Major Nelson isn't just a blogger...
'A blogger going by the name of “Major Nelson”' - I wonder if Mr Sherwood realises that Major Nelson is in fact the director of Programming for Xbox Live and not just some random blogger :p
Microsoft has once again poured cold water over the latest rumour that it’ll launch a Blu-ray Disc drive add-on for the Xbox 360. A blogger going by the name of “Major Nelson” has posted an audio interview online with Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft’s Group Product Manager for the Xbox 360. In the interview, which took place at the …
1) Your "blogger by the name of Major Nelson" is Larry Hryb, Microsoft's Xbox Live Director of Programming
2) Greenberg's reference to a "massive library of entertainment content" was most likely a reference to all the video and TV you can download over Xbox Live, not just the gaming side. Launching a Blu-Ray add-on might put a dent in their HD video download to buy or rent service.
sometimes its better to stick your pride where the sun dont shine, and make a wise bussiness decision.
Blue ray is going to be big, 1080p movies are the thing, with the general public now buying 1080p capable lcd tvs. (if the credit crunch isn't going to put us in ww3 that is).
Downloading a 1080p movie just takes too much bandwidth for the general public. So you will have a few geeks with enough bandwidth to stream 1080p, and billions who can buy a sub 200 euro/dollar blueray player, and walk to the store for a blueray movie. I know on which horse I would bet..
So just because sony invented the format and made it big with a competing game console doesn't mean you shouldn't admit your mistake. Just swallow that pride
I didn't buy a PS3 precisely because it *does* have Blu-Ray.
We all know that HD-DVD should have won the format wars, and I think that the buying public is a lot more savvy about proprietary formats these days (especially the early-adopters) which is why the sales aren't what they should be.
And when people can buy cheap dvd's all over the place and use a decent upscaler on their shiny new TV, why bother with Blu-Ray ?
The XBox 360 is a games console. How many people use it as anything else? Bugger all. OK, there might be some folks using it as a Media Extender in cahoots with Windows Media Centre but my understanding is that WMC doesn't currently support Blu-ray. Any sensible person would not want to lock themselves into WMC anyway.
And what type of display are most XBox 360s plumbed into? I don't know - which is why I ask the question. If they are bog-standard SD boxes - Blu-ray is pointless. If they are HD 720p, Blu-ray is pointless. If they are monitors - hope you've got a big one with the right resolution.
Some folks I know to have HD 1080p tellies and Blu-ray players (be they in PCs, dedicated players or PS3s). But I've not seen a HD 1080p telly that does a decent enough job of upscaling SD content to the point where I can stop shouting "Look at the artefacts! Look at the jaggies!".
Remember that the majority of XBox 360 games are rendered natively at 720p. If you bought a telly that supports that, well, you could watch HD-DVD with no probs. Although I might still shout "Look at the jaggies!" watching SD content. And isn't it the case that HDTV broadcasts that exist are 720p?
I watch more television that I watch bought films. There isn't enough HD content to bother with paying extra subscriptions from Sky/Virgin. Even if there was and it was free-to-view, what resolution would that content be in? 720p.
I don't want to get into a analogue vs digital type debate but it is the case that most TV content has been produced for viewing on a CRT rather than an LCD. And there are still plenty of them hanging around.
If DVD as a data format provides sufficient capacity for XBox 360 game purposes, why move to Blu-ray? Actually, I'm not sure that having an HD-DVD external drive was worth the effort - yes, fantastic for you early adopters of HD-DVD filum content but the rest of the world, no.
One of the things that works in the favour of consoles vs. PCs is the stability and longevity of the platform. Funking with the base platform spec ain't a good idea. Producing new add-ons with funking with the spec. Necessary new software is an issue. Oh sure, increase integration, reduce chip count, shrink the box and all of that, but don't funk with the spec.
Bring back b&w broadcast on 425 lines now!
Mines the one with the original Nintendo DS in the pocket.
"It's pretty clear it's not the next DVD"
Wow, maybe you should send a memo to the rest of the world!
Blu-Ray IS the preferred video format for high definition content, and will only continue to expand it's market share as more and more people purchase HD TVs.
Note to MSFT: Open wide, Blu-Ray is coming!
Yeah 1080p what ever and such, with lots of people getting OTA, and still renting DVDs I don't see a good future for the Blu-ray franchise.
1. Profiles, profiles, profiles, what people are not told when they're about to purchase that $199.99 player from some retailer.
2. Blockbuster rentals, well I don't know about the states, but up here in Canada there aren't many discs to rent.
3. Next DVD format I don't think so, the next DVD format is DVD and will remain DVD. Downloads are good but they won't overtake rentals simply because of the bandwith it takes, and lots of ISPs are begining to cap downloads.
4. LCDs 1080p/i 720 garbage, your average consumer doesn't know what those things mean, people that work at Best Buy don't even know what that means. People bought a newer digital tv after having an analog one for over 15years and they won't be jumping the boat for the same thing in 1080p they don't need it not to say the premiums you would have to pay to take full advantage of these sets, especially in these upcoming economic hard times.
We sell blu ray, or rather we dont, its very very slow uptake, most figures that go about regarding sold DVDs are actually figures that represent disks "sold" to retailers, of course, the problem of this is that most large retailers operate on a sale or return basis and i bet they wont take those figures in to account.
Also, at 5 or more meters from a TV set i dare anyone to see a signifcant different between 1080p and 720p, i also dare you at the same distance to show me major differences between upscaled DVDs to 720p.
The problem is, you have just brought a fancy new TV, which is significantly better then your old TV, that isnt debated, the problem is you have a preconceved idea that what your watching will be better. What do i notice watching a normal DVD on my old LCD, artifacts, even worse watching standard TV, that same film or TV broadcast on a new TV looks amazingly different. Another example, I watch a DVD on my old LCD TV, looks crap, i play a DVD via a laptops VGA port to that same TV now using 720p and it looks stunning.
So, anyhow, thats why blu ray wont make it big, because jo blogs gets a new TV and sticks his standard DVD in and bloodyhell, it looks great compared to what it used to.
that and also disks gets peoples backs up whe they get scratched, HD downloads dont, stream the media, its the future.
Learn to read: He was referring to the fact that Blu-Ray has not been adopted by the buying public anywhere as quickly or comprehensively as DVD was. DVD was a huge leap in quality over VHS, and it wasnt really the resolution that was the biggest noticeable improvement: it was the stability and reliability of the picture. Unless you have a 50"+ screen, 1080p is un-noticable by all but the most anal.
Hold on a sec...
Why is the biggest hard drive available only 120gb which turns out to be ~108gb once formatted. if i remember correctly the hd films are around 8gb each and then there is all the downloadable content available, demos, picture packs, game addons, themes... how long do they think this 108gb will last?
Anyone who thinks that DVD was an instant success obviously wasn't there at the early adoption stage. To get the format off the ground, it was actually launched *twice*, about a year apart, as the first launch was almsot completely missed.
The vast majority of people didn't buy into DVD's till 1999-2000 or later, some 3 years after the formats launch. BD as a format isn't 3 years old yet and has sold more *stand-alone* players than DVD had at this point in it's life-cycle.
As for picture quality, a 1080p is truly noticably better than 720p or SD, even when upscaled through a Faroudja upscaler (it's good, but it isn't as good as native 1080) rather than just using the TV's internal upscaler. Anyone who says they cant notice any difference should either get their eyes checked or actually spend time calibrating the TV for the signal (something that should be done on any TV, done properly takes around an hour).
The other element of the format is, of course, sound. The number of comments regarding 720p downloads always fail to mention that this entails reverting back to a stereo soundtrack, the likes of which we haven't seen since VHS died. Both DVD and BD use discrete multi-channel audio, both better than downloads, but playing back a True HD BD in comparison to a DD or DTS DVD is staggering, I didn't think there would be as much of a difference as there is.
Then you get to the biggest mis-conception, that the price of films on BD is astronomical compared to DVD. Really ? The Dark Knight, due for release before christmas, can be picked up, pre-order, for around £12. The same film on BD can be had for around £15. Comparing films that have been around on DVD for years with what amounts to a new release on BD is mis-guided at best and just plain stupid at worst. Besides which, i've heard all these arguments before : in 1986 I was told that CD's would never catch on as they were expensive, in 1997 I was told DVD's wouldn't catch on as they were expensive and now in 2008 BD wont catch on because it's expensive.
As for the 360 getting a BD add-on, I can quite believe that they wont be making one, but then I also fully expect them to announce the 360 replacement next year, probably for a christmas 2010 release (it would fit the replacement cycle MS has been quoted as wanting for it's consoles). So why go through the trouble of creating an add-on for a machine you only expect to be around for less than 2 years ??
@ Darren Tuffs - 5 or more meters from the screen ?? Around 16ft. Unless it's changed significantly in the last 5 years, the average distance from the screen (in the UK at least) was between 8 and 12ft. I would suggest that *most* people sit less than 5 meters away from the screen.
It's too late into the console's life for such an accessory to make a difference. The existing consumer base, as it is, is going to be unwilling to adopt an accessory that is going to add a little functionality to their existing hardware, when a new console will likely appear a few years down the line, resulting in them having to toss out/shelf a perfectly good accessory in the process. It makes more sense to just buy a standalone player that you don't plan on replacing until the next major format comes along, or just to wait until the next generation of consoles appears and buy one that supports Bluray, assuming that they're unwilling to purchase a PS3 on top of their current console.
"Unless you have a 50"+ screen, 1080p is un-noticable by all but the most anal."
Colour me anal, then. I can tell the difference between standard PAL/NTSC, 720, and 1080 on a 15" desktop monitor. and thas a CRT. on a low-response LCD or a good plasma, the difference is startling.
sportslunatics that I know are already signing up for their football packages [American and UK] in HD; why? the quality is a hell of a lot better, it sells better as a channel service and it comes bundled with a lot of "extras"; Upshot? Sky, TimeWarner, Comcast get to push a premium channel that makes people want to spend more money on TV and peripherals, and they do this for the trickledown effect, both above and below. someone recieving HD sports then gets HD films through cable, and the above model is even simpler ; would you rather push your expensive-recording HD film at a premium to cable customers and then wait 6 months before letting the same customers watch the standard PAL/NTSC formatted film on demand? of course you do. yu get rabid fans to pay the most you can squeezethem for. Its the same hardware-upgrade routine the public has been cajoled, herded, forced, and enticed into over the last 20 years.
Just like 15 years ago when people bleated CDs wouldnt catch on, and ten years ago when they bleated about DVDs, Blu Ray is here. Its better than the old format. So is 1080. Stop farting around holding a "who is the oldest codger" game and get with the program.
to be frank im doubtful Xbox will licence a bluray input. what the hell are they going to use it for? the 360 doesnt have the power to output a complex HD picture (Srsly, fanboys. a sidebyside of a 360 versus a PS3 is embarassing), so at best they'd be using it for additional storage space, something they can corrale their captive XBLA market into downloading through their service at a premium, or in dire needs, making people, I dunno, switch a disc for massive games.
Paris, Because... well, anal.
As much as I still don't give a shite about MS producing a BR add on, and as much as I hate commenting off the point of articles, I have to say you are talking out your backside about not seeing a difference unless the TV is 50"+ or you are a video whore.
If you can't see any difference with 1080p on all but the cheapest Asda special HD LCD TV, you need your eyes testing. Which is not me being sarcastic or bitchy. It is merely a fact. I have always, always been able to see a massive difference with 1080p and having changed my glasses the other day I was stunned by what I saw when I put my new bins on. Even with standard def pictures too. And my TV is only a pretty average HD TV.
So either get your eyes tested, or take your TV back to Asda and get a native 1080p TV not an old 1080i, but either way you are talking crap. And yes, I was been bitchy then.
For making one of the most informed comments about the history of DVD and how it relates directly to the current state/ price of Blu-Ray.
I've said similar plenty of times. Either people in here commenting have very short memories or they weren't buying DVD RIGHT from the very start.
I remember a new film released on DVD costing £27 for the first 18 months of the format! Well waddaya know, ain't that roughly what BR films were costing for the first 18 months.............?!
Yawn, you really should get your eyes and ears tested if you don't think 1080p and True HD make a difference compared to 720p and stereo forced into Pro Logic.
Funnily enough, you did think it made a difference when HD-DVD was being touted ...
Oh and what about all the stories of GTAIV and Burnout Paradise being truncated as their wasn't enough space on DVD for all the content the developers had originally hoped to included?
I have a 1080p tv. I have exactly zero BDs in my home. I noticed they are starting to look reasonable for old catalogue stuff, but I don't particularly see the value in the hardware just yet. The closest I have come to being tempted by BD is an external PC drive that supports BD and using it on an HTPC. I'd come even closer if the Mac Minis came with BD drives as they would be the perfect HTPC at that point. However, having watched BD at 1080, I can say that I can't see that much of a difference from my upscaled dvds. Soo... until players are sub $100 and discs are sub $20 (convert to currency of your choice) I'll enjoy my xbox games, downloaded content, and media center playing remote dvds off my server thanks. How many BDs sold last month? (discs not players). Did BD finally hit 20% of DVD sales? No? Hmm... Don't open too wide msft.
Mine's the one with orb streaming movies to my phone in the pocket.
I think BD is going to be a bit like SACD/DVD-Audio. While they duked it out to see who was the superior format, the rest of the world yawned. Speakers are better than ever, amps are better than ever, headphones are better than ever. And when it comes right down to it, most people will take an inferior recording off itunes over a SACD/DVD-A then listen to it on inferior ear buds. BD will be the same thing unless Sony gets the industry to quit selling DVDs.
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I'm still watching my VHS and upscaling it to HD - can't tell the difference.
Thumbs up Evilguy for pointing out the history. It'll take off to its full potential soon enough. Especially as the market wakes up to the difference - i.e. friends seeing other friends set-ups, watching Sky HD etc.
There will always be people content with DVD, just as my grandparents are happy enough with videos - does not mean BD is dead.
As for MS putting something out there, I'd doubt it - what do they gain other than a player? They can't put games out on that format, it'll ruin the franchise due to a gaming platform difference that actually matters (no BD? can't play Halo 4 etc)
@ Heff I'm pretty sure that the max resolution for a 15" monitor is way under 1080 and probably quite a bit under 720p, my 24" monitor runs at 1900x1200, 1080 is 1900x1080.
My old 19" is 1280x720 otherwise known as 720, to get either of these resolutions on a 15" monitor you'd have to have a ridiculous pixel density.
is that it addresses a problem that many people don't have. The real problem with most programs is that they are rubbish and no amount of increased picture quality will change that. Why would I pay hundreds of pounds more to watch Eastenders or the X-Files movie in HD when its still lame Eastenders and tired old X-Files? People buy a big new TV so they can see it across the living room and most don't even bother to connect a HD source to it let alone bother with 720 or 1080.
If BD players and films cost the same as DVDs and were as easily available they would sell but as they are limited releases at a premium price the vast majority of viewers aren't interested as sales show.
Microsoft's sales strategy recently has been to cut the price of the 360 - why would they suddenly start including new hardware that added a significant extra cost to the system? Sony never put a DVD drive in the PS1 even though it was still selling several years after DVD format became popular. The Wii doesn't even have the ability to play mpeg files, and its hardly been a slouch in the console wars!
I'd suggest MS will only put a Blu-Ray drive in the X-Box 3 if they need the disk capacity for their games. If they don't, then I think we'll see two X-Box 3 specs, one with Blu-Ray and one without.
I can just about watch a BD movie on my home set up with my PS3 whirring noisily in the background. The noise emitted by the Sony box is pretty abysmal really, for a device that is supposed to sit in your living room. But the other day I went round to a friend's house and they turned on their Xbox. I asked if the resulting hairdryer noise was normal and was told that it was. There is absolutely no way you could use that as a BD player unless you put it in the room next door and cabled the video through the wall.
Quote: Greenberg said: “We have no plans to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience.”
Does he (and the MS marketing flacks) realize how incredibly silly and stilted that sounds in the ears of Joe Average ElRegReader? I don't know about *you* or *you* and certainly not about dear Sarah Bee, but when I read a lame bit of marketing speak like that, I can't help but wonder what they're trying to hide now, what lie(s) they're trying to thrust down our innocent throats this time.
Important memo to marketers everywhere: stop using marketing speak. It doesn't work any more. Just like the Mormons who persist in clothing their young missionaries in suits and ties, all you're doing is arousing suspicion and fear.
I can get all the HD content from my HD cable receiver and my HD satellite receiver. Why would I want to spend hundreds of dollars on Blew-ray, and also have to reinvest in all of the DVD's I already own? Absolutely nonsense...
Only ass-kissing Sony lovers with small penises would insist that Blew-ray *IS* the future. That too is also absolute nonsense...
I'll stick to my awesome upconverting DVD player, HD cable and HD satellite receiver. Sony can kiss my blue-ass.
Microsoft is doine what it should be doing sticking to gaming, that's what the Xbox 360 does and according to sales and some game reviewers it's doing it well. I have both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and I prefer games on the 360, and I like watching movies on the PS3 as I find that it plays some DVDs that aren't available for rent on Blu-ray better than my DVD player or the 360. As for HD well I watch hockey on CBC HD over-the-air, and some other shows on the OTA stations I get: CBC, CTV, & Global.
My wife bought me a PS3 (having been a 'Microsoft mark' for as long as I can remember) purely as it was a cheap way into the Blu-Ray market. Players at the time were around £500 - £700 and this was far out of my reach. My son used to rave about his PS1+2 and I was more than happy with my Xbox V1.
Since the PS3 has invaded my home i've stopped buying games for my 360 and look for them on the PS3 instead. Admittedly it's a small catalogue at present but this will build and the movies in Blu-Ray on a 50" Plasma in 1080p are something to behold.
Once again this is a case of MS not inventing something so not giving it the recognition it deserves. Get on the bandwagon MS or this Christmas you'll lose out big time you muppets. As for digital downloads, adsl is by no means fast enough to handle all of the content people will be downloading. We have bandwidth shaping now, how does Billy Boy and co plan on copeing when every sod has a 360 and downloads their movies and TV shows?
What a tit!!!
How so many Xbox ex-HD DVD owners are here deluding themselves, and making statements that make them look like clueless (or blind) idiots.
If you can't see a difference between upscaled content, Downloaded HD content, and PROPER HD content (Blu-ray), then:
a) you need your eyes testing.
b) you work for Microsoft's paid shill army.
c) you are deluded.
d) you are on mind altering drugs.
e) you bought your nonname TV from Morissons/Adsa/Aldi
Which PS3 did you get?? my 40gb MKII is almost silent.... certainly not audiable over anything other than a perfectly silent room, with my head inches away from the unit... :) But yes, hy friends 360's can be head from down the street!!
BD IS the future! I havent experienced downloaded HD content, but in the past I have downloaded 4GB dvds... the quality on those has been ok... but they took an age on my 3mbit connection (the fastest I can have) - and to me... a PS3 and BD films work out cheaper than moving house to a location where I get faster internet speeds + upgrading my internet package to allow for HD downloads... BD has actuallt stopped me from buying DVD's and downloading films... everything i watch is bought now at usually 10% more than the DVD equvelent - to me for the improvement in picture and sound, a bargain.
I currently own 10 BD films with 2 more on preorder... going on the very rough calculation that they will be twice the size of your average DVD that makes 8gb per film (with extras, etc excluding extra discs) so thats 80gb of hard drive used up... and about 70 hours hours of downloading, whilst the rest of my internet access slows to a crawl! and what hapens then? do I buy another hard drive unit at extortionate rates? what happens if the drive fails? call me old fashioned, but if i pay for something, I like to actually own it!
You spoilt with BD - Batman begins had the first 6 minute of the Dark Night IMAX as a special... when i wnet to the cinema, I was actually disapointed at the picture quality compared to the trailer i had seen!!! True, the sound was WAY more than i could hope for at home! but... thats part of the cinema experience chipped away!
Downloads may be the future, but we live in the present... MS should launch a BD player, I own a PS3 and I always look with envy at the number and variety of games for the 360, but the lack of real HD puts me off and was the reason friends have junked their MS consoles....
People seem to be missing the point a bit. Yes you can see the difference between 720 and 1080 on a desktop monitor, but only because you are 50cm from the f*cking screen!! If the viewing angle subtended by my telly was the same as by my monitor, then my telly would be 6ft f*cking tall. Which it isn't. Obviously.
I've got a 32" 720p LCD, and I assure you that you'd need to be a sodding eagle to tell the difference between that and a similar-sized 1080p at 3-4m (where the sofa is).
Yes ok you've got a 72" plasma with home-cinema, well whoop-dee-f*cking-doo, you're in a small minority. And NO, the respondents on this page a NOT a representative sample of the telly-buying public. So there.
Has anyone seen my pills?
I have yet to see a TV shop showing the same picture in normal def beside hi-def. Maybe because they don't think the quality increase is good enough.
What does annoy me is the amount of compression used on some channels. I can see the lossy compression used on Sky compared to good old analogue.
Or maybe thats how they are trying to sell it by making normal broadcasts look poor.
'"MS: Xbox will not go Blu".
"MS: Xbox will go Blu".'
Or rather xbox will go blu after the Christmas rush.
Which Oxfam? I still love my LaserDisc player, even though it sits underneath a just-as-dead-format HD-DVD standalone.
Which was bought because the 360 is too noisy to watch films on for my liking. As is the PS3 - while older 360s sounded like jet engines, the current batch of fans is no louder than the ones in Sony's console. So I don't really care whether Microsoft put on in there or not; I'll be buying a Sony BDP-S350 when I get my Blu-ray fix, I suspect. That it's £100 cheaper than a PS3 and can be modded multi-region rather helps sway things, too.
My PS3 is totally silent, the problem I have, is I leave it on overnight, as I don't hear it being on.
I had a EU launch 60GB PS3, and it was pretty quiet, cashed in on the idiots paying over the odds for "PS2 compatability one upmanship", and bought a brand new UK 80GB (and £120 profit to boot) the latest ones I would call totally silent, as in no noise at all, unless you put your ear right up against it.
Every 360 I have ever heard is as loud as a plane taking off, as a comparison.
"e) you bought your nonname TV from Morissons/Adsa/Aldi"
That however is exactly the reason why Blu-Ray will never replace DVD. Contrary to what techno-geek readers of The Reg may buy, and even what is on sale in Currys etc, the vast vast majority of the UK public have basic TVs, many being noname cheapos, along with a £20 noname DVD player. And it does them fine.
It doesn't matter a flying fig whether the PS3 has a Blu-Ray player and the Xbox 360 does or doesn't. The audience for these two consoles is not 99% of the population. Probably not even 50% (the population does include women and OAPs after all!). However the vast majority of the population has a TV and a DVD player (and likely still a VHS machine), and it's good enough.
You could beat them over the head with a bat trying to tell them how spending £1k on a 50" TV and AV system will mean they can watch glorious Blu-Ray in high def, and even show them how amazing it is. "Oh, that's nice" they go, and return to their own world of mortgages, kids, pensions and other more important concerns and sit down to watch Celebrity Come Bloody Dancing on their 21" CRT.
The problem is here most people are blinkered to the real world.
The only real way DVDs will be replaced is if either the replacement is blindingly obviously of advantage to the consumer (e.g. like DVD was a smaller and more durable product than VHS, not that it was better quality), or if it is forced on them. You can't force Blu-Ray on people through PS3s and Xboxes.
Anyway, this is why the marketing bods at Microsoft, and it seems Toshiba (and maybe even Samsung), have realised the money isn't in distributing movies on optical discs any more. Neither may even bother much with movies in the long term anyway and concentrate on other more lucrative projects. The people who will make money in movie distribution are the likes of the satellite, cable companies and ISPs.
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