Xbox 360 may soon be getting its own Blu-ray drive. Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology is reportedly under contract to manufacture the external drives for the console.
According to a report
from hardware publication X-Bit Labs, possible specs for the product are unavailable, but the report notes an unsourced rumor suggesting a $100-$150 price tag for the Xbox 360 external Blu-ray drive.
Sony has long touted its exclusive Blu-ray support as a component of its advantage against its competition. Microsoft previously offered
an add-on drive for Xbox 360 that supported the rival HD-DVD format, but discontinued it when that format ultimately failed.
Since then, Microsoft has offered somewhat mixed messages on the Blu-ray issue. While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this year the company would support Blu-ray "in ways that make sense," at the same time
, Group product manager Aaron Greenberg said, "Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience."
And in June, Xbox president Robbie Bach downplayed increasing demand
for Blu-ray, stating, "most people look at it and say, 'I am not going to pay extra for that'."
This latest report says a launch date for the Xbox 360 external Blu-ray drive has yet to surface, but theorizes it may be announced just ahead of the holiday season with the aim of pressing the company's advantage against the PlayStation 3. Another likely launch window could be early next year at the Consumer Electronics Show, says the report, since at that time there'll be less competition for media attention.