- Guess again! Company executives may have already shot the notion down, but there's more to the story. With HD DVD, Microsoft had the opportunity to inject its own technology into the emerging high-definition video market. But now that the HD disc war is over, the company still has a viable group of HD video assets, including HDi and Xbox Live Marketplace.
If you take a close look at these assets, and consider their potential, it's clear why Microsoft is snubbing Blu-ray for the Xbox: The company is gearing up for another HD video assault.
First, a little backstory. Beneath the surface of the recent HD DVD/Blu-ray hardware war, a battle over programming platforms was waged. In this clash, the two camps were at odds over how to implement next-gen features like interactive menus, HD picture-in-picture, and Web-powered content such as online polls. The Blu-ray camp ultimately went with the Java-based BD-J platform, while HD DVD went with an XML dialect.
Microsoft stepped up to deliver iHD (later renamed HDi), which was a trademarked implementation of HD DVD's XML markup language. Toshiba liked it. They made HDi functionality a standard for HD DVD players, and eventually partnered with Microsoft to expand HDi's reach by founding the Advanced Interactivity Consortium. The primary goal of this group...