Leaked internal email points to Blu-ray movie playback, but no 'always-on' DRM for Xbox 'Infinity' 720, which may or may not be delayed to a 2014 release
Image/Photo Credit: Xbox Prestige
A leaked internal email sent to all Microsoft employees working on the next Xbox console apparently confirms the existence of Blu-ray playback, but also denied that the console will feature an 'always-on' style DRM that forces gamers to be online at all times.
But the inclusion of Blu-ray playback may see the console miss the 2013 holidays release window, according to another rumor.
Arstechnica was first to reveal the contents of the internal Microsoft email regarding 'Durango', the project code name for Microsoft's next console, which read:
"Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
While rumors suggesting the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 720, or whatever it will be called, has been making the rounds for the best part of a year, it has been unclear so far whether the inclusion of a drive would also allow for Blu-ray movie playback. The Nintendo Wii U console, for example, features a Blu-ray like disc format but does not support BD movie playback, but if the leaked email is to be believed, then Blu-ray playback will be a feature of the next Microsoft console.
However, the inclusion of Blu-ray may be the very reason why the Xbox 720 will miss out on having a 2013 release. According to MondoXbox, issues related to Blu-ray licensing may mean the console will get an early 2014 release date instead, missing the crucial holiday sales period.
The delay is apparently due to an exclusivity agreement that permits Blu-ray playback only on Sony's consoles, including the PS4, which will be released before the end of the year.
Such a delay could be a huge setback for Microsoft as it attempts to build on the success of the Xbox 360.
Microsoft is expected to officially launch the Xbox 720 at an event on May 21, where the console's official name may be unveiled as 'Xbox Infinity'.