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