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Ballmer re-ignites 360 Blu-ray speculation

Throwaway comment open to interpretation.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Xbox 360 could be on the receiving end of a new Blu-ray drive accessory if comments by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are to be believed.

But are they to be believed? Speaking to Gizmodo, an otherwise-guarded Ballmer says, "Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there - you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives, can get Blu-ray drives as accessories."

Opinion around the Eurogamer breakfast table is that he meant you could buy a Blu-ray drive separately if you want to watch Blu-ray films, not least because he immediately continued:

"I think probably the future of movies is on-demand actually as opposed to via distribution on physical media, so we're just going to keep driving forward and try to make it the best entertainment - overall entertainment, not just gaming but overall entertainment - experience we can."

Microsoft PR told Gizmodo that it was "not ready to comment" on anything beyond Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming.

If it is a minor gaffe, it wouldn't be the first time this year. Back in June, Ballmer suggested that a new model of Xbox 360 would be out in 2010, only for people closer to the Xbox business to clarify that he was referring to Project Natal and chose his words poorly.

This week's Blu-ray interview snippet is on video, so make your own mind up.

P.S. As lifelong fans of hypotheticals, Digital Foundry has considered how such a drive might work on Xbox 360 from a technical perspective. Or rather, how it's very unlikely to work.

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