Competition is fierce in the gaming console business. Whenever the giants release news of a new installment of their famed gaming consoles, rumors and hearsay about specifications, added features, and a few other things are to be expected. It happens whether it’s Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo that ends up releasing details about its upcoming offer to the market. Recently, some of the buzz keeping alive the gaming console gossip scene are the details about the upcoming Microsoft Xbox One.
Microsoft’s announcement last month about the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive on the Xbox One sent murmurs of speculation throughout the gaming news world.
The announcement that XBox One will include Blu-ray comes from way left of field because Microsoft has long been riling against Blu-ray. It has repeatedly rejected news in the past of any future where its consoles will one day use Blu-ray drives. The popular drive format that Microsoft has long stood by has been the HD DVD disc. Given this long history of antagonism towards the Blu-ray format, why suddenly announce support for a Blu-ray drive in the latest installation of the Xbox line of consoles?
The answer to Microsoft’s sudden change of heart may just lie in the data collected from a new study by the NPD Group. The NPD Group conducted a survey this year, 2013, about habits in the gaming industry. Its survey was answered by almost 9,000 online respondents (actual number is 8,800 respondents). The results of the survey are a legitimate cause of concern for Microsoft because the survey found that gamers would rather watch movies through the use of optical media, such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs, instead of through streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. The bitter truth here for Microsoft is that its competitor’s console, PlayStation 3, has a significant advantage. While the Xbox 360 only allows DVD playback, PlayStation 3 allows both DVD and Blu-ray disc playback.
The habits examined by the NPD Group survey are that 34 percent and 30 percent of gamers watch a DVD or a Blu-ray, respectively, after playing games on the console.
These figures work for the PlayStation 3. Xbox 360’s data shows 24 percent and 23 percent for the respective streaming of videos on YouTube and watching DVDs. From this survey, it’s likely that Microsoft carefully noted that gamers still prefer optical media over digital content. Switching to a Blu-ray disc drive would likely mean an increase in sales once Microsoft releases Xbox One.