The fallout from CES is clearly evident as the two competing high definition video formats are readying themselves to go to market in three short months. Today we got word that Microsoft – so far considered a backer of the HD DVD format – is now reconsidering its position on the format, particularly in the context of the Xbox 360 and most likely also, Windows Vista.
First Microsoft dealt the HD DVD camp a serious blow by shipping Xbox 360 without a HD DVD drive as was originally planned, and now there is a chance they won’t actually be a real supporter of the HD DVD format, after all.
It has always been clear that Blu-Ray support for Windows Vista would only be a device driver away but now information has surfaced from an interview with Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business Peter Moore that the company is ready to offer an external Blu-Ray drive for Xbox 360 as well if market conditions should develop in that direction.
It has always been clear to me and many others that Microsoft’s support of either format is superficial because the company not only has to go with the market but is known for its open architectures which allow third-party vendors to include support for virtually anything to their operating systems.
With that the HD DVD Camp has lost yet another foothold and is left with only Universal Home Entertainment as an exclusive partner, and in their case, quite frankly, who cares? It is only a matter of weeks for Universal to announce their Blu-Ray support, though let’s hope they won’t screw it up as they regularly screw up their DVD releases.