Sony reportedly in talks with Microsoft on Blu-ray for Xbox 360
Inevitably, the other leading game consoles will need a high-resolution video disc option, and with the format war now over, there’s only one option to be had. So it seems like now’s as good a time as any for the two sides to talk shop.
A Financial Times report this morning cites Sony Electronics US President Stan Glasgow as saying his company is presently in talks with Microsoft about the possibility of it producing a Blu-ray accessory drive for its Xbox 360 game console.
Glasgow’s comment was verified by VentureBeat reporter Dean Takahashi, who was also apparently seated at the table with Glasgow when he made his remarks. Takahashi reports that he raised an important technological point, however, and raised it directly to Glasgow: Xbox 360 games require a fast launch time for discs which Blu-ray may not be able to provide.
Thus any Blu-ray drive for the console may very well be relegated to an accessory device for playing movies, rather than the principal drive for reading game software. Takahashi did not say how or whether Glasgow responded to his technical point.
That fact alone suggests that any talks between the two companies may be at just the “dinner table” stage, rather than serious negotiations. The existence of such talks was gently alluded to yesterday by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who in an on-stage discussion at yesterday’s MIX 08 conference in Las Vegas told the crowd, “We thought there was a lot of merit to HD DVD. We worked to provide an HD DVD peripheral. As the industry moves forward, we want to support Blu-ray. Toshiba’s moved on, We’ve moved on. We’ll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense.”
Glasgow was promoted to the president’s role at Sony’s Electronics division in March 2006.