Saturday, 18 August 2007

Blu-ray for the win?

It seems a tad premature to say that Sony has won the format war between it's Blu-ray disk format, and it's rival, Toshiba's HD-DVD. I'm certainly not one to count chickens before they've hatched, but the way things are looking so far, it's hard to see it any other way.

It is naive to put it into such simplified terms though. There a whole load of other factors that have to be taken into account when quantifying the cost of Sony's apparent victory. Firstly, Sony had a huge plan that was to push the Blu-ray format as much as possible. This meant incoporating the BR drives into every single Playstation 3 console they make. This would give them instant penetration thanks to all the loyal Video Console fans already lining their pockets. Unfortunately, a consequence of that is they probably moved too soon, before any of their Killer Apps were ready to make sure the PS3 was still strong in the Console Wars versus Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii.

The main selling point of the HD-DVD format was supposed to be it's low cost to high production ratio. They were also using the fact that they could add more special content to each disk and provide internet access to extra content through any HD-DVD player. Unfortunately, all of this just seems to be slowing their decline, but not stopping it completely, and it is hardly seems like somthing that BR isn't cpable of doing as well at a later date.

Sony has managed to get support from various video rental outlets, including Blockbuster Video, and have even managed to turn companies that had originally said they would support HD-DVD!

Ironically, as I am writing this, apparently all is not lost for HD-DVD. With the anouncement that Paramount have decided to side with Toshiba, bringing with it a plethora of upcoming blockbusters from this year, such as Transformers and The Bourne Ultimatum. The only movie studio to decide to straddle the fence and not choose one over the other is Warner Bros.

Right now I see a familiar trend of people who choose one format, only to find out that their favorite movie will only be coming out for the other format. Just like with video game exclusivity, fans will have to suffer if their favorite movie or show get's released on a rival platform (I'm looking at you, Namco!). In the end, unless you have enough money to buy both, you're screwed.

Consumers are always the first to suffer when it comes to wars between such giants as Sony and Toshiba.

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