Just over a month ago, we reported that Lite-On was supposedly developing an internal Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360. While that report has yet to be debunked or confirmed, another report today indicates that an Xbox 360 equipped with an internal Blu-ray drive could very well be on the way this year, even if it doesn’t come from Lite-On.
According to the Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News, Asustek subsidiary Pegatron Technology has received orders directly from Microsoft to assemble a new Xbox 360 equipped with an internal Blu-ray drive.
As if that news weren’t big enough, here’s the real shocker: the new Xbox 360s with internal Blu-ray drives are scheduled to ship between July and September this year.
Although Microsoft has not commented on the report, the console manufacturer likely wouldn’t make any sort of announcement like this until closer to — or at — E3 in July anyway. DailyGame will be attending E3 2008, so we will certainly bring news of any such Blu-ray announcement as it is made.
A Blu-ray equipped Xbox 360 would make sense for this holiday season, as Blu-ray is now the only high-definition movie format. Microsoft had previously supported HD-DVD, which lost out to Blu-ray in the high-definition format war. With HD-DVD now out of the picture, Microsoft’s inclusion of a Blu-ray drive would make perfect business sense.
However, if the Xbox 360 ends up including an internal Blu-ray 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.