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Microsoft to beta test new Xbox 360 disc format

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 29 Mar 2011 17:37 User comments (47)

Microsoft to beta test new Xbox 360 disc format Microsoft is seeking volunteers for a beta of a new Xbox 360 disc format.
"We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format," Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) announced today.

The Xbox 360 currently uses the DVD format for its video game titles. Sony opted for Blu-ray for the PS3, which can hold vastly more content than a standard DVD. Some Xbox 360 games comes on multiple discs due to a capacity limit of about 8.5GB on a standard dual-layer DVD.

"This is an important update as we continually strive to improve our products and we could not do so without the help of our great Xbox community," Hryb wrote. "As part of the preview program, you will receive a copy of Halo: Reach along with other possible rewards."

Of course, the announcement is very light on details so its unclear exactly what Microsoft is looking to introduce at this time. The company is seeking thousands of participants, and will give priority to Xbox Live Gold members (though Silver members can apply too.)

If you are interested, check this link.

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47 user comments

129.3.2011 19:17

Hmm I wonder what they are planning.

229.3.2011 19:34

I applied, crossing fingers.

329.3.2011 19:47

Gotta be going to Blu Ray. Unless they are gonna try and push HD-DVD AGAIN...

429.3.2011 20:14

Hm.. I wonder how this going to work because you need blu ray drive for this to work because dvd drive uses red laser and blu ray drive uses blue and red lasers... and if I'm correct, there's no blue laser bultin the dvd drive... if it's not blu ray then I wonder what format they would be using.

The Xbox 360 currently uses DVD-9 format discs, which are single-side discs capable of holding 7.95 gigabytes of data. Nelson would not say what disc format Microsoft is moving to, but it's possible the company would like to upgrade to DVD-18, which is a basically a two-sided DVD-9

Googled it..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Mar 2011 @ 20:26

529.3.2011 20:27

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Gotta be going to Blu Ray. Unless they are gonna try and push HD-DVD AGAIN...
They want current xbox owners to test a new format that rules bl out as it would require ms to provide a blu ray player of some sort & then you'd need an update to the 360 so it would know how to drive it then theirs the output factor,they also mentioned they would never use hd dvd as a game disc only for movies ,so if they want testers to use their current 360's it has to be a media it can read with it's current rom right now which to me is a new version of a dl disc of some sort maybe a 3 layer disc ? well that's my 5c worth & i'll throw that in the ring anyway

629.3.2011 21:18

Probably a more than dual layer dvd.

729.3.2011 21:40

I think they are doing this to make it harder for people to backup their games by using their consumers as lab rats. I bet if they do give people out a disc, it will probably brick their systems like ACB did. Who cares about getting a free copy of Halo Reach, most people already bought it.

I might be far fetch because I'm a skeptical person, but it seems very odd on why they are doing this because we know it's not for Blu-ray since their competitors (sony) has that and HD-DVD is long gone years ago so I'm not sure why anyone would bring that up.

829.3.2011 21:58

Originally posted by xaznboitx:
Hm.. I wonder how this going to work because you need blu ray drive for this to work because dvd drive uses red laser and blu ray drive uses blue and red lasers... and if I'm correct, there's no blue laser bultin the dvd drive... if it's not blu ray then I wonder what format they would be using.

The Xbox 360 currently uses DVD-9 format discs, which are single-side discs capable of holding 7.95 gigabytes of data. Nelson would not say what disc format Microsoft is moving to, but it's possible the company would like to upgrade to DVD-18, which is a basically a two-sided DVD-9

Googled it..
External Drive??

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929.3.2011 22:12

it WILL NOT be a DVD 18, there cost more than two double layer DVD's, offer the same amount of storage sppace, and one side will ALWAYS be getting scratched, and the user would have a hell of a time figuring out which side is side one, and no one would know which game is printed on each disc, as there are no labels, it's a big fat bag of, Hell No!

an external BD drive? possible, but unlikely

Microsoft using Quad Layer DVD, possible.

Microsoft moving the Layer Break and compressing the SystemUpdates, so they can access unused space before, Higly Likely

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Mar 2011 @ 22:14

1029.3.2011 22:21

i'm thinking all the dots connect, DVD's are VERY Rearely sold, by themself, now there being sold in "Combo Pack's" which include the BD aswell, Microsoft partnered with Samsung, for The Xbox 360 Slim DVD Drive (i'm not sure which drive, i think it's the new slim drives) who happens to be the biggest Blu Ray Player Manufacturer, they recently said for the millionth time, that there will be now blu Ray player for the Xbox 360, but there are no rumors of an Xbox 360 DVD Drive, AND sony put in ALOT of money pushing Blu Ray, i'm thinking they handed MS a nice check, to include BD in the current Xbox, which leads me to speculate, that they *MIGHT* release a External BD Drive


but regardless, i'm finda wondering if there testing the waters for the Xbox 720, but they would do that, in there locked down labs, so idk

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Mar 2011 @ 22:26

1129.3.2011 22:36

They are probably just going to a quad layer DVD...it would be very hard to sell games on blueray if 90% of your owners did not have a blueray drive.

1229.3.2011 22:43

Maybe they might be doing like sega did with the dreamcast's gdrom.

"GD-ROM (an abbreviation of "giga disk read-only memory") is the proprietary optical disc format used by the Dreamcast home console, as well as its arcade counterparts and the Sega/Nintendo/Namco Triforce arcade system. It is similar to the standard CD-ROM except that the pits on the disc are packed more closely together, resulting in a higher storage capacity: around 1.2 gigabytes, which is almost double the storage capacity of a typical CD-ROM."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GD-ROM

By doing this, they would be able to make more room on the discs.


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1329.3.2011 22:48

yes, but the disc's would have to be custom made, and which DVD Drives would be able to read it?

1429.3.2011 22:57

GD-ROMS use red laser just like dvds/cds do. The only reason why GD-ROMS are not readable by any drive but the dreamcast is because Sega made it where the disc's have a ring half way through them. The ring say's produced by or under license from sega on it. The dreamcast is programed to skip this sector and continue on to where game data is kept.


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1529.3.2011 23:01

ok dude, go ahead and continue talking about how awesome the dreamcast disc, i doubt Microsoft will do that, it would be MUCH easier to make a 4 layer DVD,

regardless of opinions, we won;t know until new disc's are pressed with this new format, or until someone leaks an image of the Halo reach disc, with this new tech

1629.3.2011 23:31

It actually might be cheaper for MS to do something familiar to what sega did. They could use the same dvd discs that they are using now, they would just be encoded differently. By doing this, the disc would still be readable by the 360(with a system update), but be a hell of a lot harder to duplicate by any one else but MS due to the fact that the disc would have a toc that is not normal for a ordinary dvd disc. Sanyo found away to this with standard cdr's in 2002. They made it where anyone with there program, could create a cdr with 1.4gb worth of data on it. The disc could be read by anyone with there program. http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2002/09/25/sanyo_doubles_cd-r_capacity_with_hd-burn


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1729.3.2011 23:43

Originally posted by KillerBug:
They are probably just going to a quad layer DVD...it would be very hard to sell games on blueray if 90% of your owners did not have a blueray drive.
This is 100% correct, it wouldn't make any business sense; plus Microsoft has said on several occasions that they won't do Blu-Ray on the 360. If they can firmware update all 360s to read quad-layer DVDs that would give them almost the same amount of storage as a SL Blu-Ray.

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1830.3.2011 0:49

If it weren't for AD I'd miss out on so many offers :] Hopefully they accept me. I just like to try out new stuff. I never did get a chrome notebook =[

1930.3.2011 1:07

Originally posted by 21Q:
If it weren't for AD I'd miss out on so many offers :] Hopefully they accept me. I just like to try out new stuff. I never did get a chrome notebook =[
I always sign up for Microsoft promotions. Got Windows XP Pro, Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate all for free and Office 2007 Pro for free through their promotions. People can call them greedy money grubbers all they want but it takes me very little effort to get stuff free or at low cost from them.

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2030.3.2011 1:41

on the fly compression, no doubt. it requires no new hardware, and is as simple as a firmware update.

i foresee a shit storm of issues on older x360's, the newer ones should be able to handle it, though.


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2130.3.2011 1:55

Thanks for the heads up, I was curious as to what format it would be in so I applied. I knew it couldn't be BluRay or HD DVD because they need separate drives for those.

2230.3.2011 4:08

inb4 new disc protection, seeing as they are losing the piracy war, badly.


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2330.3.2011 10:40
lissenup3
Inactive

From a practical view and sensible one........MS should just bite the bullet and use Blu-ray. Just because HD-DVD got stomped (sadly I might add) doesn't mean a business sense of practicality can't be used.

2430.3.2011 11:49

Would not be too hard to do a triple layer disc that can be read on normal dual layer players. You could get 2-4GB out of it I would be surprised if they could do a 4 layer DVD at around 18GB.


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2530.3.2011 11:56
lissenup3
Inactive

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Would not be too hard to do a triple layer disc that can be read on normal dual layer players. You could get 2-4GB out of it I would be surprised if they could do a 4 layer DVD at around 18GB.
In theory yes but I'm guessing that's harder than you think because it would have probably been implemented by now rather than using blue lasers.

2630.3.2011 11:57

Actually for the next gen Xbox the triple layer 51gb HD DVD disc (as a game only disc) would make a lot of sense
(this disc has been developed and DVD Forum minutes show it was continuing in development even after HD DVD was withdrawn).

It would deny Sony any hope of a royalty and slam the door on Blu-ray for good.
It would be completely secure because nobody has triple layer HD DVD burners or blank media.
Finally Microsoft already own the tech (or a major chunk of it).

As for this particular story it is all about getting more data on an existing DVD9 in my opinion.

One thing that does make me laugh/groan is how come the blank disc manufacturers deny CD & DVD buyers the decent anti-scratch coating they use on Blu-rays.
It's a joke.
That's all it is, just a coating and it could be used on all discs.
But the fact that they hold it back like they do tells us everything we need to know about the true contempt they hold their paying customers in.

....and the fact the Blu-ray fans can be relied upon to always ignore this & go on to trumpet this coating as some sort of 'good thing' just goes to show how ridiculously blind and counter-productive some deluded people can be.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:00

2730.3.2011 12:04

Originally posted by lissenup3:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Would not be too hard to do a triple layer disc that can be read on normal dual layer players. You could get 2-4GB out of it I would be surprised if they could do a 4 layer DVD at around 18GB.
In theory yes but I'm guessing that's harder than you think because it would have probably been implemented by now rather than using blue lasers.
Well cost vrs price, the reason why they went with a new format was to double storage 3 to 5 times, just expanding the DVD format was not enough.

This is a rather good way to do it, you have at the most 6 drive units which can be tuned to read deeper layers. Sure its hard on the drive but from MS's point of view its cheaper and more effective to do this than bring in blu ray for the 360.

===================
Interestx

I dunno blu ray is a must to for the multi purpose media demogrphic, even if you put in HDDVD in a hybrid drive with blu ray it will be easily patched once the protection is cracked, so its un needed cost.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:07

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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2830.3.2011 12:06

I think not all games will be on blu ray if they use this format because everyone will be force to buy external usb blu ray if they no longer be using the default format. on the box, I bet it will read " MS official Blu ray external usb drive is needed to play this game"

Though I still think they will use dvd 9 dvd dl etc....

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:06

2930.3.2011 12:21

Same old DVD9 with the almost 1.6gb security encryption measures worked down to about 5-600megs thus giving devs an extra 1gb of space for games for a total of 8gbs available for new titles.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:23

3030.3.2011 12:30

Originally posted by Oner:
Same old DVD9 with the almost 1.6gb security encryption measures worked down to about 5-600megs thus giving devs an extra 1gb of space for games for a total of 8gbs available for new titles.

Why not just get rid of the protection at least not let normal copies run,ect.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3130.3.2011 12:34

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Originally posted by Oner:
Same old DVD9 with the almost 1.6gb security encryption measures worked down to about 5-600megs thus giving devs an extra 1gb of space for games for a total of 8gbs available for new titles.

Why not just get rid of the protection at least not let normal copies run,ect.
I kind of agree on that. While I see what they are trying to do with encryption methods and what not I tend to think all they are doing is keeping the honest people honest. If someone truly wants to copy that game, movie or download it without paying for it they will get it somehow. Makes me wonder if more money is spent on trying to stop piracy than if they just took their losses.

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3230.3.2011 12:49

no, MS WILL NOT use HD-DVD as a game only format, Blu Ray Won, why would they include a drive that can't play the latest movies?

IF they include a next gen DVD Drive in the xbox 720, IT WILL BE BLU RAY,

selling points are more imporrtant than grudges

3330.3.2011 12:55

hjust becasue no one has triple layer burners or discs means nothing, burners would come out, or someone would write a program that allowed the ability to burn to the third layer, and you think blank media companies wont make hd dvd discs?

they dont care about security, they care about money, no matter what.

STOP WITH THIS HD DVD TALK! IT WILL NOT HAPPEN, PEOPLE WILL NOT BUY AN HD-DVD XBOX 720, THEY WANT BLU RAY, THATS WHAT THE MOVIES ARE ON, THEY WONT ACCEPT ANYTHING ELSE.

3430.3.2011 13:46

Originally posted by marcusj0015:
hjust becasue no one has triple layer burners or discs means nothing, burners would come out, or someone would write a program that allowed the ability to burn to the third layer, and you think blank media companies wont make hd dvd discs?

they dont care about security, they care about money, no matter what.

STOP WITH THIS HD DVD TALK! IT WILL NOT HAPPEN, PEOPLE WILL NOT BUY AN HD-DVD XBOX 720, THEY WANT BLU RAY, THATS WHAT THE MOVIES ARE ON, THEY WONT ACCEPT ANYTHING ELSE.

You miss the point, the 360 may have the capacity to run tipple layer DVD discs not HDDVD, using HDDVD is as much an option as using blu ray or different hardware to play a game. It just can not happen as your 30 million+ unit install base will have to upgrade to the new hardware and that will just not happen with the 360. It is easy to do it with a new system though.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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3530.3.2011 14:06

i get the point, the point is having more disc space for the next gen disc, WHY WOULD MICROSOFT USE HDDVD WHEN YOU COLDNT WATCH MOVIES ON IT?

bluray is the future, they will not go hddvd, and you hardheaded edited by ddp just dont get that, i'm done with this edited by ddp, get a edited by ddp clue BEFORE you run your mouth

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 23:05

3630.3.2011 15:13

marcusj0015

You 'faith' in 'everybody' wanting Blu-ray is touching, if only the sales numbers backed that up.
Blu-ray growth has faied to match DVD's growth....and if the PS3 boys aren't interested in the film released then sales are very poor.
Far too few care about Blu-ray movies.

It's perfectly clear that the future is digital distribution, it's a matter of when not if.
The Blu-ray fans might desperatey hope Microsoft adopt it for the next Xbox but I can see no good reason for them to do so.
I can also see a very obvious alternative which makes a lot fo sense for them.

A triple layer HD DVD disc for games would massively slash piracy (I'm not saying eliminate it completely.......as Blu-ray has already proved nothing, no matter how big the 'security talk' at the start, stays that way 100%).
But triple layer HD DVD as a game media has a lot of plusses.
They're perfect reasons for Microsoft to use it.

Most people across the whole world would not be able to get the blank media or the necessary burners
(where would people get the violet/blue laser burner for HD DVD burning to firmware to triple layers?)

The truth is Blu-ray is a cul-de-sac, a stop-over on the way to a downloaded/streamed future.
Connection speeds, for most in the urban areas, are rising all the time.
Everyone but everyone knows it's a case of when not if.

Rant on bro sadly for you few but the already converted care (and I speak as someone who has the home cinema system able to enjoy lossless audio - most can't and never will be bothered about that anyways - and the 1080p image on a huge screen).
Most I know just aren't that bothered.

3730.3.2011 15:31

ok, i'm not saying everyone wants blu ray, and i'm not some blu ray or PS3 fanboy, i think that if there is a new disc format in the next xbox, it will be bluray, because it won the war, it has by far the most movies, and it offers more disc space than HD-DVD, which will help the games to be bigger, and hove more content.

i agree to a point about digital distrobution,

1: people still want to play there old games and old movies, disc drive is nessacary.

2: with people like comcast and other ISP's limiting bandwidth to 250GB's a month, you wont be able to download or stream HD movies, and download and play games online, your bandwidth would be shot way before that.

3: not everyone has internet access OR has broadband, or is willing to buy internet access.

4: we will not see 100 percent console digital distrobution for a long time (15+ years), why does it work for the iPhone & Android? becasue you HAVE to have a computer to use them, if you already have a computer you probably have internet, but the difference between downloading a 20mb app, and a 20-50GB+ game, is ridiclous

3830.3.2011 15:48

I don't have Blu-Ray in my computer or on my HD TV and I will never have Blu-Ray unless it comes in some other device that I want.
DVD was basically required... BR is not.

Bandwidth is constantly growing, not shrinking. Download is the future. Not physical disks.
IMO


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

3930.3.2011 17:11

Originally posted by keebles:
It actually might be cheaper for MS to do something familiar to what sega did. They could use the same dvd discs that they are using now, they would just be encoded differently. By doing this, the disc would still be readable by the 360(with a system update), but be a hell of a lot harder to duplicate by any one else but MS due to the fact that the disc would have a toc that is not normal for a ordinary dvd disc. Sanyo found away to this with standard cdr's in 2002. They made it where anyone with there program, could create a cdr with 1.4gb worth of data on it. The disc could be read by anyone with there program. http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2002/09/25/sanyo_doubles_cd-r_capacity_with_hd-burn
Sounds like I might have been close. http://www.maxconsole.net/content.php?45344-Devs-set-for-1GB-disc-boost-on-Xbox-360

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4030.3.2011 17:22

Originally posted by ThePastor:
I don't have Blu-Ray in my computer or on my HD TV and I will never have Blu-Ray unless it comes in some other device that I want.
DVD was basically required... BR is not.

Bandwidth is constantly growing, not shrinking. Download is the future. Not physical disks.
IMO
digital distribution is no option at the moment. download speeds are increasing that's true but so is the price, not only that internet caps in some parts of the world would see the end of DD
Altogether. 60 bucks for a large game at a B&M far out weighs the
60+Cap overcharge fees

Good Studio owned films will never be released over a DD solution the Man wont allow it.

for games it would mean higher cost for the end consumer, unless console manufactures suck it up and make a PC like game console which will never happen as proprietary hardware is a number one cash cow for all console makers.

either the industry changes to meet the needs of digital distribution(what a knee slapper)... or we continue using physical media which is going to happen, after all as humans we are mentally attached to physical objects.

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4130.3.2011 18:12

Microsoft would be very smart and at the same time very stupid to just have HD DVD in there next gen console. Blu-ray is the winner of the two HD disc formats and when people buy a console they want it to be able to do and play more then just games. I agree since HD DVD is no longer produced it could be used as the game discs to lower or stop piracy of games but they will need to include Blu-ray support. I think more into the future you will no longer see spinning media but something more like a usb flash drive with the game on that.

4230.3.2011 19:12

What's with this idea that Blu-ray movies matter so much?

It's obvious by now DVD is going to see Blu-ray off in movies and I can't see Blu-ray doing that much against cheap hard drives in the $/gb stakes.
(and yes I have a Blu-ray burner, but blank media prices are still laughable - and will be for some time yet).

All the next Xbox has to do is
1) play & upscale DVD
2) stream/download HD films,
3) use a 51gb triple layer HD DVD for games
4) include at least 500mb - 1tb of hard drive space
(and most importantly which is also expandable).
5) include a digital distribution option for the ever increasing numbers us not living in dark ages.

Freeze spec somewhere close to a decent PC is now (quad core 3GHz, 4gb's of RAM & a GPU similar to a GTX460), make a zillion or 2 of them so prices aren't ridiculous and you'd have a killer dedicated console for a long time to come.

They will then have everything they need for the 85% - 90% of the market that doesn't really care about Blu-ray for movies & importantly for them will have covered the security angle perfectly.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2011 @ 20:22

4330.3.2011 20:37

If the movie/Gaming industry refuses to get with the plan and thinks that some form of physical media will always be required, they will die a long, slow, painful death.

It is already hardly required. Only games still require that stupid piece of hardware. Movies are widely available in HD for download. TV is widely available. Streaming and download.
Sure, the infrastructure is not quite there, ... yet. But I don't think there is any question about the future of High end media. Netflix has proven it. Hulu has proven it.

As for the bandwidth caps... They are arbitrary and anti-consumer. They will be shot down the moment they are shown for what they are.
A small speedbump.

As for using DVD's or any form of real media to help prevent piracy....
LOL... Yeah... Ok... :D


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

4430.3.2011 23:05

marcusj0015, watch the shouting & language, post edited.

4530.3.2011 23:47

Originally posted by ThePastor:
I don't have Blu-Ray in my computer or on my HD TV and I will never have Blu-Ray unless it comes in some other device that I want.
DVD was basically required... BR is not.

Bandwidth is constantly growing, not shrinking. Download is the future. Not physical disks.
IMO
This is ture, but not for another 10-20 years when it will go mainstream.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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4630.3.2011 23:48

Originally posted by xaznboitx:
Hm.. I wonder how this going to work because you need blu ray drive for this to work because dvd drive uses red laser and blu ray drive uses blue and red lasers... and if I'm correct, there's no blue laser bultin the dvd drive... if it's not blu ray then I wonder what format they would be using.

The Xbox 360 currently uses DVD-9 format discs, which are single-side discs capable of holding 7.95 gigabytes of data. Nelson would not say what disc format Microsoft is moving to, but it's possible the company would like to upgrade to DVD-18, which is a basically a two-sided DVD-9

Googled it..
Who really knows?
If it will be Blu-ray, I'm sure we will see another copyright protection that will work for about a week.
I'm really not a gamer except for racing games.
I use a PC to play them. The video and audio are far superior on the PC platform. Especially if you have a fast CPU and GPU.
No comparison at all.
Jeff

4731.3.2011 8:35

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Originally posted by xaznboitx:
Hm.. I wonder how this going to work because you need blu ray drive for this to work because dvd drive uses red laser and blu ray drive uses blue and red lasers... and if I'm correct, there's no blue laser bultin the dvd drive... if it's not blu ray then I wonder what format they would be using.

The Xbox 360 currently uses DVD-9 format discs, which are single-side discs capable of holding 7.95 gigabytes of data. Nelson would not say what disc format Microsoft is moving to, but it's possible the company would like to upgrade to DVD-18, which is a basically a two-sided DVD-9

Googled it..
Who really knows?
If it will be Blu-ray, I'm sure we will see another copyright protection that will work for about a week.
I'm really not a gamer except for racing games.
I use a PC to play them. The video and audio are far superior on the PC platform. Especially if you have a fast CPU and GPU.
No comparison at all.
Jeff
Er it will cost to much to replace the DVD drive in the 360, instead they just reduced the copy protection system allowing another gig of data.

Now the next box should have blu ray in it as it til come out in the next 4 years.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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