Development has begun on an internal Blu-ray Disc drive for the Xbox 360, according to industry sources, with Blu-ray drive manufacturer Lite-On already moving forward with an internal drive for Microsoft’s game console.
According to industry sources, Lite-On plans to begin shipping BD ROMs to Microsoft for inclusion in the Xbox 360 sometime during the second half of 2008. Following that bread crumb, it could be feasible for Microsoft to begin shipping the Blu-ray equipped Xbox 360s for the holiday shopping season. Perhaps we may even see a Limited Edition Gears of War 2 console, much like the GTA IV Xbox 360s.
Lite-On, the company reportedly working on the Xbox 360’s Blu-ray Drive, is currently one of the suppliers of Xbox 360-use internal DVD-ROM drives.
Weeks ago, Microsoft was rumored to be having discussions with Sony about supporting the latter’s proprietary Blu-ray Disc format. Microsoft reportedly made that decision (or was debating doing so) in light of Toshiba abandoning its HD-DVD hardware and various movie studios, including Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, deciding to support the Blu-ray format exclusively.
If the Xbox 360 ends up including an internal Blu-ray Disc drive, as it appears it will, it will mark the first time one console manufacturer has reaped benefits from the sales of another. Sony, the developers of Blu-ray Disc technology, will presumably earn residual income from every Xbox 360 sold that uses Sony’s proprietary hardware.
The Blu-ray Disc (BD ROM) drives that Lite-On is developing for Microsoft are for the “next-generation” Xbox 360 game consoles. Those consoles will include less-expensive and/or refined technology to improve the performance and stability of the Xbox 360.
One of the other additions to the next-gen Xbox 360s will include a new power supply, as the current 210-watt “power brick” will be replaced by a 170-watt power supply to reduce production cost and the size of the device.