The Internet collectively hiccuped Thursday with speculation that Microsoft might introduce a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360. Based on comments made by Microsoft's CEO, those predictions have now been unequivocally shot down, thanks to a statement by Xbox Live's online voice Major Nelson, who reinforced the 360's commitment to downloadable HD content and said no plans for a Blu-Ray device were in the works.
"As we have said in the past, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360," Nelson, the director of programming for XBL whose real name is Larry Hryb, wrote on his blog. "In fact, the future of home entertainment starts very soon when Xbox 360 becomes the first and only console to offer instant-on 1080p streaming HD movies. With a library of thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from, Xbox 360 owners can instantly watch the movies they want, when they want, in the highest form of high definition."
The clarification came as a response to an interview that alluded to Blu-Ray players as a possible add-on accessory down the road.
"Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there—you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told Gizmodo.
Investing in a new physical media drive would have been a dramatic shift in strategy for Microsoft, who have already expressed faith in downloadable movie content on the 360. In the end, it looks like they'll stay the course.
Do you think the 360 could use a Blu-Ray player? Do you agree with Major Nelson's assessment that downloadable movies are the way to go? Share your reactions in the comment section below.