Sony Left Holding The Format War Winner Bag

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News Posted: Fri, May 2 2008 8:46 AM

Toshiba backed the HD DVD format against Sony's rival Blu-ray high-definition disc method, and Toshiba lost. One wonders whether Sony might ask themselves from time to time if it might have been better to have lost. More or less, no one wants a Blu-ray player.

Sales of Blu-ray players, excluding PlayStation 3 game consoles, dropped 40 percent from January to February in the U.S., according to NPD. Sales grew only 2 percent from February to March. The firm didn't release numbers of players sold.

"When we surveyed consumers late last year, an overwhelming number of them said they weren't investing in a new next-generation player because their old DVD player worked well and next-generation players were too expensive," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD. "It's clear from retail sales that those consumer sentiments are still holding true."

According to ABI research, Playstation 3 consoles account for over 85 percent of the installed base of Blu-ray players. To use a sports metaphor: since this competition is for money, did you really win the game  if the stands are empty?



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News:
"When we surveyed consumers late last year, an overwhelming number of them said they weren't investing in a new next-generation player because their old DVD player worked well and next-generation players were too expensive,"
 

The economy being what it is and all, consumers just don't have a lot of money to throw around right now. Only if it is cheap enough they will come! I have to wonder how much more money it costs to manufacture a Blu-Ray player, versus a standard player.

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People are complaining about spending money for an HDTV do you think they want to spend 300-400 on a blue ray player. The only way they can convince people to buy them is on promotions and price reductions. Heck that's the only reason my parents got 1 was because sears gave them $100 bucks off of 1 when they bought their HDTV. DVD players didn't make it big tilll they dropped sub $200 range. Now you can get a upconvert DVD player for under $100 bucks and it looks pretty decent. I don't even plan to get 1 till they drop below $200.

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BD movies are expensive too, they are usually 24-26 dollars.  I usually don't buy movies until they are around $15 or less.

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All of you guys are right. It's just like basic Econ 101: if Sony wants demand to go up, prices for Blu ray drives AND movies need to go down for that to happen. Maybe licensing the technology (as was with DVD drives) will help.
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Maybe we underestimate how much people care about image quality.  Most people seem fine with upscaling DVDs.  I have no doubt people would be a Blu-ray player and movies if they cost the same as regular DVDs, but they don't.  They are willing to spend more on a new HDTV, but that obviously is for HD Television channels more than movies on disc.  I still am amazed that Blu-ray won because HD DVD's prices were actually much lower and thus more attractive to the consumer.  But the consumer didn't matter, only the movie companies did.  The format "war" was just several million players sold on either side.  More like a skirmish.

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ice_73 replied on Fri, May 2 2008 7:55 PM

Crisis Causer:

Maybe we underestimate how much people care about image quality.  Most people seem fine with upscaling DVDs.  I have no doubt people would be a Blu-ray player and movies if they cost the same as regular DVDs, but they don't.  They are willing to spend more on a new HDTV, but that obviously is for HD Television channels more than movies on disc.  I still am amazed that Blu-ray won because HD DVD's prices were actually much lower and thus more attractive to the consumer.  But the consumer didn't matter, only the movie companies did.  The format "war" was just several million players sold on either side.  More like a skirmish.



but the total cost was enourmous. developing a format, having plants manufacture everything... just having two formats on selfs is a "war". several million is still a big number.

ohh and i have to say that sony having blu ray in their ps3 will be a huge factor for the longevity of the ps3

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I wonder when will the BD Readers/Writers will become more accesible 

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