We've heard time and time again from various Microsoft reps, including Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment Devices, and Aaron Greenburg, Xbox 360 Product Manager, Xbox 360 will not be getting a Blu-ray drive, either built or add-on. Nonetheless, rumours are still surfacing that such plans do exist, the latest coming courtesy X-bit Labs.
Apparently the inspiringly named Toshiba-Samsung joint venture, Toshiba-Samsung Technology Corp. is producing said drive which is, reportedly, ready to be shipped as soon as a release date is decided on. A $100-150 (~£60-90) price point, so as to have the Xbox plus Blu-ray drive option rival the PS3's price is being bandied around.
As you might guess from my sceptical tone of writing, I'm of the opinion that, whatever X-bit labs' sources are saying, this information is, basically, wrong. Were any company other than Toshiba cited as being involved then there might be some credibility to the rumours, but given Toshiba is still clearly feeling bitter about HD DVD's failure to be adopted (see: the XD-E500) the idea its first Blu-ray device would be an attachment for another company's product is just silly.
Feel free to go ahead and prove me wrong, though, Toshiba. I dare you!
Microsoft's Larry Hyrb has spoken to Aaron Greenburg for the Major Nelson podcast, out at TGS to put theser rumours to bed. To quote Greenburg: "we have no plans to integrate Blu-ray with Xbox Experience... we believe the future is digital".
Cue the wild speculation that all Greenburg means is that the Blu-ray drive will be released after th e19th of November update...