According to Microsoft, it’s only a matter of time before Blu-ray discs go the way of the dodo, if the dodo was a popular high-definition movie and game format. When asked whether their commitment to the DVD format, which holds 8GB in a single disc compared to Blu-ray’s boggling 50GB capacity, was holding their console back, Xbox UK head honcho Stephen McGill was quick to gaze into his crystal ball. Presumably the same crystal ball that said HD DVD was gonna be huge.
“Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format,” said McGill in an interview with Xbox Achievements. “People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?”
Though it’s true that digital downloads are on the rise, I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in Microsoft’s statement that the days of Blu-ray are numbered. Claims that excluding a high definition drive from the Xbox 360 was a “smart decision” as it kept the price nice and cheap for the money-strapped masses might be true, but that’s more hindsight than foresight on Microsoft’s part. It may not have come standard, but they backed a format and that format went down in flames, making their slight against Blu-ray sound more like pouting than prophecy. Blu-ray may never reach the mainstream status of VHS and DVD, but there will always be a demand for disc-based product. Even after they’re beaming content right into our cerebral cortexes, I’m still gonna want something I can tear the plastic off of with my powerful bionic hands.