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Don’t Believe the Xbox 360/Blu-ray Rumors

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Right now, at the top of Techmeme (“Tech Web, Page A1″) is a story on Microsoft planning an Xbox 360 with Blu-ray drive.

Don’t believe it. It’s not true.

The story is “written” by David Richards, the Australian Web publisher known for plagiarizing and fabricating technology stories.

Richards has previously made up a story about an Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD drive coming from Microsoft, which never happened.

CrunchGear, Gizmodo and Engadget have all picked up on the story, at least noting it as a rumor.

Beyond the credibility problems of Richards, there are a lot of reasons why this will never happen.

1) Microsoft has been looking to digital downloads for a long time now. It makes no sense for them to re-do their most popular hardware to catch the wind of a short-lived trend.

2) Microsoft hates Java, which Blu-ray uses for its interactivity feature set, BD-J. Chris Lanier has a nice wrap-up of why this is important.

3) No one would pay for a BD 360. Considering the premium 360 costs $350 — only $50 less than the PlayStation 3 — a Blu-ray enabled Xbox would have to MSRP for close to $500. We know how well the PS3 did at that price point.

4) Microsoft hates Sony! The common speculation why Microsoft supported HD DVD was to prolong the format war to a point where digital downloads would be viable. We’re not there yet, but we’re close.

A day after Fred Wilson takes aim at bloggers not fulfilling their journalistic duties, it’s important to remind everyone to be skeptical of rumors and research the claims and the people making them.

In this case, there’s nothing from David Richards worth believing.

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