Saturday, July 28, 2007

'Blu-ray' of hope for PS3




Sony's next-generation DVD format 'Blu-ray' seems to emerge as the winner of the format war against rival standard 'HD-DVD', providing some ray of hope for Sony's troubled PlayStation3. According to reliable media reports, retailers BJ´s and Target have decided to exclusively switch to the Sony format.

Rumours that the biggest US-American retail chain Wal-Mart had ordered millions of low-priced 'HD-DVD' units have not materialized and may be seen as increasingly unlikely in light of above news.



'Blu-ray' was Sony's biggest gamble with the PS3. There was no doubt in my mind that if 'Blu-ray' would fail, the PS3 would follow. Consumers may have bought the PS3 regardless of the DVD format's success (they did not up until now), but it would have been a disastrous scenario for Sony. The DVD drive is the single most expensive component in the machine.

So far, 'Blu-ray' has not proved to be much of an incentive. But with the format gaining significant momentum, that may soon change. The question is whether that incentive will be strong enough for the PS3 to get anywhere near its competitors, each having sold around ten millions units already.

Also, beating 'HD-DVD' is just the first step to success. After that, the boss fight would be between 'Blu-ray' and traditional DVDs. And it is far from clear to me that the majority of consumers are willing to upgrade their entire setup for a few more pixels (twice the amount, at best).

Nevertheless, Sony executives can sleep a little less troubled these days. The PlayStation3 actually seems to finally have a solid unique selling point.

EDIT According to Engadget, Target is still committed to ´HD-DVD´. Thanks to M. Ferreira and Anonymous for the tips.

Sources: Video Business, Reuters (via Yahoo News)
Thanks to: Joystiq, Joystiq

14 comments:

M. Ferreira said...

As a Target electronics specialist, I have to note that your comments about Target only carrying Blu-Ray are a bit off. Target will be carrying a single Blu-Ray player through the holidays as a test, mainly since Sony's paying for displays and such. Target will not be cutting down on its HD-DVD stock, nor will we be increasing our Blu-Ray media stock. If sales are satisfactory, then we'll certainly carry more players/media. If not, the players will probably just collect dust until they hit clearance.

Falafelkid said...

Hi M. Ferreira.

Thanks for your comments. So the Reuters article exaggerates the facts?

Anonymous said...

I think somewhere along the lines of 75% of stand-alone players sold so far are HD-DVD. The PS3 is the only reason for the success fo the blu-ray and thats what Sony wanted. There is such a small adopt rate so far outside of the PS3 market that the units sold of PS3's are the most significant number of next gen dvd players on the market.

M. Ferreira said...

Unfortunately, I've not received memos of expanding our BD selection, though I could easily be proven wrong. Currently, memos have told us that, aside from the Sony display, little will change in terms of our MMB layouts at the present.

Sadly, I've not heard much else but I'll be happy to share what happens on the retail level as this develops.

Eric said...

There was no doubt in my mind that if 'Blu-ray' would fail, the PS3 would follow.

That seems a little off base - if Blu-Ray movies failed it would just mean that fewer people would buy PS3's as Blu-Ray players. Since console games are locked into the console they're published for anyway, it doesn't much matter what they're distributed on. People would buy PS3 games on floppy discs if that's what the console supported.

I think if anything, it's the other way around - the PS3's flop is severely hurting Blu-Ray's potential to be the next DVD as opposed to the next minidisc.

The PS3 strategy was always no more than a trojan horse. Blu-Ray wasn't so much a selling point as an idea to get millions and millions of Blu-Ray players into people's homes who wouldn't ever buy a stand alone player - under the assumption that once they had them, they'd buy Blu Ray movies. And even that theory has yet to be tested - it's unclear if PS3 owners want to use it for anything but a game console.

Falafelkid said...

Hey Eric.

That seems a little off base - if Blu-Ray movies failed it would just mean that fewer people would buy PS3's as Blu-Ray players. Since console games are locked into the console they're published for anyway, it doesn't much matter what they're distributed on. People would buy PS3 games on floppy discs if that's what the console supported.

If you read on, you will realise I am talking about it from a financial perspective, from Sony´s perspective:

Consumers may have bought the PS3 regardless of the DVD format's success (they did not up until now), but it would have been a disastrous scenario for Sony. The DVD drive is the single most expensive component in the machine.

Of course, no consumers would be turned off by the fact that the PS3´s storage medium is Blu-ray. But if the advantages of Blu-ray (it being a next-gen DVD medium) would be irrelevant to the consumers, then Sony would have simply burdened themselves with a very, very expensive component that has no real use, see?

I do agree with the rest of your comments, though.

perodetlic said...

ps3 is a cheap blue ray player, which can also play some games as bonus

end of story

Anonymous said...

IV STATED THIS B4 ILL STATE IT AGAIN

THE FUTURE OF MEDIA IS SOLID STATE AND BROADBAND STREAMING

MINI HARD DRIVES FLASH DRIVES RAM DRIVES DIRECT STREAMING ALL FASTER AND MORE EFFICENT AND LESS LIKLY TO BREAK ETC THAN A SPINNING DISC

MOVING PARTS MEDIA IS NOT THE FUTURE

BLU RAY HD DVD DVD ETC CAN ALL BE DUMPED TO HARDDRIVES FLASH SD CARDS ETC

ANYONE BACKING A DISC FORMAT FOR THE FUTURE needs there head testing

Grandmaster B said...

Yeh but that isnt going to happen now. Solid state simply cant compete price wise. Until they are more economical to produce then it wont happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/28/false-alarm-targets-not-giving-up-on-hd-dvd/

Anonymous said...

"MOVING PARTS MEDIA IS NOT THE FUTURE"

"BLU RAY HD DVD DVD ETC CAN ALL BE DUMPED TO HARDDRIVES"

A harddrive is a moving parts medium. With a high failure rate to boot. Every hard drive will fail at some point a dvd properly cared for will last 100 years. The cost is prohibitive not to mention the distribution stream right now is not viable. Broadbrand streaming of a blu-ray movie? I don't have a T1 line in my house.

To forgo buing a blu-ray player because broadband distribution is the future is ludicrous. For every technology there will be somethign that follows it but onlien distribution may be the future but the present is now and its not happening.

Laylan Trends said...

I don't think the article exaggerates facts, I think M. Ferreira exaggerated about being a Target Specialist.

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