ray, nobody is saying that the 360 needs to have an internal Blu-Ray like the PS3, just give your customers the option

  • Finnally

    The quality of the content is pretty poor right now, but presumably will improve. However, even if it does my biggest problem is the language support. I live in Germany, but want English content: Microsoft seems determined not to give it to me, even when the same content is available to people in the UK. This goes for games on demand as well: I can only download German language versions. I would be spending a lot more money on Xbox Live if it wasn’t for this foolishness.

  • Th3 HaGMan

    Doesn’t the new Zune update let you download or stream as well as rent or buy 1080p content? Just reading what it says in my update thing on the connect site. I think thats pretty good, what would be better is use for any sized external hard drive you may have laying around to store it all on, i really don’t want to spend £90? on a 120 gb hard drive for videos

  • AK47Autolock

    I would assume they have plans for Blu-Ray in the next iteration of the Xbox. At least when I’m in a location of Minnesota that has electricity, but still communicates via smoke signals, I can bring my PS3 to watch 1080p movies. Yet I love my Netflix on my 360, as long as you have at least an 8mb connection speed, any less and HD streaming is unstable. Used to have 5mb and that was too slow for HD streaming, upgraded to 10mb and have no problems at all now.

  • Goodeye84

    You guys really need to pull in the reigns on your CEO someone needs to have a talk with him.

    Major in case you didn’t watch the video he was NOT talking about PC the question was clearly about the 360. Listen to how it was worded. “I don’t think we need to have Blu-Ray built in” How could that be about PC’s you guys do not make PC’s you make the software for the PC.

    Not that I really believed it but seriously you either are creating one or your not, And Ballmer really thinks you guys are. Methinks that maybe just maybe he stole your guy’s thunder?

    Enough of the PR stuff.


    One thing he is not mentioning is that in order to actually to watch 1080p resolution you need an hdmi output and Microsoft as dumb as they are thought you don’t need 1080p when they first released the console, so a lot of people will not be able to watch thm in 1080p. Just as they thought HD DVD is the next thing. WRONG!!
    But you can’t expect anything less from Microsoft. That’s why I have Xbox and PS3.
    And i am not buying a stupid HDD from microsoft with 120 GB for over $100. I can buy 1TB for that money.
    Greedy bastards!

  • CaNiBaL Elite

    Streaming 1080P at what price? Still waiting for the update.

  • BEN500

    Man come on just make the sodding drive already.. No ones gunna buy a MS blu drive for their PC they will want a good one.. ;-) but really i would walk out there right now and split £100 for a BR add-on for my 360.. im on the cusp of buying a ps3 (second hand) just for the blu-ray and maybe little big planet but thats it MGS and kill zone might be the only other games i might rent or buy but every thing else is on the box.. oooo instant 1080p streaming wow another over priced option from MS where as a blu-ray disk you can watch over and over and over and it comes with extra features… will the 1080p stream come with extra features?? Like the making of doc etc.. and will we be able to watch that film over and over at no extra cost..??

  • CaNiBaL Elite

    For the 1080P streaming on ZUNE MP it says you buy it once and can watch it over and over, not just that you can watch it from your ZUNE, or PC also.

  • DarkTear81

    Well a 360 with an internal drive would let us play Forza3 without the “install the 2nd” disc and without disc-swapping… would love it… An external drive (wether for PC nor for 360) for me cause I got my PS3 for this.

    For the “we will have 1080p streaming movies”… Well eff that. With the bandwith I got here I wait like 30-45 minutes to start a streamed SD-Movie. I would never touch the HD ones.

  • Ark Hunter

    How are you going to get more game content on a disk with out multiple disks or major downloads and storage space? HD DVD drive in the system?

  • Ark Hunter

    in the highest form of high definition.

    I agree about the point some one on the first page made about streaming 1080p not being equal to disk based 1080p. Does this streamed 1080p have True HD 7.1 surround with it also? I doubt it.

  • ElektroDragon

    Ahh, but will these instant-on 1080p movies also have 5.1 surround sound, or are you going to ruin the audio stream by compressing it into stereo? I’d much rather wait to see the movie and get my full blown Dolby 5.1 or DTS surround sound, thank you very much.

  • STONED1999

    MS is just plain stubborn. If the HD-Drive was such a great idea, why wouldn’t a bluray player be equally useful. I hate having to have additional units littering my desk. I’m sure many of us would actually replace our 360’s if a new one showed up with an internal BluRay. I guess even an external 1 would be better than nothing.

    I’m sure the real issue is Sony not wanting to license the technology at a reasonable cost to MS. If that’s the case maybe MS should just say as much and blame Sony.

  • Azor

    All of this discussion encouraged me to go out and buy a PS3 today. WOW – just WOW! PS3 really is quite cool. I’m not an MS or Sony fanboy, so I’m not rooting for any particular one – but I’ve had a 360 for awhile so I stuck with that platform; but the PS3 is a pretty sweet machine. Well, the issue of xbox not having Bluray is now a do not care item for me.

    Anyone wanting to jump into the Bluray wagon, I totally recommend the PS3! You get Bluray and so much more.

    Well, off to watch U-571 in Bluray HD. I love this movie – and I bought it now and own the disc! I like it this way much better.

  • kristof666

    AZOR… the expensive nhl jersey and the overall “fuck the customer” attitude MS is adopting recently pushed me to do the same.

    And so I must say I do agree with you. The ps3 is a great system with some great game…

  • Rugged Savior

    I figured Microsoft would not go towards blu-ray with the current console. Maybe the next console? Or is it because SONY used Blu-ray first? I figured, well sure Xbox has a massive library of movies and TV shows, but so does everything else. What needs to be focused is a much more concentration of raw power for Xbox, since the software library is at best. Therefore, sometime in the future, Microsoft needs to focus on Blu-ray, or ANYTHING ray as a matter of fact.

  • darkjester74

    I was waiting for this post. This isnt the first time Steve has shot from the hip and confused the press and public. Larry, pull the reins in on your boss! ;-)

  • TCLN Ryster

    @DarkTear81: “Well a 360 with an internal drive would let us play Forza3 without the “install the 2nd” disc and without disc-swapping..”

    No. Even if they released a Blu-Ray drive for the 360, it would NEVER be used for games. Microsoft just would risk alienating everyone without the Blu-Ray drive by releasing games on Blu-Ray discs.

    And regarding this whole situation, to those saying “digital distribution is the future”, please get your head out of the clouds. The majority of people in the world do not have the right combination of high-speed (10mb+) broadband and unlimited usage quotas. Without both of those being available, downloading 1080p is prohibitively expensive and hugely inconvenient. Not to mention the fact that the cost of the hard drives to store these downloads on is VASTLY overpriced for what you get. 120gb for £90? Get real! A 500gb 2.5″ drive (which is all your drives are, with just an added cradle around them) costs just £79.99 at PC World and they are not known for their low prices.

    Come on Microsoft, get a grip and give your customers what they want. I already have a Blu-Ray player in the lounge, but I want to be able to play my Blu-Rays in the bedroom where my 360 is too. I don’t want a PS3 (although you are managing to make them look more attractive each day that passes) and I would really prefer not to get another black box for underneith the TV.


  • Ziesel86

    Digital Distribution of any content sucks, especially with Micro$oft’s bullshit licensing rules. And if the price model of current content is carried over for this….God help us. Go Sony.


    Its cheaper to buy some of those movies on Blu Ray then pay those prices on ZUNE HD marketplace for only a rental….. $10 for a day rental? sorry no il stick to my ps3 for my HD movie needs. Plus Blu Ray has HD audio not the old 5.1 ……. we got 7.1 etc over here.

    Plus this doesn’t give us options and this in turn means the ps3 will still gain buyers for blu ray, if the 360 had 1 then it would counter this trend.

  • Master Blud

    good cause i hate blu ray does anyone even know what the BLU stands for

  • Anonymous

    Why would anyone buy a blu ray drive for the 360? It would most likely cost $200 like the HD DVD drive, you’re better off getting a PS3.


    MS makes their money on software, NOT the hardware, so there’s no real incentive for them to release a Br drive. I, as a 360 user, would LOVE to have a Br add on. I like being able to OWN the movies that I pay for, and I don’t want my HDD filled up with downloaded contenet that may or may not last as long as a physical disk.

    I am Sparticus, I want a Blu-ray option for my Xbox 360!!!!

    Who’s with me?



  • GeekdadCanada

    In fact, the future of home entertainment starts very soon when Xbox 360 becomes the first and only console to offer instant-on 1080p streaming HD movies. With a library of thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from, Xbox 360 owners can instantly watch the movies they want, when they want, in the highest form of high definition.

    Yea sure, if you’re in the US. For us in Canada there is very little content. More than the non-existant PS3 video store, but still no tv shows.


    yes, but I still like to OWN what I pay for. For example, I paid $30.00 for HALO3, I can still get about half of that back if I sell it, same for movies, but downloaded content? No resale value at all, same price, no box, disc, instructions, etc…

  • loOkz

    if they come out with a blu-ray player now i swear i will just explode on this effin xbox, then im going to buy a plane ticket and come make a crazy psycho fool of myself.

    be careful xbox, we are still waiting on you to right your wrongs (HD-DVD)

    wouldn’t want a brother to snap, would you?

    (the next time we take the fall, no more live and im stealing everything (mod the box)

  • loOkz

    @madducky – i do think we need a guarantee that the on demand content will be available for an eternity since they are banking so much. no scratching no stealing no clutter


    Well, look at how other companies have handled digital content. Wallmart, Sony’s Sonic Stage, and the old Microsoft DRM (I cannot remember the name of it) format. They were all dropped by their respected corporations.

    I prefer content on an actual disc that will survive a HDD crash, and corporate policy change!

  • loOkz

    hell someone could steal your xbox, you buy another console and re-download all your stuff, that applies to a hdd crash. corporate policy change is what scares me.


    And that is why having a physical disc is a good idea.

    Plus, games are getting HUGE nowadays, how long before more games come on 2 DVD-9’s?

  • DavidGX

    It’s their game. They supported HD-DVD not because they wanted us to have the benefit of watching them, but they wanted HD-DVD to compete with blu-ray and downloads to win in the end. And they won’t give us a blu-ray because it doesn’t fit their plan.

    What garbage.

  • ActionMovieGuy

    ORIGINAL POST – “ARORK – It’s a shame that people seems to not understand that the streaming quality in 1080 is not the same as a BR or a HD-DVD….”

    T H A N K Y O U, AWORK! I was thinking the EXACT same thing. On top of that, you can’t get lossless audio from the 360 Hardware….at all…not even with HD DVD Movies (encoded with the tracks) played over the 360 HD DVD Drive…the architecture won’t support it! I’m a gaming fan, but I want the highest possible audio and video quality I can get for my movies & feed into my Home Theater (I’m a huge Motion Picture Experience fan..can you tell? :-)), and Marketplace & Netflix streaming ain’t it. All HD is not “mastered” & presented equal…even with BR, BUT that especially goes for that intended for the masses. And like another poster said, I also like having my own copy available in my hand too…on top of the quality issue.

  • Hastor34

    What many don’t understand is that 1080p isn’t a quality, it is just a resolution. The less bandwidth you use, the more compressed the video will be. No downloadable 1080p movies look anywhere near the quality of Blu-ray, and that is when you download them slowly then watch later, not streaming. Throw in surround sound and that is less data for the video, and highly compressed audio. Forget having anything to compare to the Master Lossless 7.1/5.1 tracks you find on Blu-ray. Saying something is 1080p just means that it is 1920×1080 pixels and not interlaced. If not much data is being used to describe each of those pixels, it might not be any better than DVD. Packing that many pixels into a streamable level of bandwidth will not result in anything much better than what Netflix already offers. I wouldn’t be surprised if a DVD upscaled to 1080p by a decent DVD player doesn’t look a lot better than what we are going to get. Blu-ray movies are often around 30GB (some more, some less), and you aren’t gonna send that much data over anyone’s home connection in the time it takes to watch a movie. 1080p has just become a marketing term and doesn’t represent quality at all. It is just one of many factores. Like when marketing used bits to determine the power of a game system. Everything from Atari 2600 to Turbografx-16 had an 8-bit main CPU, but they sure didn’t look the same, many other variables in play!

  • Ai Kago

    If these downloads are dirt cheap and there is tons of films for every region of the world this is a great idea.

    If I was a film buff though, I would want the actual Blu-ray disc to actually own the film outright, plus have the option of all the extras, and be able to watch it as many times as I like. Of course you could sell it on as well, unlike this streaming stuff.

  • MKVyper

    It has already been said, but not everyone has the internet connection required to really enjoy Microsoft’s proposal (in case it’s something priced right, which I doubt).

    MS should make a Blu-Ray accessory. Right now, they are only leaving another door open for Sony to sell more units.

  • The Phazer

    Microsoft’s streaming media store will remain a dismal failure for a long time yet. MS have put no effort into licensing content outside the US, the store is overpriced, paying in MS points is very inconvenient, the storage space for it is priced at a ludicrous level, there’s no streaming of web content due to the lack of a browser, the 360’s fans make a noise like a zepplin downing in use and content can’t be transferred to other devices. I don’t buy much of iTunes, but’s a thousand times better than the 360 video store.

    Seriously, if digital distribution is the future in the next ten years, then Microsoft are *screwed*, so you better hope it’s not.



    I think Microsoft should at least gauge public demand, and see if we really want one. Microsoft is more democratic than say Nintendo or Sony were during their second home platforms! If I were Microsoft, I’d bite the bullet, license Flash (or make Silverlight 100% compatible), release a Br drive and just be done with it.

    Seriously, just do it, make us all happy and we’ll move on to complaining about the backward compatible list and another update.

  • loOkz

    or how about zune software letting us record a movie that would play on the hd-dvd drive.


    It would be too hard to enforce any DRM if you could burn your own disc. Cleaver idea though.

  • loOkz

    haha yeah the cleaver is in my back, thanks to xbox

  • Quaranj

    Good, I don’t want SUN anywhere near my console. My almost-java VM in Windows that was made by Microsoft at least worked and didn’t soak up 90% of my CPU when invoked like the Sun garbage does.

  • bknight2k

    @The Phazer
    Just look how MS have screwed up Games on Demand, I cant say I am suprised if the content is over priced.

  • Quezcotl

    for people who says stuff like:blu.ray is overrated or worthless etc.
    okay, then why did MS support HD-DVD? only to disrupt blu-ray sales?

  • I head I

    Streaming 1080p content is impossible in Australia. Never going to happen with our crappy broadband service and abysmally slow speeds.

    I’d much rather have a BluRay player addon like the HD-DVD one. I certainly put that baby to good use with the 130 odd HD-DVD movies I bought. :)

  • MuckRak3r

    Is there major compression on 1080p through streaming? The beauty of 1080p on my PS3 is there is zero video or audio compression. It’s a straight shot all the way through via HDMI to my 1080p TV.

    Not to mention I regularly find blu-rays on sale for $13 or so and I OWN THEM!

  • Hastor34

    post says “Highest Form of High Definition”. That is BS. 1080p is the highest resolution, but it can vary in quality greatly in that. Just because you run VHS through a converter to display it at 1080p doesn’t add any detail. Even if you upscale something to 1080p it is just made up lines of resolution to smooth it out, not additional detail. The quality of the master, and the amount of compression, have a lot to do with it. There is no way they can stream HD at a quality near that of Blu-ray. Even when Dish Network did ads that you could get movies on demand in 1080p and said the same quality as Blu-ray, they were threatened with legal action if they did not remove that, and they did. Even HD channels over Dish, which is much more data than you can stream over DSL, doesn’t look 20% as good as a Blu-ray.

    Forget about HD sound too, the 360 can’t output it. It would take a new model, or an accessory to even output HD sound. If they did release a BD drive, perhaps they could allow you to loop the HDMI video through it and let the drive add HD sound to the signal, but something like that is the only hope. It can’t even output HD-DVDs at 24hz. If the streaming stuff only output at 60hz, that is another place they can’t compete. I don’t mind them not releasing a BD drive, though I remember back in the format war reading an article where someone said they likely would if HD-DVD didn’t come out on top. I have a PS3 so no big deal there, but confusing people with key marketing words like 1080p is gonna make it so less people know how much quality they should be demanding, because they won’t know it is out there.