Next Xbox to rely on Blu-ray

The video game world has been abuzz about what features will be included on forthcoming consoles. One aspect seems to be clear: Blu-ray will be the media format of choice for the successor to Microsoft's popular Xbox 360 machine. Ars Technica reported that an internal Microsoft email stated that the still unrevealed console will have Blu-ray playback capabilities. This has led many analysts to speculate that games delivered via traditional physical media will use Blu-ray discs as their format.

It makes sense that Microsoft would pursue Blu-ray for its media needs, as the format far outpaces the DVDs it currently uses for the Xbox 360. Time reported that when the company upgraded to a new disc format in 2011, the available storage maxed out at 7.95 gigabytes. In comparison, Sony's Blu-ray discs typically have as much as 50 gigabytes of usable space available. This has led to many instances in which Microsoft had to release games spanning multiple discs that could be easily stored on a single Blu-ray. As the size of next-gen games increases, the need for Blu-ray's greater storage capacity will rise as well.

With its move to Blu-ray, Microsoft can expect to reduce their production costs while also alleviating some headaches for gamers. Video game players will no longer need to swap out discs to continue progress in their digital adventures. In addition, with the inclusion of playback functionality in the new console, users will be able to view media files such as home videos created on Blu-ray burners.

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