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Sony and Microsoft discussing Blu-ray for Xbox 360

A senior Sony executive has stated that the company is currently in talks with Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360

A senior Sony executive has stated that the company is currently in talks with Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.

According to the Financial Times, Sony Electronics US president Stan Glasgow said that the company was holding discussions with both Microsoft and Apple.

Microsoft had backed Toshiba's HD-DVD format and offered an HD-DVD drive that can be plugged into the 360, but last month Toshiba announced that it was abandoning the format.

While adding a Blu-ray drive to the Xbox 360 could make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, it would also add further costs to the console. Microsoft could instead offer a Blu-ray drive as a plug-in peripheral.

Apple has not offered Blu-ray drives on any of its computers and has focused on digital media via downloads and streaming through devices such as its Apple TV.

However, Glasgow said he did not believe Blu-ray would be overtaken by high-definition content becoming available over the internet due to bandwidth limitations and consumers favouring disks they could own.

"Downloading will build over time, but this will be over a period of years," he said.

Glasgow expects Blu-ray players, currently priced at USD 399 and above, to drop to as low as USD 299 by the end of the year and perhaps even to USD 200 by the end of 2009.

The prices of Blu-ray players are not expected to fall as precipitously as they did with regular DVD players. The Blu-ray Association, the group controlling the standard, has yet to license it to Chinese manufacturers, who would be expected to drive down prices.

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