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Blu-Ray wins battle in HD war, collateral damage to ensue?

June 17, 2007


Looks like Sony’s hellbent making sure Blu-Ray isn’t another Betamax debacle, and Blockbuster’s just given them more ammunition. Blockbuster’s decided to give its support to Sony’s format when their experimental high def DVD rentals turned out to favor Blu-Ray by 70%. That’s party because while most major studios support both formats, some, like Walt Disney (hello Pirates of the Caribbean) are Blu-Ray exclusives. While HD-DVD execs play this down and trump recent HD-DVD releases like “the 40 year old virgin” and “the matrix” trilogy, there’s no denying this’ll be a cause for celebration for Sony adherents.

What this could mean for the PS3 is increased sales, as the mass adoption of the Blu-Ray format (if sustained) may make it easier for the consumer to justify the 600 dollar cost of buying a PS3 as a multimedia entertainment system. On the other hand, with Bl-Ray players starting to creep to the 400-500 dollar range, people just looking for a movie system may opt to buy a standalone player.

Still, this has to be good news for Sony and its beleaguered fanbase, who have endured plenty of scorn for the failure of the PSP to dominate the handheld market (or even dent Nintendo’s supremacy) and the audacity to predict that people would shell out 600 dollars to buy a black multimedia monolith. Maybe Kutaragi had it right all along?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2007 11:29 am

    Not a chance: Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD formats are never going to reach even a fifth of the adoption rate that DVDs got at their peak! The simple reason: in a couple of years at the most, buying multimedia content from a disk will be as old-fashioned as VHS tapes! All HD content will be downloaded or streamed from the internet or cable companies and rented out the way you rent movies by mail right now. It already started: I don’t feel the need to buy an HD or Blu-Ray DVD player, either bundled or as a stand-alone, because I can rent/buy the movies I want on HD from my cable company. MicroSoft is already doing that in their Xbox LIVE service!

    What you will definitely see is an increase in disk memory…

  2. Bill permalink
    June 18, 2007 1:24 pm

    I totally agree IM. It’s pretty obvious that things are going towards digital distribution. I know I prefer it when it’s available. Especially when you live in another country, and you want the latest movie or game. I wondered about Steam when it first started, but now I love it. Some folks like physical copies of the things they have bought, but not me. I want what I want when I want it. Hmm but perhaps I’m just spoiled by my 100 mbps fiber. These companies should worry about getting more people on broadband than making new formats.

  3. June 18, 2007 3:03 pm

    I agree with dig-tribution, but i don’t see it picking up too much speed in 5 years. Unless FiOS gets super cheap very quickly, which i doubt, and even then most people with broadband will scoff at the necessity of FiOS like DVD owners scoff at Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.

    A digitally distributed media world is a far off likelihood. Still, physical copies of software of any kind shant and won’t go away simply because there ARE those who need to have a physical incarnation of their distractions. Moreover, people can’t just share music/movie/game downloads all the time, so that would kill a lot of the word-of-mouth/lending culture that comes from discovering something and letting your friends in on it whenever you want.

    I suppose a Zune-like device that lets you wirelessly send a music clip to a friend’s device could be the answer, but it’s just not the same. Anyway, i don’t see that happening till i’m at least twice my age.

  4. June 18, 2007 3:18 pm


    In any case, I see digital distribution being pushed not only by the consumers, but also by the distributors precisely because of piracy and other forms of lost revenue. Other forms like, for example, re-selling used DVDs. The market for used DVDs is huge, and distribution companies don’t get a penny for the sale of a used DVD, HD or otherwise. But by having the consumer download the item onto a specific device, to be shared only among other specific devices, makes the proposition to abandon the use of disks more and more attractive to distributers, I think. That and piracy of DVDs, of course… it will depend on how well implemented a DRM scheme for downloadable movies is.

  5. June 18, 2007 8:36 pm

    Are you 28, gramps? Last i checked you were twice my age. And it wasn’t anywhere near 28. 🙂

  6. frisby permalink
    June 18, 2007 9:38 pm

    When iTunes lets you DL HD movies and TV shows to AppleTV blockbuster can suck a fuckin nut.

  7. June 19, 2007 3:28 pm

    No, I was saying that 28 is twice YOUR age, Rollin… You are a baby!!


  8. June 19, 2007 3:33 pm

    I gotcha the first time. What i said was you are twice my actual age, and yours is not in 28’s neighborhood.

    I wish 28 was twice my age.

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