Microsoft has told CVG recently that digital distribution will be the future of home entertainment. They remain vigilant in their position, even after developers like Lost Planet 2 producer Jun Takeuchi have made the point that storage space is becoming more and more of an issue for the Xbox 360. Portions of many popular games are being removed, then there’s the whole graphics compression debacle going on with blockbusters like Final Fantasy XIII and the upcoming RAGE. So with all this going on, what’s Microsoft’s thoughts as to what the future will be like for Xbox 360 storage?
As DualShockers revealed recently, Xbox 360 bundles have been releasing like hotcakes in addition to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer giving hints of even more upcoming bundles. The Xbox 360 is expanding quickly in the way of hard drives with its new 250gb bundles that come with either Forza 3 or Final Fantasy XIII.
But one thing that this will not change is the size of the optical storage for video games on Xbox 360, which has been locked since its release to the maximum capacity of DVD. The reason behind why Microsoft is not pursuing this change seems to be because of the failure HD-DVD has had in the movies industry. The format has become basically extinct in all manners of speaking and discontinued off shelves years ago. But why does that spell the end of HD-DVD for Xbox 360, what about the games?
In the past, many have clung tight to the prophecy that Microsoft would some day adapt to the Blu-Ray technology found in PlayStation 3, and apply that to the video games on Xbox 360. Since this rumor emerged, Microsoft and Sony have continually insisted that such a deal has in fact not been discussed between the two parties.
The reason this rumor took off, and stays relevant even today, is because higher optical storage seemed an obvious move. Such a move is increasingly vital to consoles as the growing size of video games and their demand of storage space to continue delivering innovations across the board in gameplay, graphics, artificial intelligence and more.
Microsoft’s director of Xbox and Entertainment Stephen McGill’s comments in his recent interview at CVG reiterates that fact, while pushing the hard drive as the Xbox 360’s main storage format going forward. He is quoted as saying, “We have no plans to adopt Blu-Ray…” confirming that the company still has not reached out to Sony for such a collaboration.
On one hand it does make sense for the Xbox 360 to use the best capabilities it can using the hardware everyone already has, and a partnership towards a Blu-Ray drive at this moment in time is not likely for the system. As a gamer I feel like Microsoft may have missed a big opportunity by not exploring the endless possibilities of video games on HD-DVD for the Xbox 360.
The question for me has always been, “Why didn’t Xbox 360 use HD-DVD as its standard?” not “When will Xbox 360 get Blu-Ray?” After doing numerous days worth of research on this matter I can not determine if the possibility exists for video games on the add-on HD-DVD drive, but if it is possible I wonder why it was not used for this purpose. What do you, the readers, think about this; should there be HD-DVD games just as there are Blu-Ray games or is the hard drive good enough for Xbox until next gen?