Update: Ha! When I called this quote a "slip-of-the-tongue" below, I was right! Reader Eric R. pointed me to Major Nelson's blog, where the Xbox Community head pointed out that Ballmer was talking about Blu-Ray accesorites for PCs, not the 360. So... ignore the rest of this story -- it just ain't so.
Now that the HD-DVD format has officially and totally joined Betamax and Marxism in History's dustbin, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer says Blu-ray is coming to the Xbox 360, but not in the form of a built-in Blu-ray drive.
"I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there—you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories," Ballmer told gadget blog Gizmodo. So, seemingly, Ballmer confirmed Blu-ray for the 360... kind of.
When Gizmodo contacted Microsoft's P.R. department, they didn't exactly back up Ballmer's revelation 100%. Instead, the clever PR flack replied with:
Our immediate solution for Blu-ray-quality video on an Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we're not ready to comment.
Which isn't exactly a denial, but isn't a confirmation either. Did Ballmer let information out early? Was it a slip-of-the-tongue? A mistake? No one can say for sure, so for now, file this one under "unconfirmed...but seems pretty reasonable."
I have both a PS3 and a 360, so the idea of an external Blu-ray drive doesn't appeal to me, but if a 360 was my sole system, this news would be amazing... if it turns out to be true. What do you think? Would an external Blu-ray drive make your life complete or what?