It's that time of the year again, and once again, we have a new rumour of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive add-on. This is a rumour that has appeared at least a dozen times already, and has increased in frequency ever since the demise of HD DVD and the Xbox 360 add-on drive for that particular dead format.
This time, the rumours come courtesy of the Italian Xbox 360 Magazine, and as suspected, was light on facts. For example, there is no information on the pricing of the add-on unit, whether the add-on would be for movies or for games (or both), and if Microsoft is to fully embrace Blu-ray, whether a standalone version of the console with the Blu-ray drive built-in would be produced or not.
The necessity of having a Blu-ray drive for movies is questionable, what with Microsoft fully embracing streaming services such as Netflix, and with ever decreasing cost of standalone Blu-ray players - the add-on drive might end up costing more than a budget standalone player.
But for games, especially since the recent rumours surrounding Battlefield 3 requiring 2 discs and a HDD based install (whereas the PS3 version would come on one single Blu-ray disc), the Blu-ray drive could be a much needed accessory, although this assumes Microsoft will allow publishers to release games on Blu-ray discs that won't be compatible with consoles without the add-on, something that's always a tricky situation (would publishers be willing to release games on a format that's not universally supported by every Xbox 360?)
For now, Blu-ray for the Xbox 360 remains just a rumour.