Microsoft knows it depends on retailers to get its products shipped, so they regularly have training sessions for shop employees to educate them about current and upcoming products. Our Dutch colleagues of Xlife.nl were invited to one such session, and managed to get quite a spicy rumor.
It’s been possible for a while now to play DivX movies on the Xbox 360, but so far it involved using converter codecs taking a DivX original and converting it to WMV on the fly on a MCE PC. In comes Xlife bluntly asking questions (translated from Dutch):
After the event I had a short talk with the host and asked him whether there’d ever be support for DivX and Xvid playback. Much to my surprise he started telling me that Microsoft is working hard to implement this and a firmware update is expected within 2 months allowing you to play DivX and Xvid directly on the 360.
Mmmkay…. never to take one person’s word for it, we started digging for more info. I didn’t bother contacting official Microsoft spokespersons on a subject like this, because I’ve heard me enough “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation” to last a lifetime. Bring on Xboxic’s private collection of deep throats within the Redmond giant’s ranks, of which one stated: “Well the PS3 used to have 1080p, high-def DVD and DivX playback as its strong points over the 360, and so far we’ve taken down two of them…”
That sounds quite probable actually, so my “reliability score” has just moved up a bit on this rumor, but I’m not giving it even close to 50% yet that we’ll see this in the upcoming Fall update, or ever at all. It’s nice to speculate though!