PS3 possibly delayed until spring 07, format war not game over , but game on

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by JohnPhi, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    0

    Well, we know that will not be the A/V magazines! :)
    Any guess, on where the first hardware review will show up?
    Maybe here;
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Toshiba_HD_X...2.html?tag=nav
    I'm guessing, hoping, the first software will be reviewed here, on good old HTF! ;-)
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh yes. How soon we forget! Just the other day, I was looking for reviews of a possible new purchase, but all googling merely revealed were thousands and thousands of "price comparison" pages, each with laden with this useless comment:

     
  3. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3,515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well first of all, if I misread anything, I misread your post, but it seemed clear enough to me. However, even the author of these definitions would surely admit that you can't pigeonhole every consumer electronic product into the same model. To do so while using that data to predict a successful product would be extremely short sighted, and could result in misreading the market.

    However, considering that I have already said that I believe these HD formats are in fact niche products, and will remain niche products for several more years, then perhaps this is where any misunderstanding may have come from.

    Furthermore, by the time one of these formats becomes mainstream, it will be the early adopters for these niche products that will determine the outcome of this war.

    I would even suggest that HD DVD doesn't have to die for the format war to end. In fact some industry analysts might even suggest that Blu-ray has already won the format war, and that the only reason HD DVD is coming out is because Microsoft is hoping to confuse the marketplace in order to have time to develop an alternative media delivery system that would require proprietary software from Microsoft.
     
  4. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nils,
    Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful posts.
    I get your point, completely (just remember, 2%er's RULE!).

    Just... ;-)

    I don't want HD on disc to be a niche. I want it to be as successful as DVD (Ha! Good luck to me. ;-) ).
    &
    I hope no one "dies" in this awful war, I want universals so no consumer gets hurt.

    All the best!
     
  5. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3,515
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm for that as well, in fact I've never had a problem with format wars as the level of competition they create has almost always caused prices to drop and performance and features to improve. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    0
    WoW
    Nils, another gracious post!
    How do you find the time, with The Paramount Theater, always 'calling' you?!?!?! ;-)
     
  7. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reading this thread there are some interesting points.

    But it seems many are overconfident; I believe Blu-Ray's popularity is being grossly overestimated and HD-DVD is being grossly underestimated. I have no stake in either format winning, but obviously I'd like to buy software in the format that does win.

    Here are my points which are relevant to the topic at hand:

    * As stated before HD-DVD with its MPEG4/VC-1 codecs will look the same as Blu-Ray. Though some may argue that once Blu-Ray switches from MPEG2 to MPEG4 Blu-Ray will look better, that is unlikely. Reason being because every lossy compression scheme at some point no longer benefits from higher bitrates; HD-DVD has enough space available on disc to provide MPEG4/VC-1 with artifact-free 1080p encoding. I'm sure many are aware that VC-1 can even fit on a standard DVD with mostly artifact-free encoding even at bitrates similar to a standard superbit DVD. Therefore, the Blu-Ray space advantage becomes nullified in terms of picture quality when comparing MPEG4/VC-1 for the main feature. Sure there is the topic of 1080i vs. 1080p, but HD-DVD will be encoded in 1080p and Toshiba has stated only the first players will be 1080i only; you can bet there will be an announcement of 1080p players by the end of the year.

    * Some claim Blu-Ray's extra space is necessary for "true 3-D" or video commentary. Speaking to "True 3-D" first, this is a technology that in all honestly no consumer cares about. Even if you took the 5% tech-savvy home theater crowd, I'd venture less than 1% of that subgroup find this something useful for next-gen DVD; most do not have the expensive equipment for true 3D and in reality no major motion pictures are shot this way. Therefore this feature becomes nothing more than a marketing bullet that will likely never be used (and if it is used, for some third-rate 3-D production). Next, video commentary - this is possible even with current DVD; check out the Mallrats CE for an example of it. Sure, its not fullscreen high definition video and it isn't for the whole movie, but is this really a feature that will make or break a format? I don't think so. Neither of these features are a viable selling point of Blu-Ray.

    * PS3 - A lot believe that the Playstation 3 having builtin Blu-Ray makes Blu-Ray the surefire winner. If you think that is the case, take a look at the PSP and UMD format which failed. Just because a gaming device launches alongside a video format doesn't guarantee or even precipitate that format taking off. In the US, very little people bought the PS2 as their standalone player; in Japan, it was a different story - because the PS2 was significantly cheaper than standalone players. However this time around, odds are the Toshiba HD-DVD standalone will be cheaper and better looking than the PS3 when all is said and done (accessories, etc). That Toshiba HD-DVD even includes the necessary HDMI cable. Therefore people no longer need to compromise on a videogame console for a High Definition DVD player, because Toshiba has provided one at the right price point.

    * XBOX 360 - While many are touting PS3, they are forgetting that XBOX 360 can offer the same thing; Microsoft has officially announced an HD-DVD addon - and don't think for a second that if PS3's Blu-Ray becomes a marketable advantage that Microsoft won't bundle the HD-DVD with new XBOX 360 consoles for the same price. Not to mention that the 5-10 million XBOX 360 users that there will be when PS3 debuts will be able to upgrade to X360's HD-DVD addon for a price that is likely less than $200 and far cheaper than buying a PS3.

    * Name - one of the main reasons I don't think Blu-Ray will succeed is the name is confusing. TV -> HDTV, that makes sense. DVD -> HD-DVD, that also makes sense. DVD -> Blu-Ray? Does that work with HDTV? Bluntly put, the name is not as consumer friendly as HD-DVD. Some here have even posted that they heard an electronics store employee wondering aloud if you need a "Blu-Ray TV" to get the most out of Blu-Ray. Electronics store employees can be pretty dumb, but average joe can be much dumber.

    * Hybrid discs - Let's look back to the DVD-Audio - SACD war. SACD was the technically superior format of the two in terms of audio quality, yet both of them were eventually eclipsed by "Dual Disc." Why? Because Dual Disc was a dual-sided hybrid disc with DVD on one side and CD on the other side. That was easy for people to understand and the single-stocking of discs like Springsteen's Devils and Dust allowed DualDisc to skyrocket past the combined total sales of DVD-A and SACD within its first six months. HD-DVD appears to have this advantage over Blu-Ray. While Blu-Ray seems capable of hybrid discs as demonstrated by JVC, it seems that Sony will not be going this route. This leaves the door open for Toshiba to put out hybrid DVD/HD-DVD releases and even single stock some of them - meaning that if average joe walks into walmart and wants to buy King Kong 2 on DVD, his only choice is the HD-DVD/DVD hybrid release. It works on both players and sells HD-DVD software; plus it doesn't give the customers two copies of a movie, one of which they can sell or give away as proposed by Sony's bundling DVD with Blu-Ray. Sony made the same mistake with SACD and did not market the hybrid CD/SACD disc as well as they should have, resulting in DualDisc winning out because of the superior marketing and single stocking.

    * Value - Finally there is value. The Toshiba player, bottom line, offers high definition video with builtin DD/DTS high definition audio decoders for $500. The Blu-Ray players don't even offer the HD audio decoders and cost twice as much. It's going to be a hard sell to all but the most wealthy person to spend that extra $500. $500 extra for a 1080p output when 99.9% of HDTVs sold to date (even most 1080p TVs) have a 1080i or 720p input? Remember, most receivers sold in the past few years have the 5.1 analog input and therefore can use the builtin HD audio decoders in the $500 Toshiba.

    So, in conclusion, that is why I believe HD-DVD will triumph all said and done. It has the name, the value, the same special feature capability of SD-DVD, and the ability to single stock titles better than Blu-Ray. While some may like the esoteric features Blu-Ray might be able to provide if Sony switches to VC-1/MPEG4 and provides the authoring tools for these features, this type of feature won't sell to the general public; I believe the points I outlined here will be much more important. Studio and manufacturer support I can see being a concern, but honestly people will jump ship in the blink of an eye if HD-DVD gains popularity - and I believe we are seeing a trend in that direction.

    So as the OP posted, I believe its now "Game On."
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes Received:
    3

    Once the PS3 is released, let's check back in. I'll bet you that the "compromise" on that videogame console offers more features and better AV quality than your Toshiba model. Of course, by that time there will be a plethora of lower-cost BD players following the usual market-model pricing trend. Toshiba's already below-cost (losing $$ on each sale) players won't be able to go any lower.
     
  9. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Paul McElligott
    Not really a valid comparison. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray that will be pre-existing formats not limited to one gaming device. UMD could only play on the PSP. There was no pre-installed base of home users or software for the format. Very different situation from the PS3.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes Received:
    3
    Paul,

    Agreed. Pete might as well have said look how well the DVD format became established...helped along by the PS2 which also played DVDs.

    I had many college friends at the time who's *only* DVD player was their PS2. It's what allowed them to buy and watch discs and start their DVD collections.
     
  11. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    2,049
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plus, the PS3 will also be able to playback CDs, DVDs, PS1 and PS2 games, and even SACDs.
     
  12. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3,515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did I miss something in the news? Last I heard PSP and UMD's were consistently breaking sales expectations and studios have been celebrating the success of their UMD releases?

    There was even a recent editorial cartoon addressing the changing habits of movie watchers over the last forty years.:

    [​IMG]



    I'll be the first to admit that I predicted UMD titles to fail miserably in the marketplace. My thought was that most PSP owners will be young kids, and even older kids aren't going to want to watch a movie on a small 4" screen. I also thought adults would balk at the premium prices of UMD titles, and yet they have been selling like hot cakes, so go figure.

    As successful as the PSP and Apple's video iPod have been, perhaps this is even more of an indication that the mass market is far less interested in a quality presentation as it is in convenient media delivery devices.

    Of course this is yet another indication that HD DVD is positioned to fail. As a niche product, it must appeal to the select consumer group that wont be gullible to its marketing propaganda, and will primarily be concerned about performance, content and hardware choices. In all three of these categories, HD DVD currently pails in comparison to Blu-ray.
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes Received:
    3


    I read those remarks and thought to myself "there could be only one HTF poster who could have come up with something that level-headed and on-the-mark and low-and-behold I was right...it was Nils.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. Cory S.

    Cory S. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    8
    Now is that November in Japan or worldwide because if it's just Japan, the US could not see the system until Spring of '07.

    The PS3 was going to be my Blu-Ray player but if they do indeed delay, I have to make a choice pretty soon because no matter what, I want to be an early adopter of Blu-Ray.
     
  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've been hearing "before Christmas" for a while...so I too am curious if the November time-frame is Japan-only or W.W.
     
  17. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reading through some of the comments on the site where the article is posted, it appears that Sony's announcement is not yet official but that the Japanese paper is saying an unnamed source said it would be made official tomorrow at a big press conference.

    Whether delayed in Japan or worldwide until Nov. is still unclear.
     
  18. Cory S.

    Cory S. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    8
    Sony is having a conference on the PS3 tomorrow to discuss specs and such. We should know much more by tomorrow...
     
  19. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0

    1) Looking back at the history of console add-ons, it's probably not a wise investment on microsoft's part. You'd be hard pressed to find any add-on to a console that has ever even been moderately successfull.

    2) Comparing a possible add-on to the fact that every single PS3 made will play Blu-Ray movies doesn't really make sense. Even hugely successful games for the systems rarely acheive sales to 25% of the installed base. If this is ever released, if even 3% of the installed base purchased the drive, I'd be surprised.
     

Share This Page