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Why is home video so different than Video Games?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Averry

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Posted August 26 2007 - 08:48 AM

Why, is it, for the past 2 generations of Video Game consoles, have THREE, THREE competing companies seen fantastic profits, and success all with their own exclusives.


It's virtually the same situation as Blu-Ray vs, HD. All video game consoles have different specs, exculsives, and some shared titles. The Gamecube, Xbox, and PS2 were all wildly popular.

This time, the Wii, 360, and PS3 are still very successful in their own rights.


But as far as anybody is concerned HD-DVD or Blu-Ray has to win.

I wish not to discuss the merits of either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, but why or why not they can't both succeed.

Why is it a problem to home video, but NOT video games? When the video game market is almost much more violently exclusive in some rights. Prices of Video game conoles are just as expensive as Blu-Ray/HD-DVD players.

Some answers I know, but basically, why does one of the formats have to die at all?
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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted August 26 2007 - 05:27 PM

Don't know about the way current game systems work, but in the old days (Atari 2600 and 5200, Intellivision, Colecovision, etc) each system had its own graphics and sound, and games had to be programmed for that system only. If a game came out on multiple systems, a separate program had to be done for each one. You couldn't just take an Intellivision game and switch a few things around and have a version that would play on Colecovision, you had to do everything from the ground up.

Video is different- the same transfers can be used on any format (Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS, Beta, CED, Cartrivision), all that needs to be done is have it duplicated, or encoded in the case of digital formats. The end result though should be EXACTLY the same on any format, only differences being any technical limitations that format has (obviously the Cartrivision tape isn't going to look as good as the Blu-Ray disc.)

That's why it's silly to have competing HD disc formats, and why I'm not buying either of them until an affordable machine that plays both becomes available. I wouldn't want to have 2 separate CD players either, using one for artists on some labels and the other for artists on other labels.
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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Bob_L

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Posted August 26 2007 - 05:53 PM

Quote:
Video is different- the same transfers can be used on any format (Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS, Beta, CED, Cartrivision), all that needs to be done is have it duplicated, or encoded in the case of digital formats.

With the addition of special interactive features -- particularly in the new gen of HD discs-- this is no longer true. A DVD with interactive features IS a programming project.

The history of videogames is a history of multiple systems. Home video has been different, so the consumer mindset is different, despite the fact that there have always been competing formats in that arena (just not to the same degree as in games).

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 27 2007 - 01:29 AM

The "mass consumer" (and we're not talking about anybody on this forum) just doesn't need or want two separate machines to view his/her movies on.

Even though the basic "Joe on the Street" fully acknowledged that DVD was a quantum leap in quality and convenience over VHS by late 1999, the format still didn't reach "critical mass" until the Fall of 2002. And it wasn't until the Fall of 2005 that studios finally terminated full support of prerecorded VHS tapes. Most analysts felt it was the ready availability of under $200 VHS/DVD "Combo" decks -- allowing the mass consumer to make use of his VHS library while fully transitioning to DVD -- that finally allowed the studios to "pull the trigger" on the VHS format at that point. Please NOTE that this was a "one box plays all" concept.

The DVD format by 2002 was actually driving 16:9 HD display sales due to its "Enhanced for 16:9 Displays" mode. (Mass consumers don't know what "anamorphically-enhanced" means; they just know their DVD player can be set up for 16:9 displays and that transfers that state they're "Enhanced for 16:9 Displays" will therefore look better on their 16:9 monitors. Believe me when I tell you that the majority of consumers didn't figure that out until around 2005. Many still haven't figured it out.) Most mass consumers even thought of their 16:9 displays as their "DVD playback machine".

This is the *real* marketplace that HD-DVD/Blu-ray entered in March-July of 2006. The full mass of acceptance for the DVD format took place in 2002; and its 16:9 display mode was just starting to be fully utilized by the masses in the period 2002-2005. (And many are still trying to exploit that feature of DVD in 2007 by purchasing their first 16:9 display.)

Right now, therefore, optical HD playback has *three* marks against it:
1. It requires *two decks* to provide full studio coverage. During the early stages of the Beta/VHS war, once Magnetic Studio and Fox Home Video proved the concept, all the studios released prerecorded movies to both formats until it was clear that VHS had become the mass consumer format of choice. All the consumer had to do for about the first 18 months of prerecorded movie distribution was choose which machine he wanted. He didn't have to worry about which studio was supporting which format. Furthermore, these decks could also *record* and "time delay" TV programming for the very first time; so they could create their own content if needed. Even so, by 1982 it was clear that only VHS would become a mass consumer home video format.
2. Neither HD DVD and/or Blu-ray are perceived by the masses as being a "quantum leap" step up from DVD. You can talk about HD-DVD/Blu-ray providing five times the resolution of DVD until you're "blue" in the face; but the reality is that the "mass consumer" is only just now starting to fully exploit all that DVD provides. DVD *was* a "quantum leap" increase over VHS and this was not just a matter of a resolution and convenience increase: It was also the first time the "mass consumer" had been exposed to a fully stable picture with proper black levels, contrast, and color saturation. People on this forum had already obtained those video benefits via LD; but for the mass consumer this was a revelation. The only additional attributes that HD beings to the table is better video and audio.
3. Most "mass consumers" are still trying to fully exploit the 16:9 abilities of their current DVD libraries. Until they do that, they're not interested in moving on to a fragmented HD marketplace. They can afford to wait until the format war is over; and they will.

If one HD optical format had been introduced that was backward-compatible with DVD, then I'm *sure* that that format would eventually have been adopted by the masses. Now the masses will wait until an affordable combo deck can fulfill their "one box to play all" requirement. That day will come in about three years. At that point you'll have a full convergence of a perceived need by the consumer of better audio and video along with an affordable combo deck. The HD-VOD will take off then as well; but will co-exist with HD optical. But it *will* take a "one machine plays all" box to pull this off.
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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Austan

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Posted August 27 2007 - 01:50 AM

BR vs HDDVD:
Would you like to own 5 different TV sets???? one for ABC, one for CBS, one for NBC, etc... There's some things we all take for granted as unified... and home video media just happens to be one of them.

Game Consoles:
Its like subscribing to Cable or Satellite... You pay for what you want extra... Both can co-exist on top of free broadcast TV. XM and Sirius can co-exist because we have free broadcast radio...

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Averry

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Posted August 27 2007 - 01:56 AM

Of course, it's the mindset.

I had this argument with my friend last night. He couldn't get over the fact of what DVD stood for.


He said he simply can't see a family having to choose. EVERYONE has DVD, EVERYONE watches movies, THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

So I pointed it out, IT IS HAPPENING. I willingly bought an HD-DVD drive knowing I can't have certain movies.

So dont' tell me it can't happen when it already is. The only reason I use the video game model, was because they all had success, and were able to stick around..

I'm just saying, that if either format garners just enough success, neither one will drop out of the market, and it could be a long haul.

The point is, even though you "can't imagine a FAMILY doing that" doesn't mean that the family might have to"

Of course the retro-action to this is that they never upgrade.

But my friend saying "give me a percent this, give me a percent that"

And I was like, buddy, this aint' what YOU are used to. My friend and I were born into a "one format world".
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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted August 27 2007 - 02:07 AM

Competing video game systems survive because video games software is cheaper per unit of entertainment than video. Individual games sell for two or three times what movies do, but may easily have 60 to 90 hours of play-through content, not to speak of games with sufficient logic to them that repeated plays tell different stories.

Naturally, then, the video gamer spends so much time with his system that, if you like, the amortized cost over the time he uses it is quite low. Even so, I don't see video gamers as particularly happy that certain titles aren't released on certain platforms.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted August 27 2007 - 03:31 AM

Also, film studios don't have much of an identity - not like video games do. A Nintendo game means something specific to many people, but what's a Warner Brothers film? Even Disney has diluted their brand to the point where it doesn't mean nearly as much as it once did.

Certainly, I've commented on BD studios seeming to choose their titles to target the "gamer demographic", but they haven't distinguished themselves that way. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have established brand identities that HD DVD and Blu-ray really can't, because there isn't the sort of specialization from the various studios that would allow it.
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#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Averry

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Posted August 27 2007 - 07:39 AM

Good points.


See, I'd much rather hear that then what my friend can't blabbigng, "I CAN"T IMAGINE THAT"....but why not? Just, CAUSE. "EVERYONE watches movies."

I love you guys.
My expectations on Jurassic Park in HD. I better fricken BE THERE!