Blizzard denies 'next Xbox' rumors

World of Warcraft developer scotches British report claiming that it was in talks to develop a game for Microsoft's next console.

Source: British game-news outlet GamesIndustry.biz.

What we heard: As the 2009 Game Developers Conference heated up last week, so too did the game-industry rumor mill. The spark was a report on GamesIndustry.biz bearing the seemingly unequivocal headline "Blizzard in talks with Microsoft for next Xbox."

The title alone stirred up a frenzy, given that Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft is the biggest massively multiplayer online game on the planet. Its nearly 12 million subscribers help Blizzard--one half of Activision Blizzzard--generate over $100 million in revenues each month. Were any console-maker to successfully woo the notoriously PC-focused developer-publisher, the resulting royalties and sales would give it a major leg up in the tooth-and-nail console wars.

Unfortunately, the body of GI.biz's story was much less sturdy than its head implied. "Speaking at the Luminaries Lunch today during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Pardo would only state that Blizzard is actively in discussions with Microsoft, seemingly confirming the development process of new console hardware is under way." (Emphasis added.) The Luminaries Lunch was a small event reportedly organized by Acclaim chief creative officer and industry insider David Perry.

The official story: When contacted by GameSpot, Blizzard reps shot down the GI.biz story outright, saying the outlet had not even followed up with any inquiries attempting to clarify Pardo's remarks.

"In the Lunch with Luminaries discussion, Rob said that Microsoft occasionally bounces ideas off of us, with no specific reference to any possible future consoles," said the rep. "This should come as no surprise, as our games run on Microsoft's PC operating system. We aren't in discussions with Microsoft regarding any future consoles." (Emphasis added.)

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus. That said, though, Blizzard has publicly stated that a console MMORPG is theoretically viable. Several real-time strategy games--Blizzard's other specialty--have already been on consoles, but the profitablity of the genre outside the PC realm remains unproven.

If the console market continues to expand at its current rate--and is not disrupted by an OnLive-type service--the publisher would be foolish not to expand into it. For the moment, though, any such move appears to be a ways off--officially, anyway.

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262 comments
izmickey
izmickey

@ SalarianChemist I just want to let you in on how Blu-ray quality really is. Sure dvd can be upscaled but to say it offers the same sound and picture quality is completely UNTRUE. Have you ever seen a Blu-ray movie? You obviously havent because if you did you wouldnt be saying these things. Blu-ray is superior to dvd just like hd-dvd is superior to dvd. You defeat your own argument, You say that blu-ray cant adapt to new technology. which is why blu-ray is gonna be obsolete, than the same would be true about dvd. Its clear that you dislike ps3 and anything associated with it. BTW, blu-ray can offer dts-HD (dts 7.1), you need to at least include the right facts before saying false statements. I also think you are a little off topic my friend, this was about blizzard-xbox originally.

PraetorianSD
PraetorianSD

Going through the HD disk war going on here and just want to make some corrections... @ SalarianChemist I recently got the new James Bond film on BD, and IT was on a 50GB disk, so they have been used for at least 1 movie :) (proof: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies.php?id=3709 ). Also, looking on that site (found it just now actually :) ), a lot of the new movies are also on 50GB disks... @ drako emson HD DVD was NOT a new way of compressing data on a disk. It was larger than standard DVD's, just like Blue-ray. Blue-ray can hold 25GB on a single layer, HD-DVD can hold 15GB on a single layer. I think either one beats DVD's 4.7GB/layer, and either way, HD DVD is not a new way of compressing data :) http://www.dvdfllc.co.jp/hd_dvd/hd_what.html Just my 2 cents :) please do more research on the topic you're going to argue about before you argue...it might help out in the long run ;)

drako_emson
drako_emson

@SalarianChemist Have you ever watched "Akira"? Have you ever watched it on a BD? You'll notice that the sound is a whole lot better on the BD because of the fact that the original score wasn't Digitally Compressed onto a DVD, but the sound was 100% (or pretty close to) recorded onto the BD. HD-DVD is just a new way of compressing the Data on a Disc. A BD on the other hand simply carries more Data. Also, BDs usually don't use existing technologies out there because, simply, they have no need to. If the Blu- Ray disc does in fact become the standard medium used to record movies and such, our technology will cater to the need for higher resolutions by probably finding other ways to compress the data onto the BD. But for now, we don't need to. The need for higher resolutions on the DVD created the HD-DVD by using a different form of data compressing. So, when the time comes along, we might have some developers working on a HD-BD (HIGHER Resolution Blu- Ray Disc). But.... ofcourse Sony's gonna come along and whoop some with a fantastic new piece of hardware using PURPLE LASERS!!! (lol)

MasterChief1694
MasterChief1694

Warcraft should make a debut on the next gen consoles Like Wow. players on a console can interact with others playing on a PC.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

400GB Blu-ray discs will never be used for movies. 50GB Blu-ray discs still have not been used for movies. What's worse is that the high defect ratio of those Blu-ray discs means that the industry "standard" for Blu-ray movie discs is almost certainly going to remain 25GB for a very long time--possibly the entire life of the product. There is no doubt that a 400GB Blu-ray disc is something that a person will be able to purchase in the store (for quite a bit of money) and use to store a lot of videos, pictures, and songs if they have a computer that uses Blu-ray technology. It's nice that firmware updates will allow the 400GB discs to be compatible with the Blu-ray players in a way that allows people to have all of their tens-of-thousands of pictures on one disc and watch in on the TV. But one thing is 100% clear. 400GB discs, 200GB discs, 100GB discs, and 50GB discs are absolutely not being used for movies with Blu-ray. Only 25GB discs are mass-produced for Blu-ray movies, because only 25GB discs are safe enough that they don't require some form of testing for mass production. Any Blu-ray disc larger than 25GB in size has a high defect ratio that makes the movies way too expensive to use as a movie disc...Even the $30 - $35 price range of curren 25GB Blu-ray movies is bad enough. The simple fact is, Blu-ray doesn't have enough to offer. Blu-ray discs almost never use today's technologies such as DTS 7.1. HD-DVD versions of movies were 30GB in size and included an extra sound format like that. But the Blu-ray versions were only 25GB and didn't have enough space. This is the reason why manufacturers don't expect Blu-ray movies to include features such as 9.2 or 11.2 sound formats. To answer your question, there are already better versions of optical discs than Blu-ray. The Holodisc technology you are referrig to stores far more data than Blu-ray, but based on what I've studied, I don't think that will be a movie format. However, there is a more advanced version of an optical disc that uses a red laser similar to DVD and HD-DVD. It is sort of like a "Super HD-DVD" format. It would be compatible with all DVD, HD-DVD, and other red laser formats. This would be less expensive than Blu-ray formats, and offer better technology. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Microsoft was able to use a new type of technology in 3 or 4 years.

president_ev1l
president_ev1l

@SalarianChemist So when this new format you are dreaming of comes out, won't you just say that upscaled blu-ray is better than it anyway? The current largest 400GB blu-ray Is launching this year and is supported by current players with a firmware update. A 1TB disc is in development. Do you really think there will be a better optical format in the next 2-3 years or so while MS is developing it's new console?

sonynhater
sonynhater

SalarianChemist no one comes here to read a novel in the comments section. they come to the comment section to read 1 to 2 sentences

bballabarry
bballabarry

make sure microsoft can bring out a product that they know will work before they bring out another system. they knew that there would be RROD so they still have a lot more to learn

soulcold
soulcold

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

tyzwain
tyzwain

Wow what a long tedious reply. I'm waiting for the "Blizzard are the new EA, they're evil" remarks. Funny how Sega weren't evil, or Sony, or even Microsoft. But yeah EA are BAAADDD.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Response to JackHoleFace: You actually confirmed virtually everything that I said. 1. Obviously "upconverted" DVD players do not write "true" high-definition material onto a standard DVD disc. It's never been a secret that the 480p signals are scaled and upconverted to 1080p. However, these types of upconverted signals look virtually identical to the overwhelming majority of Blu-ray movies on the market, and in many instances the upconverted DVD movies look better than the Blu-ray movies in certain spots throughout the movie. The classic example of this are all the Blu-ray movies where the material has simply had its resolution written onto the disc in 1080p format, but the material itself has not been "digitally remastered" in the appropriate ways for 1080p resolution. As a result, there is all sorts of "digital noise" in the background of those Blu-ray movies. This is often called "mosquito noise," too. For example, if you compare the Blu-ray version of The Last Samurai to the upconverted DVD version, you will easily notice the superiority of the upconverted DVD version in the night scenes. The Blu-ray version has a horrible amount of digital noise due to the fact that this movie was not digitally re-masted for release on Blu-ray. The DVD version does not suffer from this problem when you watch it on an upconverted DVD player. Therefore, The Last Samurai is one of the examples of the Blu-ray version coming up short. Even high-budget movies like Terminator 2 were not remastered appropriately for release on Blu-ray. In the stunt scenes, you can clearly see that it is not Arnold Swarzennegger on Blu-ray. This is such a distraction that it takes away from the movie. The upconverted DVD version has the advantage in this type of area, as well. If you compare a movie like Star Wars that has been digitally remastered on DVD, and you compare it to all those expensive Blu-ray movies that have not been digitally remastered when they were put on Blu-ray, there is absolutely no comparison that the upconverted DVD blows Blu-ray out of the water in terms of visual performance. 2. Big Screen TV: I agree with you that the human eye has a difficult time telling the difference between 720p/1080i/1080p resolutions unless you are sitting very close to the screen or watching on a TV of 50" or larger. However, this is a problem that is very common and experienced by millions of people. Millions of people sit close to the TV set, and with today's lower prices the sales of screens of 50" or larger are very common. It's true that the 42" sized screen is the most popular size of the past, but that is changing at a rapid rate. The prices of the larger screens are decreasing each day. Sales of LCD, Plasma, and DLP HDTV sets of 50" or larger happen all the time. So, people do in fact have a need for "larger pictures" at this point in time. This proves the point that resolutions higher than 1080p are in fact needed sooner rather than later. That's why I said 1080p will have such a short life expectancy. When providers such as Comcast and DirecTV decide to increase their resolution, I don't think the next step is going to be to 1080p, because 1080p doesn't provide enough of a difference over 1080i. The technology research right now is focusing on resolutons of 1440p and significantly higher; that is why the HDMI 1.3 copyright standard is already allowing 1440p signal compatibility. 3. Blu-ray discs of the "standard" 25GB size (the only size used for movies) often don't even bother to use existing technology such as Deep Color. Blu-ray is simply not the format that is going to replace DVD. My previous comment explained many of the reasons why, but there are other reasons, as well. All the new technologies on their way such as 3D visuals, 48 bit Deep Color and x.v., and the 9.2 and 11.2 sound. Blu-ray simply does not have what it takes for long-term survival, because it already lacks the ability to include technology that is currently available. For example, Onkyo recently showed a new batch of 2009 A/V Receivers with 9.2 technology. During the Q&A on a recent radio broadcast, a technician talked about how the movie industry will not be taking advantage of 9.2 technology because of the limits of Blu-ray. Instead, the videogame industry will focus on 9.2 technology because it will be easy for programmers to add that feature to specific parts of a game. For example, if a helicopter is flying very high on the right side, it will use that particular speaker. The technicians did point out that future technology beyond Blu-ray may motivate the movie industry to add 9.2 and 11.2 technology to the discs. Obviously, Blu-ray has come up short. As a result, I don't think Microsoft will include Blu-ray in their next console.

Link3301
Link3301

would be nice if starcraft or warcraft would appear on a console like the wii

DPumbliQ
DPumbliQ

SalarianChemist - Do I sense a itty bitty man, itty bitty sour over the itty bitty loss of HD DVD in the itty bitty format wars?

jknight5422
jknight5422

It's pointless. I wouldn't play WoW if it came to a console anyway. They're victims of their own success. They have to keep maintaining WoW & can't move to other markets. PC gamers would probably be annoyed at Console users logging into their servers or the Console version would have to be watered down. And if Blizzard started producing Console games, then that might detract the WoW players from playing WoW to then go mull around on the Consoles for awhile & cancel their WoW accounts. They fear change as that could hamper the giant revenue they make.

tidyspidey
tidyspidey

We need a handheld console upgrade, but nothing for home consoles as yet. I'm happy with the Wii, 360 and PS3 completely - there must be a ton of amazing games to come for them yet. As for handhelds though, they are due an upgrade. Screw Sony and Nintendo with their constant current handheld updates - we don't need a new fangled DS, nor do we need a PSP redesign..... we need a "DS2" with far more beefy processing power, and a "PSP2" with TWO analogue sticks, not a single farty "nub" like the current model... a little more power would also do well in the PSP, though I must say, it does have a lot already especially compared with the DS.

tjdeep_2007
tjdeep_2007

I THINK THEY DONT CARE ABOUT CONSOLE GAMING...they r making money on PC platform

mikeyg756
mikeyg756

I really would love a next gen console, but not this soon. game technology hasn't changed alot in the past few years. Half life 2 was coming out on PC when console gamers were drooling over GTA graphics. We really needed a new generation of consoles back then, but now theres not such a big difference. The PC is getting games like crysis which out-do the graphics of any console game right now, but if you compare it with some of the best looking console games its not a big enough difference.

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

they have a nice cheap console as is...they don't need to announce a next-gen yet...

enoslives7
enoslives7

before they make another xbox, they need to fix the RROD issue

QuasarZ71
QuasarZ71

I still think they should make a updated Xbox 360 with a blu-ray and a few extras (not quite next gen) and call it Xbox 420 and market it to stoners.

Geris_F
Geris_F

hey,is a officially write on the Microsoft web-page ---for everyone the news is the next gen Xbox is out in 2011 or 2012 and is publicized in 2010 i guess ,lol

ow8
ow8

let the consoles die already,...

ninja_where
ninja_where

So, Xbox 720? No, that doesn't make anymore sense. You already made a full circle and it's not even a friggin box. I say, the 360 is enough, for now. I mean, the next Xbox might come with a RROD of some sort like...a Silver Screen of Death. But still, if the 3rd Xbox was to come, it would mean all hell would break loose and the feeble 360 fanboys would come out rioting saying their Jesus has arrive. Jesus my ass(sorry if anyone is offended by such blasphemy). A 3rd Xbox should be something that the current three consoles aren't. Something so good that it could topple the PS3 and Wii over in a single blow. But then, that's just going to make it more of the fanboys' Jesus.

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

i dont know about anyone else here but i think this next generation, Microsoft are just gonna kick ass, i mean look at this gen for example, the xbox has some great games, halo, gears, mass effect etc and it even has some previous PS exclusives like resi 5, dmc, tekken and SF. i think MS are doing extreemly well and i will buy the next xbox.

modem22
modem22

What a dumb rumor. XBOX and Blizzard just don't go together in the same sentence (for now).

bumpies
bumpies

KM330 i think you just started an argument your never going to win

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

there are not any good games when a new console is just released, its better to wait atlease three years

Rhastafurion
Rhastafurion

I bet the next Xbox is a lot more similar to a PC that you attach to a TV.

leem2k1
leem2k1

If you think Diablo sucks, then you suck. True story.

KM330
KM330

diablo sucks TZOC you nerd.

T_Z_O_C
T_Z_O_C

well i think its all good, blizzard games are best played with the computer anyways.... just waiting for diablo 3 and starcraft 2 now...

Corrupted_SA_X
Corrupted_SA_X

OnLive's 'console replacement' isn't gonna live very long.

bredeyabo
bredeyabo

its not really early to start thinking about the next consoles cause if you think back we always upgraded after 5-6 years. n64 1995-2001 i think gamecube 2001-2006. so its a fine time to start thinking about it. i know some people have been getting an xbox 360 cause its lowering its price alot but us who have had it since it came out want the next console soon! zain-midori why the hell 7 years! that would be stupid! people would move on to pc then lol. i agree with blizzard ever since Onlive came you gotta be sure if consoles are still going to be in :P. people who know what Onlive is talking about and is a pc gamer would want onlive like me :P

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Just waiting until starcraft at this point.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

I should say that in spite of my earlier retort to a misinformed consumer about BRD vs. DVD [for the record, note that there's no question the quality is better. You may not need a BRD, but that's a different topic], that I do feel BRD may in fact be the last removable/disc media type. Case in point: the current near-total-obsolescence of CDs. The majority of people are buying/downloading music online these days. I believe the only reason movies haven't is because of the sheer amount of data. But as storage capacities increase and internet connections more efficient/faster, there will be less of a need for discs/etc. I'll bet that in the future, there will essentially be three components that work together that will either be purchased separately or all together: The video processor/scaler (which will be able to process higher resolutions and more data), the storage device (which will just get bigger and bigger), and the unit that downloads the content. This would really be not that different from using your computer to download songs and play them back on your iPod. Just a larger scale. Anyway what was this article about again? Lol

Zain-Midori
Zain-Midori

Wtf? next xbox? dude it is way to early for the next xbox lol give us like 7 more years at least b4 rumors start lol

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

WoW might be boring at times...but the game's formula is untouchable. No other company has been able to pull off an MMO as well constructed or popular as Warcraft...it's a very well made game.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Yes yes, absurd opinion upon absurd opinion.Keep it up.

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

Blizzard did have one console game....oh wait it was canceled. Blizzard can't make console games. PC strategy bring 'em on otherwise bad. PS WOW is ..... well.....really really boring. When you commit yourself to something like that you miss out on so much other great content.

HuskyMuffin495
HuskyMuffin495

Blizzard = PC if they made games for the consoles they would take time out of making there hit titles great, let MS and Sony deal with consoles!

BloodMist
BloodMist

Hahaha, yeah, i figured that was total crap.Blizzard frankly, at least so far, doesn't make games in console friendly genres.Kind of doubt they will for quite a long time since they really don't even need to considering how much money they make.BTW anyone who thinks a company who made a mediocre FPS like Halo three times over is better than Blizzard simply doesn't know what the hell a real game is.Or a real platform either.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

I played FFXI on PS2 for about a year. Console MMO's can be a success if done right. I had a lot of fun playing FFXI, even with the dumbed down graphics. I used a USB keyboard, but there were many things I still did with my PS2 controller that actually worked really well. _

RawhideSphinx
RawhideSphinx

If WOW came to the consoles they would have over 30 million subscribers.

Ghost_702
Ghost_702

I don't see much point in having an MMO that is for both PC and a console. If you need a keyboard for the console, why not just stick to the computer? It's much more comfortable sitting in your computer chair and typing and using a mouse as opposed to having to set down the controller every time you have to type. And I see no purpose of using a controller to type because it just takes forever. That being said, unless someone develops an MMO purely for the console without the necessity of a keyboard to fully enjoy it, I don't see this happening.

ferreira1235
ferreira1235

I was expecting a new xbox to roll around soon but I´m not disapointed

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

Blu ray has a big quality difference in pichture much more than an upscale dvd, second your only talking about £2 difference (not sure in the usa), It is possable for blu ray to go to 2160p but the disk needs to be 200gb which is possable according to sony.(the people who say blu ray is rubbish have never seen it)

Morphic
Morphic

I couldnt see myself playing a console mmo. First thing youd have to pay subscription on top of Live fee, than youd have to buy a keyboard addon as well. it would have to be beyond epic for me to consider it.

Cabal23
Cabal23

Holo storage is the future. Blu-ray and HD will be like the VHS/Betmax. Blu-ray is a failed concept and at the rate people are switching over, there doesn't look to be any future in it. Blu-ray didn't win anything but a little more time in the ring until the next format becomes mainstream. Everything is moving in the direction of downloadable content anyways, so why concentrate on discs and not storage devices. I see the next gen of consoles taking advantage of more HD space somehow, hopefully though new tech. I will stick with my 500+ dvd collection. Why would I ever rebuy all those movie on blu-ray for a minimal picture quality difference? Now give me the opportunity to store all those movies on one media device that is my entertainment system/console and you have a customer for life.