Microsoft's director of global marketing for the Xbox 360, Albert Penello, told BetaNews this morning that the company will continue to push an HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360, but acknowledged the external nature would enable it to ship a Blu-ray drive if Sony's format became the new high-definition standard.
Penello also said that despite the rumors, Microsoft has never planned to ship an Xbox console with an integrated HD DVD drive, but the decision has nothing to do with the uncertainty in the format war. Because neither standard was finalized when the Xbox 360 shipped, Microsoft opted to use DVDs.
Changing that now could lead to confusion among consumers, Penello added, especially if game developers were to make use of the larger space on HD DVD discs. He admitted that Sony's inclusion of Blu-ray in the PlayStation 3 has helped that format, but said Microsoft's add-on HD DVD drive alone has outsold all standalone Blu-ray players combined.
Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, HD DVD, Drive