The past two days have seen speculation that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 could have built-in Blu-ray in its future. The new-generation Xbox consoles have an optional add-on HD DVD drive. Most Blu-ray players in consumers’ hands are built into PlayStation 3 machines.
“It should be consumer choice; and if that’s the way they vote, that’s something we’ll have to consider,” Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware, said today at CES. Start considering, gentlemen and ladies of the Great Northwest.
Meanwhile, Paramount was busy today denying published reports that it was bailing on HD DVD.
“Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format,” Brenda Ciccone said in an e-mail to Bloomberg news wire.
The Financial Times of London reported that Paramount was ready to make the move in the wake of Warner Home Video’s decision to go Blu-ray exclusive. FT said Par had a contract clause allowing the studio to dump HD DVD if Warner left the format.
Paramount, Universal and DreamWorks Animation are the remaining HD DVD-only studios. Actually, it would be surprising if there wasn’t speculation about Paramount and Universal bailing, with the media trying to get the jump on what seems inevitable. Team HD DVD hastily canceled its dog-and-pony show at CES. Format creator Toshiba went onstage with a shaken exec. Poor guy.