Following its brief campaign to support the doomed HD DVD format, Microsoft has now apparently entered into talks with Sony to bring Blu-ray disc technology to the Xbox 360. That once-unthinkable scenario was outlined today in a report in the British economic daily the Financial Times, two months after Xbox group marketing manager Albert Penello reopened the door to the possibility.Â Citing an unnamed â€śsenior executive,â€ť the Financial Times said that Sony and Microsoft are not simply discussing a successor to the Xbox 360â€™s now discontinued, dirt-cheap external HD DVD drive. The newspaper said that there is also the possibility of an internal Blu-ray drive being incorporated into a new, more expensive â€śpremiumâ€ť 360 model, as it is already in the PlayStation 3.
Thusly, Sony would earn royalties from sales of a rival consoleâ€“a first for the game industry. For its part, Microsoft quickly denied any move toward Blu-ray had been officially made. â€śWe have made no such announcement,â€ť a rep told GameSpot. â€śGames are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles, and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.â€ť For its part, Sony welcomes the possibility of a Blu-ray-equipped Xbox 360. â€śIf Microsoft wants to release Gears of War 3 on a Blu-ray Disc, I think we can make that happen,â€ť Sony Computer Entertainment Americaâ€™s vice president of product marketing Scott A. Steinberg said.