Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blu-Ray Won't Save the Playstation 3

My dad doesn't know much about technology which is why he brought me along when shopping for a new HDTV. At the store they had two huge Sony Bravia sets, side by side, one was playing a Blu-Ray movie while the one next to it was playing the DVD version.

Naturally the difference was nothing short of stunning, the sharp image, great colour, you literally don’t know what you’re missing out on until you see 480p and 1080p side by side.

Being the cautious enthusiast that I am I suggested to him we just buy the HDTV and buy a Blu-Ray player later and explained to him all this new fangled HD format war. He fondly recalled back in the day were it was Betamax and VHS, ah yes, old war stories indeed.

We did do a bit of window shopping, looking at the Blu-Ray players, or just player, there was only one. It was retailing at $1500 (AUD), was damn well heavy and fat too. I suggested we could wait up and get a Playstation 3 when it releases down under since it will have Blu-Ray playback and be cheaper than retail Blu-Ray players.

His response was a definite no, not because he has something against gaming (quite the opposite in fact) but because he simply could not accept a videogame console would play Blu-Ray movies as well as a dedicated Blu-Ray player could. Talking of poor quality, tacked on for extra marketing, he even questioned the resilience of the Playstation 3 in the long run and if it could last a good five years without breaking down.

This got me thinking, all he said was on the spot thinking, he wasn’t so sure himself but that was his thoughts on the matter, however true or false they may have been he is a consumer, the principle consumer that Sony needs to sell to in order to get Blu-Ray off the ground via the Playstation 3.

In the next three years were planning on buying a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player (whichever suits our needs) and either way it will definitely not be in a Playstation 3 or an Xbox 360. So imagine were looking at a whole lot of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players, shifty salesman walks in. He’s not going to want to sell the cheaper Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, he’s going to want to sell the expensive dedicated Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player, more likely than not he’ll pump my dad full of, what he would call ‘facts’ even further pushing him towards buying a dedicated Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player rather than a videogame console.

It’s all about money, no matter how much people claim about the Playstation 3 winning because it will be a cheap Blu-Ray player won’t change the fact that consumers like my dad will be more cautious than optimistic.

After all, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


d said...

Why pick on blu-ray, can't the exact same argument be made against the xbox360? fact is blu-ray is outselling hd-dvd 2:1 in the usa so don't go predicting doom and gloom just because your dad doesn't want one. Jeez.

Ahmed said...

I'm not predicting the 'doom and gloom' of Blu-Ray, what I am predicting is that the increased sales of Blu-Ray is only temporary due to market interest in the product from Playstation 3 owners and also that most people who are not interested in playing games won't buy a Playstation 3 for the sake of a Blu-Ray Player but would rather buy a dedicated player.

I'm looking forward to seeing which format wins out (if either do) or what will happen later on, ideally I want to see blu-ray take the lead and keep it, however it's just too early to call.