While Blu-Ray continues to surge forward and claim an even bigger lead in the high-def format race, Microsoft has taken notice and perhaps realized they're on the side of the losing team. According to Reuters, while they still plan to back Toshiba's HD-DVD, Microsoft may support Sony's Blu-Ray in the future…provided the consumers ask for it.
When asked if they would support a Blu-Ray add-on if HD-DVD failed, Xbox hardware group marketing manager Albert Penello said- "It should be consumer choice; and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider." On the other hand, while Microsoft is well aware of the recent decision by Warner Bros. to exclusively back Blu-Ray, they don't believe it will affect sales of the Xbox 360. And perhaps that's true; gaming and movies are indeed two different things.
"I fundamentally don't think … this has a significant impact on Xbox 360 versus (Sony's) PlayStation 3," Penello told Reuters at the CES show. "With the PlayStation 2, DVD was a big part in the beginning, but over time, people were not buying it as a DVD player after first year or two."
Penello believes there are a lot of people out there who have already purchased the HD-DVD add-on for the 360, and they should have a say in the future of the format war. However, considering that Blu-Ray is now winning by a landslide, and the PlayStation 3 is the only video game console that supports the format, it almost seems inevitable that HD-DVD's death will have a negative impact on 360 sales. Or, at the very least, a positive impact on PS3 sales. But in the end, it'll be up to the consumers if they want a Blu-Ray add-on for the 360. We'll have to wait and see.