Microsoft's Xbox One will come complete with a Blu-ray drive. Games for the new console will be stored on Blu-ray discs, matching the PlayStation 4 as well as the Wii U's high-capacity proprietary media. It's not currently known what speed the Blu-ray drive runs at.

The move marks an about face from Microsoft, which opted to support DVD media on the Xbox 360 while Sony's PlayStation 3 made use of Blu-ray technology. Microsoft released an HD DVD drive accessory for the Xbox 360 in 2006, but it was only ever used to play movies stored on the ill-fated format. The player was discontinued in early 2008.

There's palpable irony in Microsoft's shift to Blu-ray

There may be palpable irony in Microsoft's shift to the optical media format pushed by rival Sony, but Redmond won't have had many other options on the table. While the limits of DVD as a storage medium meant the next Xbox was always due for an upgrade, it's unlikely that Microsoft will have considered going digital-only a viable path given the lagging state of broadband penetration worldwide. And, while the company could have followed Nintendo's lead and created its own optical discs, using a Blu-ray drive — with movie playback intact — should help position the Xbox One as an all-in-one box for the living room.

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