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I took the plunge
I just ordered this special PlayStation 3 bundle from Amazon.

I'm only a casual gamer, but I also want Blu-ray. The price drop and the bundle - free remote and six BD titles - pushed me over the edge.

Tags: ,
Current Location: 42.33821N 71.59212W
I am: hungry hungry
Current Media: quiet

mechaman From: mechaman Date: July 14th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I really can't warm to Blu-ray, not at least while the format wars keep waging. Part of it is honestly Sony doing a LOT to give negative opinion on certain acts, but also I really hesitate on the more fragile of the two media. Since my HD only goes to 720p and I've now got a 360, I'll probably go HD-DVD first, though I don't yet feel any real need.
sciroccoguy From: sciroccoguy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Its one of the reasons I am glad MS decided to make the HD drive an option...I can get my 360...and then get a drive using whichever format wins the war at a later date.

That, and I will admit to a certain fanboyish loathing of anything from Sony's video games division.:)

sweh From: sweh Date: July 14th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
A friend of mine made a joking observation last week. In any format wars, Sony has nearly always been on the losing side (eg Betamax; minidisc).

I'm loathe to invest in either format at the moment; I'd hate to lose all the money I'd put into dead media. Although I hope that more companies will look towards dual format players...
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 14th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Not quite true - Sony and Philips co-developed the CD, which wasn't exactly a failure. And Memory Stick is the #2 Flash card format, after SD - it pulled ahead of CompactFlash, and certainly did better than formats like SmartMedia, MMC (which SD really replaced), xD-PictureCard, etc.

And isn't Sony behind some of the mini-video tape formats used widely in camcorders?
sweh From: sweh Date: July 14th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
What was the "format war" CD was against?

Does anyone other than Sony use Memory Stick? I've never owned a device that used them. CF, SD, MMC, mini-SD... no memory stick. Does anyone other than Sony or SanDisk even make them?

I don't know much about mini-DV standards; I do know that Sony made things more complicated with Digital8 (essentially DV in 8mm format) but other than that... dunno.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 14th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I know Samsung also uses MS, and there are others who have used, or still use, it. Sony, SanDisk, and Lexar make the sticks.

There wasn't really a war with CD - there were other proposals, but they backed down in the face of CD.

It isn't really correct to think of Blu-ray as a 'Sony' format. They developed a lot of the technology, but there were major contributions by Pioneer, Samsung, and others. And Sony does not control the spec - it is controlled by the Blu-ray Disc Association, which has over 170 members.

The only reason we have a format war is Toshiba, and to a lesser extent NEC and Microsoft. Toshiba was unwilling to join the BDA and take a smaller piece of the licensing pie. The developed HD DVD almost entirely by themselves, with a little help from NEC - and they co-developed the iHD interactive system with Microsoft. The only reason Microsoft backs HD DVD is that it uses iHD and Blu-ray uses BD-Java - and MS HATES Java. They tried to get the BDA to add iHD, but they did it last minute and the specs had been just about completed and the BDA was unwilling to re-open the discussion, which isn't unreasonable.

Toshiba is the 'spoiler' here, the overwhelming majority of the industry - consumer electronics and content - backed Blu-ray. Toshiba decided to try all-or-nothing and is using consumers as their pawns in the war. They were repeatedly invited to join the BDA and declined, until the last minute when they proposed major changes in exchange for joining - basically getting more of their IP into the spec so they'd collect more money. They were rebuffed because it was an unreasonable request.

Back when DVD was being developed, Toshiba and Philips were leading one proposal and Sony was leading another. To avert a format way, Sony agreed to drop their proposal and back the Toshiba/Philips plan that became DVD. Sony accepted a smaller role for the good of the market.

When the tables were turned, Toshiba decided to go with greed and make a market grab via a format war instead of accepting a smaller role. They were unwilling to give up the big profits they got from DVD licensing.

I hope Toshiba gets reamed for causing the format war - they're selling players at a loss in an attempt to grab market share, and they're still losing to BD. BD has been outselling HD DVD fairly steadily, expanding the marketshare lead.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 14th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Oh - the problem with dual-format players is cost. Unlike DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW, which are almost identical physically, and really only need firmware tweaks, BD and HD DVD are physically different. Same diameter and all, but the data layers are at different depths (.1mm for BD, .6mm for HD DVD) and use different formats. So dual-format systems need two lens assemblies, or a more expensive lens that can handle both formats.

In addition, to really support both formats you have to license both formats - which is a significant cost. LG avoided this in their 'dual-format' player by not *really* support HD DVD. Their player is a BD player, which happens to also play HD DVD - but does not support any of the features of HD DVD, it just plays the title. You get none of the interactive features, none of the bonus stuff, etc. Just playback.

Samsung has a real dual-format player coming out, but it is very expensive - you can actually buy a low and BD player and a low end HD DVD player and save money.

With BD holding a clear and growing market lead, there isn't a lot of incentive at this point to producing dual-format players. Both sides would rather see the other side dead, to stop splitting the market.

The real key issue is if Universal dropped their HD DVD exclusive stance - they're the only major studio not releasing BD. There is a growing feelign that they will break and start releasing BD as the market tips further, because they're losing so many possible sales. If that happens, there is really no reason to buy HD DVD - as all the major studios would be releasing BD.
solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: July 14th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Ah, the desperation bundle. Let me know when it hits $99.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 14th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I wouldn't call it it that - Amazon is doing the bundle, not Sony. They just dropped the price, and that's expected. It'll probably be another 5 years before it is $99. :-)
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: July 14th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Only in the 21st century would "buy a videodisc player, get the remote control for free!" be considered a viable hype bullet.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 14th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Well, you *can* use the Sixaxis to control the playback - of course you can also stab yourself in the eye. :-)
jumblies From: jumblies Date: July 14th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

*envies!* That's a great package!

We've been playing older games, dvds, whatever we can on it - just to marvel how clear it all is with a HDMI cable. Not that I know if it's anything to do with the PS3, but we didn't have a HDMI cable before that. :)
spiderourhero From: spiderourhero Date: July 14th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I don't even know what blu-ray is (it sounds like something the Daleks would use to exterminate people) but I'm still jealous. I remember when the first playstation console came out and it was the coolest thing ever. The PS3? *swoon*
From: ninjarat Date: July 15th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Nit-pick: it isn't a price-drop. Sony is discontinuing the 60GB model PS3. The new price is invetory clearance.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: July 15th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'll bet that when the 60GB stock sells out - which Sony says may take a few months - the 80GB price drops. The 80GB box is a HW refresh and costs them less to make, they're just milking it right now. I bet it comes down to $500, or less, before the holiday season - especially if MS drops the 360 price.
From: ninjarat Date: July 15th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Dunnow about that. Sony has been adamant about not reducing the prices of PS3 and has been reluctant about reducing PSP prices in spite of being clobbered by Wii and DS and Xbox360. Given Sony's track record with PSP I would not expect to see the 80GB model at $500 until the line is refreshed again and the 80GB model goes out of production -- another clearance sale. The way I see it, PS3 won't get a real price cut until Sony figures out a way to make a profit on the console.