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A post in an official blog made by a public relation specialist at Microsoft Corp. claims that the world’s largest maker of software has no and never had plans to support Blu-ray with its Xbox 360 game console via add-on hardware. Even though the statement was made to deny any plans regarding Blu-ray on Xbox 360, the original comment made by Peter Moore, a vice president of Microsoft, does not say that.

“Just want to clear up a few things surrounding several erroneous stories regarding alleged comments from Peter Moore about Xbox 360 supporting Blu-ray.  Simply put... These reports are completely incorrect,” said John Rodman, who is a public relations specialist for Microsoft’s Xbox division.

Earlier this month Gizmodo UK blog published a “rumour” about the possibility of an add-on Blu-ray optical drive for Microsoft Xbox 360, citing a interview with Peter Moore, who is now a corporate vice president of the interactive entertainment business in the entertainment and devices division of Microsoft Corp.

“In an interview with ITmedia back at CES in January of this year, Peter said Xbox 360 has the flexibility to adapt to consumers’ needs, allowing Microsoft to add features as consumers demand them – as evidenced by the offering of the HD DVD player as an accessory,” Mr. Rodman said in Gamerscore blog.

While at press time it was impossible to find an interview with Mr. Moore at Japanese-language ITmedia web-site which he allegedly gave in January, 2007, it was possible to access a news-story at X-bit labs, which quoted an interview of Mr. Moore, at that time, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for the home and entertainment division of Microsoft, in January, 2006.

“At present time, considering such part [external optical drive], Microsoft selects HD DVD. But since it is unknown whether HD DVD and Blu-ray wins [the format battler], we took the form, external drive, which allows us to change in future situations,” he said in the Consumer Electronics Show 2006 timeframe in the interview.

While Mr. Rodman retracted a comment made by Peter Moore 1.5 years ago and quoted in a blog now (without checking the name of Mr. Moore’s current position), he also stated that Microsoft has “no plans” to support other optical formats [on the Xbox 360 platform].

“We firmly stand behind the HD DVD format as the best choice for consumers. Current reports indicating that Microsoft has a back-up plan, which includes Blu-ray support are incorrect. We’re fully committed to HD DVD and have absolutely no plans to support other optical formats,” Mr. Rodman states.

Back in late March, 2007 Neil Thompson, who is a senior regional director for Microsoft, said in an interview with BBC that whatever whatever – Blu-ray or HD DVD – format “wins”, Microsoft is highly likely to offer a “solution”.

“Whatever format wins it is highly likely we will offer a solution. The only debate is if you want to watch Blu-ray movies and pay the extra money for that feature. We prefer to offer the consumer choice,” said Mr. Thompson, senior regional director, Northern Europe, entertainment & devices division, Microsoft Corp.


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