Over the last few weeks, there have been rumors indicating that Microsoft was working on a Blu-ray addon for the Xbox 360. The Financial Times is now reporting that Sony is in talks with Microsoft about adopting Blu-ray. According to the article, Microsoft could incorporate a Blu-ray drive into the Xbox 360 or offer support via an addon, similar to their HD DVD player.
But after Sony’s victory last month in the high-definition DVD format war, Stan Glasgow, Sony Electronics US president, said the two sides were now talking about Microsoft adopting Blu-ray.

A Blu-ray drive in a 360 would make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, but it would also mean extra revenues for Sony’s electronics division. It would also add further cost to the 360, meaning a premium edition of the console could be necessary.

A Blu-ray drive could be incorporated in its top-of-the-range Elite Xbox, or Microsoft could again offer a drive as a plug-in peripheral.
While I don't see Microsoft incorporting a Blu-ray drive into the Xbox 360, an addon drive is a probably a given at this point. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Circuit City has launched a new program, allowing those that purchased an HD DVD player within the last 90 days to trade it in toward a Blu-ray player. According to Gizmodo, the company is not promoting this trade in program and that consumers will need to specifically ask for it.
According to a Circuit City employee in Chicago, the consumer electronics chain is trading in HD DVD players bought into their stores "within 3 months of the announcement," as opposed to their 30-day return policy. According to the internal memo announcing the demise of the format, they will either give customers a Blu-ray player—paying the price difference, if any—or a gift card. The trade-in, however, will not be widely promoted and it will be only made available if the customer asks for it.
In order to qualify for the trade in program, you will need your receipt, the original box the player came in and all of the accessories. Hopefully, this means that we'll see similar trade in programs from other retailers, like Best Buy, in the near future. Feel free to share your thoughts in the forum. Add a comment
While Toshiba lost the format war, they aren't giving up on the consumer electronics market. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Toshiba Chief Executive, Atsutoshi Nishida, stated that the company plans to work on bringing content from the PC to the television and focus on "upconverting" DVD players.
"What people don't realize is that Hollywood studios are going to release new titles not just for Blu-ray but for standard DVDs as well, and there are a far greater number of current-generation DVD players out there. If you watch standard DVDs on our players, the images are of very high quality because they include an "upconverting" feature. And we're going to improve this even more, so that consumers won't be able to tell the difference from HD DVD images. The players would be much cheaper than Blu-ray players too. Next-generation DVD players are in a much weaker position than when standard DVD players were first introduced."
Toshiba's HD DVD players were very good at upconverting standard DVD's. It will be interesting to see if they can improve the image quality to deliver near HD DVD quality on their DVD players. If you'd like to read more, the entire interview can be found here. Add a comment
Samsung has reportedly cancelled their second gen Duo HD player, the BD-UP5500. In a statement issued to PC World, the company announced that, following Toshiba's decision to drop HD DVD, the window of opportunity for a dual format player is smaller than before and that consumers should move forward with Blu-ray.
The company's statement today notes that "now that Blu-ray has been chosen as the next-generation format, the consumer can move forward with confidence and enjoy the incredible experience that Blu-ray offers. Samsung believes that a multi-format player like the current BD-UP5000 Duo HD Player (Duo) offers the best and only solution for consumers that want access to all available High-Definition (HD) titles in the short term. It remains a practical solution, but the window of opportunity is smaller than it was before. In light of recent announcements, Samsung will not introduce the BD-UP5500 Duo HD Player."
If you'd like to read more, the entire blog post can be found here. Add a comment
Broadcom has announced that it has acquired Sunext Design, Inc. By purchasing Sunext Design and licensing technologies from its parent company, Sunext Technology, Broadcom hopes to integrate Blu-ray Disc capabilities into its next generation consumer electronics products.
Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced that it has acquired Sunext Design, Inc. ("Sunext Design"), a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Sunext Technology Company Limited ("Sunext Technology"), and has licensed certain optical disk reader and writer technology from Sunext Technology. Sunext Technology is a privately-held fabless semiconductor company that specializes in optical storage technologies.

High definition optical disc players are emerging as a popular platform for in-home entertainment worldwide by combining the benefits of a high definition viewing experience with the convenience and familiarity of DVD media. Sunext single-chip front-end technology is a strong complement to the industry-leading Broadcom system-on-a-chip (SoC) back-end Blu-ray Disc platform, and key to an integration roadmap that will drive the cost of these devices down to levels that enable widespread consumer adoption of high definition optical disc players and recorders.
If you'd like to read more, Broadcom's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment