Posted August 09 2006 - 08:55 PM
Sony got itself backed into a corner. BR should never have shipped with Mpeg2 compression, PS3 should've had another year in development, and DL media should've been online at release.
But Toshiba forced BR to release before authoring tools and production lines were ready, MS forced the PS3 to release early or face an enourmous uphill battle. Sony shouldn't have been greedy and tried to force Mpeg2 releases so they could replace them with superior releases down the line for double-dipping-profit-fun.
Sony also shouldn't have gone with an untested, unproven, difficult to manufacter processor, again out of sheer greed. (Code for Cell won't translate well to other processors, it's sort of an attempt to force exclusivity or short-term exclusivity on titles).
Sony needed time to fully prep BR's launch, they didn't have it. At this point, if Tosh could release triple layer discs, they'd likely corner the market.
And I have prefered BR as the solution. Too many things have gone wrong, and the silver bullet(PS3) looks iffy at this point. IMO Disney's statement is quite telling, as I'm reading uncertainty there. Wny would Disney hold off on releasing it's biggest new title on BR?
Only thing I can think of is they want VC1 and 50 gigs, and for some reason they may not be expecting it.
Either that, or the rumors of studios attempting to renegotiate contracts are true. Considering the state of affairs, it's entirely possible that they're trying to push a new deal now that Sony doesn't have a sure thing. A defection at this point in the game could be fatal.
Honestly, how many people here would head for the cheaper and currently visually superior HD-DVD player if Disney defected and dropped it's A+ titles on HD-DVD instead? I suspect quite a few would consider it the signal of the war's ending and switch.
Plus, IMO, the adoption will go slowly for the next year or so, then explode in 2008. Pricing should be way down by that point, and HD-TV installed base should be huge. As long as the players are backwards compatible, they'll quickly end up dominating the market in sales, as there's no reason not to buy one if it's backwards compatible and cost effective. It's not like the conversion from VHS or Cassete to DVD and CD, it doesn't invalidate previous purchases, so it's not a major choice if cost is down.
I think people are guaging this war by outdated standards, adoption rates are very different today. Look at music, in just a few short years MP3 has completely altered the music industry, and is near universally accepted in some age groups. Conversion for a significant portion of the market only took 4-5 years. Heck, even my cell phone doubles as an MP3 player, and can be wired into my car's CD Player through RCA jacks.
People are better informed today than they were decades ago. The Internet has changed how we get information, electronic's department stores like Best Buy and Circuit City show us HDTV's while we pick up movies, music, and games. 20 years ago you saw a commercial giving you some slight idea of what a new product was, and electronics stores didn't have products like movies and games in the supply they do now, and the rental scheme was in full force.
It's a different market, with better informed consumers, and stores that stock casual purchases as well as long-term ones.
If it wasn't a better informed market, we wouldn't have the widescreen dominance in sales!