I noticed a report today buried on the seventh page of an eight-page industry newsletter indicating that Microsoft will ship an external Blu-ray Disc drive for the Xbox 360 this holiday selling season. The brief article in Consumer Electronics Daily said that while a Microsoft official denied it, the newsletter’s reporters polled retailers who confirmed this intention and even mentioned an expected price tag of $149.
One possibility might be that the BD peripheral will be branded by another company, but still be designed to work with Microsoft’s game console. Either way, as I’ve seen here at Sony, retail sources generally have pretty good inside information since companies will often share product introduction plans with them in advance of making announcements to the press or the public.
Another interesting note in the same article is that the drive is being built by a joint venture called Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology. If true, how ironic is it that two of the biggest opponents to Blu-ray — Microsoft and Toshiba — may now be turning the corner and facing the reality of this huge market opportunity?
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