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Rumor: Blu-ray Licensing May Delay Next Xbox

By - Source: MondoXbox | B 44 comments

There's talk that Sony has a window of exclusivity regarding Blu-ray and gaming consoles.

A rumor from MondoXbox has surfaced claiming that Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Infinity (720, Fusion etc) may be delayed over licensing issues with Blu-ray. Originally the console was expected to arrive during the 2013 holiday season, but this latest report suggests that Microsoft may miss this lucrative window, and instead launch the highly-anticipated console in the first half of 2014.

The news stems from a large commercial chain in Italy who is preparing to launch the PlayStation 4 at the end of the year. This company isn't expecting to see the Xbox Infinity because Microsoft is currently having issues landing a Blu-ray license. Why? Because Sony supposedly created a window of exclusivity in terms of consoles when the Blue-ray standard was established.

So far it's unknown whether this roadblock is strictly related to Europe for Microsoft, or on a global scale. It's also unknown if the Xbox Infinity will actually have a Blu-ray drive, as there has been talk that Microsoft may rely on a proprietary format just as Nintendo did with the Wii U. Taking a proprietary route could reduce the number of pirated games, but not eliminate piracy altogether.

News of a Blu-ray snafu arrive after reports surfaced that the "Durango" console will be delayed due to Microsoft's internal software pipeline being at least six months behind schedule. Sources told Kotaku that Microsoft is not where it wants to be at this point in the pre-launch development schedule. The company has reportedly even cancelled several internal projects because they did not turn out quite as the company had expected.

An industry insider also told Kotaku that Microsoft is aggressively trying to land exclusive games for Xbox Infinity, as Microsoft's internal development team is outnumbered by those at Sony and Nintendo. The company also wants exclusives due to "apparent recent stumbles" and internal "slowdowns". That said, Microsoft may be delaying the Xbox Infinity so it doesn't follow Nintendo and the poor sales the Japanese company has seen since the beginning of the year.

News of the Xbox Infinity delay have persisted for a while. SemiAccurate said back in September 2012 that a delay into 2014 was likely because production on the console's chips were yielding low rates. The report stated that Microsoft seemed to be dual or triple sourcing the parts in hopes that the "elves" at one foundry will fix things ahead of the rest. Even gaming research analyst Michael Pachter said a 2014 launch would make more sense so that hardcore "Xbots" wouldn't have to compete with moms buying presents during the holiday season.

Whatever the outcome, Microsoft is slated to reveal "a new generation" on May 21. The company could take the Nintendo route and showcase a prototype in 2013 and release the final version in the second half of 2014. That's all speculation, of course, so take it all with a big huge grain of salt.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    takk78 , May 5, 2013 4:39 PM
    I would say ship it with a Blu-Ray drive, but just have all Blu-Ray functionality disabled in firmware until Sonys exclusivity deal is up. Keep using DVDs till then as there won't be many titles available till next year anyway. Is it a Blu-Ray drive if it can't play anything on Blu-Ray?
  • 11 Hide
    Elwenil , May 5, 2013 5:11 PM
    Fact is Microsoft have to do something about their disc storage capacity this next generation. Their use of DVD held back the whole generation since developers make most games to the lowest common denominator. The 50GB of storage on a BluRay is one of the reasons PS3 exclusives are typical much larger and better games than Microsoft exclusives. Multiple discs and installing to the HDD are a few of the ways they tried to get around it but in the end it was too little, too late. And sorry, but HD DVD is not going to cut it. MS need something to boost their storage capacity for the next gen just to keep up. So they either license BluRay or they try something else. They obviously don't want to spend the time and money to develop their own media and drives so they have to use something off the shelf, so to speak. I honestly thought they may try to go with some sort of flash based media similar to a USB drive but a lot of people may see that as a reversion to "cartridges" . But either way, they have to do something and right now BluRay seems to be the only real solution for them to use.
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  • 14 Hide
    takk78 , May 5, 2013 4:39 PM
    I would say ship it with a Blu-Ray drive, but just have all Blu-Ray functionality disabled in firmware until Sonys exclusivity deal is up. Keep using DVDs till then as there won't be many titles available till next year anyway. Is it a Blu-Ray drive if it can't play anything on Blu-Ray?
  • 8 Hide
    vidfreek , May 5, 2013 4:45 PM
    How did Sony get some exclusive rights to a Bluray drive in a console for like 6 years now? I dont recall ever even hearing about that over the course of this generation until now, will have to wait and see but thats pretty BS if its true and no one even knew about it
  • 11 Hide
    Elwenil , May 5, 2013 5:11 PM
    Fact is Microsoft have to do something about their disc storage capacity this next generation. Their use of DVD held back the whole generation since developers make most games to the lowest common denominator. The 50GB of storage on a BluRay is one of the reasons PS3 exclusives are typical much larger and better games than Microsoft exclusives. Multiple discs and installing to the HDD are a few of the ways they tried to get around it but in the end it was too little, too late. And sorry, but HD DVD is not going to cut it. MS need something to boost their storage capacity for the next gen just to keep up. So they either license BluRay or they try something else. They obviously don't want to spend the time and money to develop their own media and drives so they have to use something off the shelf, so to speak. I honestly thought they may try to go with some sort of flash based media similar to a USB drive but a lot of people may see that as a reversion to "cartridges" . But either way, they have to do something and right now BluRay seems to be the only real solution for them to use.
  • 4 Hide
    BigMack70 , May 5, 2013 5:12 PM
    Highly anticipated console? Really? With all the horrid rumors circulating making this thing sound like a giant DRM Brick, I don't think it's that anticipated at all. I enjoyed my Xbox and my 360 but I don't know that I'll pick this next one up, blu-ray or no.
  • 9 Hide
    blader15sk8 , May 5, 2013 5:17 PM
    @hakesterman, HD DVD is not a microsoft format, they just happened to release an external HD DVD drive for the xbox 360 at one point. It was a Toshiba/NEC product. It's also not just as easy as reviving a dead format, since the costs would be higher to restart production on HD DVD lasers and disks instead of using Blu-ray which is in full production now.
    @STravis It is for the ever increasing size of games. If they don't move to something like Blu-ray, games are going to have to come on multiple disks and require installation on a hard drive.. Otherwise you will end up with the same thing that happened with games like Final Fantasy XIII, lower res cinematics and more highly compressed audio as well as other compromises to not have to use so many disks.
  • 9 Hide
    Ninjamonkeh , May 5, 2013 5:29 PM
    They can ship it with a 3.5 floppy drive for all I care, Online always killed this system for me.
  • 2 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , May 5, 2013 5:40 PM
    So what you're saying is, it'll be even more outdated when it is FINALLY released.
  • -8 Hide
    vidfreek , May 5, 2013 6:26 PM
    I dont get why online kills this console for people? Do you currently have Xbox Live? I've had Xbox Live since the first Xbox came out and my console is always connected to the internet, nothing will really change there and its still all speculation and rumor about what online required really means, I love how people have already made up their mind based on bias and unsupported rumors, wait till MS actually tells us something at the end of the month, if everything ends up being true then you can hate and not give them money all you want to but why dont you all cool down until something is officially stated by MS?
  • 5 Hide
    Ninjamonkeh , May 5, 2013 6:31 PM
    I have seen online always failing first hand twice already. As for jumping the gun , one of their ppl spilled the beans on twitter while talking crap on anyone that didnt like online all the time. Though there are multiple reason ppl are upset at this, to name a few. Service men and women outside the us w/o internet connection, Ppl in areas that have poor to no internet connections ( there are ppl i work with that still use dial up because there is no other option out in the country where they live). People that have pay by usage internet service. At the end of the day its my money and I can spend it or not spend it anyway I want for any reason.
  • -9 Hide
    flank2 , May 5, 2013 6:35 PM
    what is blue-ray?
  • -1 Hide
    bigpinkdragon286 , May 5, 2013 6:59 PM
    Heaven forbid the drive be modular and replaceable for those times where there are issues, such as what happened with the 360 optical drive failures. Just make an easily swappable optical drive module and release the console with whatever you can, then upgrade the thing when you see fit.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2013 7:05 PM
    Sounds like Microsoft missed the boat and now paying for it. The next gen is only next gen to current console only fanboys ages 12-25. Us adult gamers play on a platform thats always upgradeable and stays current gen as long as you just add new parts.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , May 5, 2013 7:05 PM
    Sounds like Microsoft missed the boat and now paying for it. The next gen is only next gen to current console only fanboys ages 12-25. Us adult gamers play on a platform thats always upgradeable and stays current gen as long as you just add new parts.
  • 1 Hide
    tbq , May 5, 2013 7:08 PM
    Microsoft does own the rights to the 51GB HDDVD discs and drives. Why can't they use those? Then they wouldn't have to pay royalties to Sony for the bluray use.
  • -1 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , May 5, 2013 7:23 PM
    Surprised they aren't going with HD-DVD. Serious. It's the same manufacturing process as regular DVDs, just upgraded. All they would have to do is upgrade one of their DVD manufacturing facilities, or outsource it to a company who was willing to do it. BAM!!! No licensing issues with the Blu-ray Disc Association (mainly Sony.)
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