After Le Divorce, Microsoft Eyes Blu-ray

Posted by: Matt Vella on March 11

xboxhddvd.jpgWith the HD-DVD high-definition video format dead, Microsoft (MSFT) is moving to make amends with Sony (SNE) and make its operating system and Xbox 360 console compatible with the victorious Blu-ray format. According to a piece in last week’s Financial Times, Sony Electronics US president Stan Glasgow said his company was holding discussions with both Microsoft and Apple (AAPL) about adopting the format.

Now, Microsoft’s own Steve Ballmer is saying it’s time “to move on,” as if the company was reeling from a bad break up. At the Mix08 conference he said, “We’ve already been working on, for example, in Windows, device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like, and I think the world moves on.”

No word yet on whether Microsoft will offer a cost-adding internal Blu-ray drive to its higher end or offer an external drive at an additional cost the way it did with its plug-in HD-DVD player. (Which, by the way, is still available at Amazon at a reduced price.) What’s certain is that as the PS3 picks up steam this year, Microsoft needs to come up with a Blu-ray solution to continue competing. Read more here.

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No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.

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