Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why Blu-ray may not boost the PS3

A big jump in PlayStation 3 sales has been forecast for this year, based on Blu-ray emergence as the dominant format in the high-definition war. If you are after a new player, the PS3 a relatively cheap option, given that it's also a powerful games machine.

This argument raises the question of whether the HD battle was really about disc formats. Personally, I don't own a high-definition TV and I am currently perfectly happy with DVD quality films. By the time I decide to upgrade my TV set, probably in the next year or two, I'm not sure that I'll be looking for a new type of disc to replace my DVDs. What I'll probably want is HD downloads. I already convert a lot of my kids' DVDs to .avi format so that when we go on holiday I can take my laptop and hook it up to a hotel TV, saving the hassle of carrying around a load of discs that won't work in DVD players in other contries.

In the same way that Real, Windows Media Player and Quicktime were all were busy fighting over online video formats while the now-ubiquitous Flash player crept up behind them, Blu-ray may well end up being a format that gets killed off by downloads before it takes hold.

The real boost to the Playstation 3 is more likely to come from the upcoming release of the much-anticipated exclusive, Metal Gear Solid 4, but with other top titles such as Mario Kart and Grand Theft Auto coming out on the other consoles, Sony won't have it all their own way. As for me, I have my Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii so I don't see the need for a Playstation 3.

By:David Hutchinson on March 18, 2008

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