In an effort to win the format war between the Blu-ray high definition digital video disk format and its rival HD-DVD format, Sony has put a Blu-ray drive in its latest video game platform: the Play Station 3. In order further promote the Blu-ray disc format, Sony has included a movie on a Blu-ray disc along with just about every Play Station 3 sold so far. Blu-ray disks- the the rival HD-DVD format- are both the same size as normal compact disks, but pack enough information to display movies and other high definition television programming at resolutions as high as 1080p. The two formats are incompatible and it's generally agreed that only one will emerge as the dominant format at the end of the format war. Including the Blu-ray drive on the Play Station 3 is a tactic to promote the Blu-ray format and turns the Play Station 3 into a high definition DVD player as well as a video game platform.
Surprisingly, the move of putting the Blu-ray drive on the Play Station 3 has drawn a lot of criticism from the video gaming community claiming that the addition only serves to boost the price of the video gaming platform by one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars and doesn't do anything substantial for the video gaming performance of the unit. The argument is that people are buying the Play Station 3 in order to play video games, not watch high definition movies, and the extra price of having the Blu-ray drive creates resentment among the gamers.
Richard Parsons, the Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner which backs the rival HD-DVD format made by Toshiba, has recently dismissed the move by Sony to include the Blu-ray drive on the Play Station 3 as futile. Parsons uses the same argument that Play Station fans are buying the Play Station 3 to play video games instead of watching DVD's, but that may be oversimplifying the situation. Yes, it is reasonable to suggest that Play Station 3 owners don't care about it's high def DVD player feature, that that doesn't mean that it won't boost interest in Blu-ray in other ways. For example, most Blu-ray players cost around one thousand dollars, while the Play Station 3 only costs between five and six hundred dollars. That makes the Play Station 3 competitive with the costs of many HD-DVD players, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect someone who was interested in buying a Blu-ray disc player to buy a Play Station 3 instead to use purely as a Blu-ray disc player rather than a video gaming platform and save money in the process.
However, in another convolution to this whole situation, Sony pretty much eliminated this possibility by failing to produce enough Play Station 3's to satisfy the demand for them as gaming platforms let alone as Blu-ray disc players. That's just one of the ways that Sony has shot itself in the foot when it comes to promoting its Blu-ray disc format.
Posted by larry dixon at 14:58:00. Filed under: General