UK Xbox Boss: “Who Needs Blu-ray?”

Stephen McGill, UK Xbox top dog has spoken about the lack of Blu-ray on Xbox and seems to think the format is already dead. He was asked if the lack of Blu-ray was holding back the 360 and answered,

“I think people may have spoken about that originally, but that’s long gone.

I think people now recognise what a smart decision it was to keep the pricing low, and actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format. People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay.

So, who needs Blu-ray?”

Mr. McGill may have a point when it comes to movies but numerous developers have stated that creating games on multiple DVDs for the Xbox can be tough, most recently Mercury Steam discussed ‘storage problems’ for the console.

As for movies, Avatar broke all records for Blu-ray sales in the UK and has sold a stunning 6.2 million copies. Blu-ray disc sales in Q1 2010 almost doubled those of 2009 and the current outlook for the format is ‘bullish’.

HMV recently announced a 12% profit rise, some of which they attributed to the popularity of Blu-ray.

Sources: X360Achievements / Gizmodo / The Telegraph


  1. What an idiot. I don’t even know where to begin…

    • digital streaming and downloads are hardly used by the public.

      • agreed, I would always want to buy something physical…oh and blu rays ;-)

      • Agreeing the agree! Especially when I live in the sticks and have shite download speeds…

      • Among my friends I seem to be the only one bold enough the use the PlayStation Store.
        Even after encouraging them with PSN voucher they still have more games on physical media than from digital download.

    • Let’s begin with…

      Digital streaming is HD, yes. But in order to serve more markets and slower connections, it is compressed to within an inch of it’s life. Until the highest end broadband speeds today are a standard, the bitrate on streaming HD video will never compare with the quality of a Blu-Ray movie.

      This is completely blatant trolling. And should be treated as such.

      • Dont forget that yes streaming great, but we need the bandwith to support HD streaming. Most dont, hell, my bbc iplayer struggles, and whats stopping the PS3 doing HD streaming also……

        I think he’s just bitter that the HD-DVD battle was lost… oh thats right… its not important….

    • HAHA, 1st comment, nail-on-head!

      Ill tell you who needs Blu-ray Mr McGill…Everyone! Even more so in the UK where streaming HD content at a high quality/speeds can only be done by a tiny percent of the population! Where as blu-ray set ups just need TV and player, everyone can use it no matter where they are in the world. – Just one reason, i’m sure the pages below this comment will point out the other obvious reasons. lol

    • Agreed

  2. whilst there are still countries without a suitable Internet connection and those of us that love buying discs, there’s no way that downloads/streaming will become the standard.

    • even with government initiatives to get decent net connections, there’s not even the slightest possibility that “Blu-Ray quality streaming” can go on. There’s the tiniest fraction of a percentage that have the 50Mbps for this to occur, and that figure is not changing much any time soon without a major infrastructure overhaul..

      Even then, it’s going to be pretty damned expensive.

      Anyway, I can live with this comment. He’s wrong, but he’s just defending and spinning the system he’s working for. If he’d come out and said that Blu Ray was a something MS were properly considering adding to their system, then there’d be a huge uproar. He has to say this, it’s his job.

      • In this country yes, but quite a few countries are sidestepping the whole ADSLMax/ADSL2+ and just going straight for fibre and 100mbps (with cities getting 1gbps) are the genuine aim for a lot of countries which are far lower down the pecking order than the UK, sure it ain’t gonna happen over night.

        But content producers would probably love download stores with DRM’d content than needs ‘activating’ for individual machines. I love Blu-ray movies (and never buy or rent anything else) but there is a whiff of it being rather more transient than VHS and DVD.

      • I think each generation will have a shorter life than it’s predecessor due to the increasing speed of technological advancement but there will be a need for physical media for a long time yet

  3. Yeah, but I feel the same about films as I do about games. I don’t want to clutter my hard drive with downloads, I’d rather get the disc!

  4. Who? People with Blu-Ray discs and PS3 games … thats who!

  5. So naive!
    Just look at Blu-Ray sales. The fact is that people like physical media, you can’t really give a digital download as a present and a lot of the world simply doesn’t have the infrastructure stream, or storage capacity to download, full HD movies on a regular basis.
    The future may be digital distribution, but not the present.

    • Absolutely. His comments made me actually laugh. There’s putting a spin on things then there’s knocking it off axis and watching it career violently out of control into a bus load of children.

  6. Oh my god…..

  7. Digital downloads will only surpass Blu-rays when we have our internet at a hell of a speed, which is FAR from likely.
    Avatar would of had 6,200,001 if they shipped it on a 3DBD, could of shipped them on that seeing as they play in 2D Blu-ray players.
    It’s sort of immature if you think about it, they’re basically denying the format as they knew they made a mistake not supporting it.
    Plus what’s the difference if Digital downloads are the future, we’re living in now, not the future, DVD’s are in the past, but they still manage to squeeze things on that “dead” format.

    • Not only that, but Internet speeds would need to surpass increasing disc capacities. Think about how long it took to match SD quality streaming from iPlayer. Quality HD for everyone’s going to take some time, and by then we may be onto Blu-ray 2.0.

    • The thing is, he is the UK product manager (or whatever) and the fact is that if the US decides to adopt Blu-Ray for the Xbox 720, then they will. They won’t give a rat’s about one employee’s opinion in one of their territories.

  8. Just look in any shop that sells movies, from HMV to Tesco. They ALL sell blu-ray. It’s not a specialist format for enthusiasts, it’s the next standard. PS3s, blu-ray players and blu-ray disk drives are affordable. Even medium-price computers are shipping with blu-ray drives now.
    It has arrived as a format and denying that just makes you look foolish and misguided.

  9. Bang goes my 20gb download limit then if i want to watch more then 4 films a month, not to mention downloading games!

    Arrogant idiot. Physical media will always be needed in some form.

  10. I thought Microsoft are full of bullshit. Now I understand: they ARE bullshit.
    Not-so-stunning realization. Gonna re-watch my Avatar on blu-ray tonight.

    • It’s so strange how a company seems to take on it’s own personality, MS acts like an ignorant pre-pubesent chav who slags off stuff they have no clue about.

      • Never a truer word spoken….

      • i fully agree with your statement,they have no clue what their talking about

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