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MS says no to Xbox 360 Blu-ray support

Company fully committed to HD DVD, apparently

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Microsoft may not offer an external Blu-ray Disc drive for the Xbox 360 after all. The software giant this week said it remains "fully committed" to HD DVD and has "absolutely no plans to support other optical formats".

The company's stance is detailed in an official statement made this week in response to comments earlier this month by Peter Moore, head of Microsoft's entertainment division. Moore indicated that if Microsoft could add an external HD DVD drive to the console, it could just as easily offer an external Blu-ray box.

The key word, apparently, is "easily". According to Microsoft, Moore was simply indicating the console's flexibility. "Xbox 360 is a future-proofed system - one that allows us to add features as consumers demand them - as evidenced by our offering of the HD-DVD drive as an accessory," says the statement, published by GamesIndustry.biz.

"As we've said before, we're confident that HD-DVD will bring the excitement of high-definition movies to the consumer faster and at a greater value," the statement add. "We believe that consumers have signalled what format they want to enjoy high-definition DVD and we're going to follow them down that path.

"Current reports indicating that we have a back-up plan which includes Blu-ray support are incorrect."

As we noted at the time of Moore's comments, Blu-ray is likely to be too closely associated with Sony's PlayStation 3, so it's questionable whether Microsoft would want to support the HD DVD rival unless its favoured format entirely fails to set the market alight. ®

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