Ballmer Talks Natal, Says Blu-ray Add-On For Xbox Coming?

Ballmer Talks Natal, Says Blu-ray Add-On For Xbox Coming?
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In the first segment of our exclusive Steve Ballmer interview series, the Microsoft CEO and I talk about Natal, the blurring of console generations, and the surprising fact that “you’ll be able to get” Blu-ray add-on drives for Xbox 360.

When I asked Ballmer about adding Blu-ray to the Xbox, he said:

Well I don’t know if we need to put Blu-ray in there — you’ll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories.

Though he says it with certitude, the timing of any kind of Blu-ray accessory is unclear. When I asked Xbox spokespeople about Ballmer’s revelation, they responded:

Our solution for HD quality video on an Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we’re not ready to comment.

Maybe something cooking for CES?

As you can see in our back-and-forth, Ballmer plays his cards close to the chest, but in my sit-down interview with him, he shared a lot. Prior to the Blu-ray business, Ballmer and I talked about Natal, and the excitement that Matt and Mark experienced when they stepped into the chamber back at E3. When I asked him if Natal was Microsoft’s attempt to do away with concept of game console generations (thereby prolonging the life of a given platform indefinitely), Ballmer smiled knowingly and said, “We’ll see.”

Stay tuned for more exciting Ballmer moments (and facial expressions) over the next day, and then the full uncut interview video on Friday.