Microsoft director of product management Aaron Greenberg believes the absence of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive has played a significant role in the console’s success.
“We’ve just taken a different strategy. Sony bet on the physical disc, and there are costs associated with that,” he told us.
“The fact that we’re able to offer a console starting at $199 is a benefit of not being burdened with that cost. Being $100 cheaper is part of the reason why we’re nearly twice their installed base.”
Greenberg was likely referring to Xbox 360’s US installed base, as Microsoft’s console and PS3 are much closer on a worldwide sales basis.
“For us, our bet was on digital distribution, that that was the future – the ability to do 1080p movies with no disc, no download required; we have the largest movie and TV library, the largest HD library of any console,” he continued.
“Sure, there are trade-offs, but the convenience of pushing a button and watching a movie instantly is, we think, pretty appealing. The great thing is that we built the heart of the Xbox 360 for continuous innovation. We can always add more features and functionality, and you don’t have to buy new hardware to do that. You can do it through software updates.
“So someone who buys a 360 today can know that one, two, or three years from now they will get a whole variety of new experiences that make it better through Xbox Live. That sort of thing has never existed before in our industry.”
Microsoft’s director of Xbox and Entertainment Stephen McGill recently told CVG the firm had no intention of adopting Blu-ray for Xbox 360.