After Toshiba Corp., the developer of the HD DVD format, releases its Blu-ray disc player by the end of the year, Microsoft Corp. will have to follow and launch Blu-ray add-on for its Xbox 360 game console.
The support of Blu-ray disc (BD) by Toshiba means that the format is finally becoming a de-facto standard for high-definition home video. Toshiba is the last major consumer electronics maker to support BD.
To quote: Microsoft has publicly stated that high-definition video downloads and streaming is the future of video delivering to homes. However, it also had HD DVD add-on for Xbox 360, hence, the company admits that physical media is still popular.
Moreover, with all the consumer electronics making BD players, Microsoft also needs to provide such an option to its consumer electronics video-game platform: it is clear that there will be much higher demand towards Blu-ray hardware in the coming years.
Windows 7 operating systems supports burning of Blu-ray discs and recognizes their file structure. In a recent TV advertisement Microsoft even said that Blu-ray support is one of the advantages that certain Windows-based computers have over Apple Macintosh systems.
The main reason why Microsoft is unenthusiastic regarding Blu-ray is mandatory support of BD-Java interactive technology and Sony's reluctance to adopt competing tech called HDi that was developed by Microsoft.
Even though Microsoft managed to push its VC-1 codec onto both Blu-ray and HD DVD markets, the company's negative attitude towards Java prevented it from supporting the former standard in general. As a result, the company used to sell external HD DVD drive for Xbox 360.
Neither Microsoft nor Toshiba has yet publicly announced support for Blu-ray. However, if Toshiba jumps on the bandwagon of the format, it is more than likely that Microsoft will follow.
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