Microsoft: Downloads will trump Blu-Ray

Sony may be celebrating Blu-Ray’s victory in the next-gen DVD format war with HD-DVD – but Microsoft has told MCV that it believes the future of movie playback is digital.

And VP of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Europe Chris Lewis has gone one step further – ruling out any move for an Xbox 360 Blu-Ray playback peripheral in the future.

Lewis told MCV:

We never wanted to force consumers down any particular DVD playback route. We felt that HD-DVD was the right format for an accessory, but we always felt very strongly that we should never make that an integral part of Xbox 360 because we wanted to give people the choice.

My own view is very clear and I know it’s shared by other people in Microsoft is that the future’s digital downloads now. The broadband proliferation is amazing – people’s appetite to download movies through Video Marketplace is testament to that. The future is about people taking their digital content on an online rather than physical media.

We have no plans to do anything at all in terms of further or additional movie playback peripherals. My own sense – and a lot of the analysts would feel the same way – is that online is the future. And we’re very well placed to take advantage of that.”

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