Once upon a time, Microsoft backed a format called HD DVD and, well, that didn’t turn out so well. But the departure from focusing on high-density physical media early on might have forced Microsoft — and the Xbox team — to look towards digital downloads for future products. UK Xbox chief, Stephen McGill, seems to agree and recently stated to gaming site Xbox Achievements that “People now recognize what a smart decision it was to keep the [Xbox 360] pricing low,” in reference to not including an advance optical format within the Xbox 360. Then he goes on to properly slam the Blu-ray format.
Actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format.
Burnnnn. His reasoning? Streaming HD content and we can’t agree more although services such as Netflix and Amazon are still a hit-or-miss practice. Sometimes the video quality is good, but it’s never ever Blu-ray quality. Yet. The technology has grown exponentially over the last couple years and it will only be a matter of time before Netflix — or others — can stream proper HD content. It wasn’t that long ago that the service launched with just SD content and the simple convenience of streaming won over fans.
Blu-ray discs are still discs. They’re a pain. I cannot imagine a world without my media server and instant access to my entire movie collection on nearly every TV in my house. I haven’t had a DVD player hooked up for years. I’m confident that my 3-year old son doesn’t know what a DVD looks like. Ours are safely tucked away in a Case-Logic binder.
McGill is nearly right although his statement is little overworked. Blu-ray is already an accepted format. The discs and players are selling fine and will probably increase in sales for the next few years. Blu-ray will probably even outlast the Xbox 360. But products like the new Roku, updated Apple TV, and Boxee Box will quickly introduce new demographics to the world of streaming videos. This is the future. Streaming still has a long ways to go, but will eventually kill physical media dead.