Blu-ray not getting any cheaper - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Panasonic announced their Blu-ray player for around US$1500, has anyone seen any Blu-Ray players announced around the $500 mark at all, or are all the ones so far a grand a more?
If the don't have a player in that price bracket, and there are HD-DVD players at around $500 it will be a hard sell for them.

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post #2 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 02:46 PM
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The first Sony and Samsung players have been announced for $999 MSRP. The PS3 might be the first BluRay player close to that $500.

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post #3 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 03:37 PM
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OK, can someone justify that kind of money to me?

It seems very steep for a new format hoping to gain the general public acceptance.

Even if it weren't riddled with DRM, I just could not justify a GRAND plus for a "DVD" player. High def or not. I'd think maybe $299 to $399 to get them out there, but who is going to go to the big box stores and drop that kind of cash? Besides the lucky few with too much money to begin with?

The PS3 MIGHT be an option since it can also do a lot more for the money.

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post #4 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 03:52 PM
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The early adopters will pay like they usually do. Remember what the first DVD players cost? http://www.dvdfile.com/news/special_...e/timeline.htm
Interesting format war listed then too...
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post #5 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I paid about a grand US for a DVD player in 1996, but what is surprising to me is the HD-DVD players being $500 and BluRay $1000.

I can't see the PS3 being $500 no matter what. If you can't build and sell a BluRay player for much under a grand, the PS3 with the bluray player, the hard disc, the very expensive Nvidia chipsets, a controller and all the other stuff is going to cost more than $500 at retail.
Sony can afford to subsidise the PS3 to a certain extent, but can they afford to lose $500 per machine?
If they sell two million PS3 units at launch, then they would lose One Billion Dollars.
I can't see that happening.
The price of the components will have to drop a hell of a lot for Sony to get the thing out for $500 at launch in November, (if it isn't delayed again)

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post #6 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:27 PM
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[quote=dokworm]I paid about a grand US for a DVD player in 1996, but what is surprising to me is the HD-DVD players being $500 and BluRay $1000.[quote]

A grand in 1996... was that for a beta unit? ;) March of 97 was the release date for dvd players.

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post #7 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:36 PM
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Actually, the press release said under 1500. That doesn't mean 1499. The press release stated clearly that pricing was not set for it.
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post #8 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
February 24, 1997 -


Toshiba demonstrates high-definition DVD with a 15GB capacity - 1.6 times greater than previous DVD's.
Wow, 9 years from demo to reality.. ;)
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post #9 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:40 PM
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[quote=rboster][quote=dokworm]I paid about a grand US for a DVD player in 1996, but what is surprising to me is the HD-DVD players being $500 and BluRay $1000.
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A grand in 1996... was that for a beta unit? ;) March of 97 was the release date for dvd players.
In the US. Players were released in November 96 in Japan and January 97 in Germany.
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post #10 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 07:46 PM
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I bought the very first available dvd player for around 400.00, and it was a total piece of crap.
I then waited on a list to pay 1200.00 for the Sony 7000, which was a great dvd player in its time.

This time around, Blu Ray has more than twice the studio support so the cheaper player is not the bargain its cracked up to be....assuming history does not repeat itself with a crappy cheaper first player.

You also have to realise that some of these Blu Ray players will be sold at a discount because they have higher margins.
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post #11 of 158 Old 03-29-2006, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dokworm
I paid about a grand US for a DVD player in 1996, but what is surprising to me is the HD-DVD players being $500 and BluRay $1000.

I can't see the PS3 being $500 no matter what. If you can't build and sell a BluRay player for much under a grand, the PS3 with the bluray player, the hard disc, the very expensive Nvidia chipsets, a controller and all the other stuff is going to cost more than $500 at retail.
Sony can afford to subsidise the PS3 to a certain extent, but can they afford to lose $500 per machine?
Just for the sake of discussion let's say that the Samsung BluRay player is costing them about $600 each and the PS3 will cost Sony $650 each out of the gate. I don't think it would be unreasonable for the Samsung player to have an MSRP of $999 out of the gate and the PS3 to have an MSRP of $500 out of the gate. They are different paradigms with Samsung trying to make their money back with profit from the player and Sony just wanting PS3s out there to enable sales and royalties for games, movies, and whatever else they can think of.

I'm pretty surprised that people will be able to get into at least part of next gen disks from day one for about $450 plus $18 a month for a Netflix account. I wouldn't have predicted that 6 months ago. I think the PS3 will most likely be about $499 in the US, so for under $1k plus a Netflix account people could get both formats (just have to wait for the PS3) if that price is around $549 or less.

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post #12 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2
Just for the sake of discussion let's say that the Samsung BluRay player is costing them about $600 each and the PS3 will cost Sony $650 each out of the gate.
Is something not adding up? It seems that, assuming cost of Blu-ray drive component is equal, a PS3 should cost way more to produce than a dedicated Blu-ray player. You got a full-blown microprocessor and various subsystems for I/O that don't exist on the dedicated player. The only way it seems that production costs could be equivalent is if the PS3 is somehow lacking in its Blu-ray implementation, i.e., omissions and inferior components that mean it won't measure up in terms of quality or features with the dedicated player.
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post #13 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 09:49 AM
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First thing is that the components on the Blu-ray players are going to be totally diffrent then the components in the PS3. the Cell ship and the Graphics card are going to do the proccesing for the PS3.

Also to the Manufactering of the PS3 is going to be a million a month.

Compared to the output of stand alone player, which how many will they have by the end of the year. 400,000 - 500,000

the cost comparisong for the componets is diffrent.

Also PS3 will be sold at a loss like most game systems.
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post #14 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 11:07 AM
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$35 per disk is also an expensive hobby.
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post #15 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RADMan2000
Is something not adding up? It seems that, assuming cost of Blu-ray drive component is equal, a PS3 should cost way more to produce than a dedicated Blu-ray player.
Samsung will be making a lot less units of their player than Sony will be making of the PS3. My numbers weren't meant to be exact, but I'm sure Samsung considered the R&D spread across units as part of their decision to make that player at prices they figured they could get for it. Basically, there are some expenses that are just going to be lower per system with a high volume product like the PS3.

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post #16 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dokworm
I paid about a grand US for a DVD player in 1996, but what is surprising to me is the HD-DVD players being $500 and BluRay $1000.
Toshiba don't have much choice. The only way they can compete with a vastly superior competitor is to try to undercut them. The only surprise is the hit they're willing to take.

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If they sell two million PS3 units at launch, then they would lose One Billion Dollars.
I can't see that happening.
You're assuming that the PS3 would cost $1000 to make and would be sold at $500. We don't know either figure and I would be surprised if it cost that much to make. They would certainly be subsidising the PS3 by at least $200.

Also, they won't be loosing $1bn, it hasn't fallen down the back of the sofa. Sony would tell you that they are spending $1bn in aquiring a user base. Companies spend money like this all the time. Usually it's through advertising, but they could use the money from advertising to cut the retail price, both will increase sales.

Also you don't mention how much Toshiba are loosing when they subsidise their player. Don't be fooled by the people telling you the HD-DVD decks are cheaper to make, they're just cheaper to sell. Toshiba originally priced them at $1000 so it seems like they're "loosing" $500 a machine.

Of course $1bn (probably half that in reality) isn't that much to a company the size of Sony, but it's a bigger deal for Toshiba who are a smaller company. As people have said, if you factor in the money they'll get back from the licenses and the money they'll make from their interests in Blu-ray it's worth including a BD-rom drive on the PS3. If BD wins the war Sony will more than make it's money back and of course so would Toshiba if HD-DVD won, more so since Toshiba seem to have a larger stake in HD-DVD than Sony's stake in the BDA.
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post #17 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 12:16 PM
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They'll also subsidize a lot of the initial PS3 costs through bundling. I think the 360 had a successful attach rate of over 3 games per console at launch. With numbers like that, it practially negated any hits they were taking on the hardware.
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post #18 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2
Samsung will be making a lot less units of their player than Sony will be making of the PS3. My numbers weren't meant to be exact, but I'm sure Samsung considered the R&D spread across units as part of their decision to make that player at prices they figured they could get for it. Basically, there are some expenses that are just going to be lower per system with a high volume product like the PS3.
I agree that some costs will be lower with a high-volume product. But I'm not sure how many R&D bucks will be spent by a company like Samsung or other BD manufacturers. You’ve got to think that 1st-generation players will be using many of the same components, particularly the lasers and dedicated chips for decoding, etc. (This would apply to PS3 as well.) Other low-tech parts (remote controls, display, case/connectors, etc.) are off-the-shelf components that barely need to be modified from existing players. So the R&D cost for much of the system guts will be spread around among the various manufacturers or is non-existent. Each company will have its own take on the user interface and will try to add some feature to distinguish it from the competition. But if $1,000 is the lowest price, and we’ll assume that’s for a basic player since some company would want to fill that niche, it’s still a long way from the $500 PS3, even given the subsidies and high-volume production advantage that the PS3 would enjoy.

But a logical question is: if the PS3 for $500 is every bit as good a BD player as a $1,000 dedicated player, and you get game-playing capability to boot, why would anyone buy the dedicated player? Secondly, how would Sony get so many hardware companies to buy into Blu-ray if Sony plans on subsidizing sales of a competing device ad infinitum?
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post #19 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 12:49 PM
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An interesting bit from that DVDfile timeline that has echoes of today for BD:

Quote:
October 19, 1998 -

Universal Studios announces release of Amblin titles. Last studio hold-out and second part of the Steven Spielberg catalog.
History: My first DVD player was the 1G Pioneer @ $600-ish, I think. Went from there to a Panasonic A110 which was excellent but finally died (after a couple of years of movie-a-day use) and then to a Sony S360, which lives on today downstairs in the bedroom (SD only).

Now I have a Panasonic RP-82 that outputs via SDI into an iScan VP30, and that's as close to HD as you can get as of today, IMHO, and may be for some time at the rate things are going. Given the reputation and quality of this player, I'm interested in the Panasonic BD player, but that "less than $1500" figure better mean something closer to $1k instead of $1499.

-John
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post #20 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RADMan2000
But a logical question is: if the PS3 for $500 is every bit as good a BD player as a $1,000 dedicated player, and you get game-playing capability to boot, why would anyone buy the dedicated player? Secondly, how would Sony get so many hardware companies to buy into Blu-ray if Sony plans on subsidizing sales of a competing device ad infinitum?
Who says it will be as good as a dedicated player? For BR discs, I'm sure it will look incredible. But the build quality and audio DACs will not be as good. And for upscaling 480i DVDs, it will probably be a poor player (IMO), just like the PS2. There's no way they can incorporate a top deinterlacing/scaling chip for SD DVDs and sell it at such a low price.
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post #21 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP
Who says it will be as good as a dedicated player? For BR discs, I'm sure it will look incredible. But the build quality and audio DACs will not be as good.
With HDMI 1.3 audio DACs may be irrelevant to a lot of us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP
And for upscaling 480i DVDs, it will probably be a poor player (IMO), just like the PS2. There's no way they can incorporate a top deinterlacing/scaling chip for SD DVDs and sell it at such a low price.
I think they have an opportunity to do some of this with the Cell processor, but it remains to be seen how they will handle that stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RADMan2000
But a logical question is: if the PS3 for $500 is every bit as good a BD player as a $1,000 dedicated player, and you get game-playing capability to boot, why would anyone buy the dedicated player?
I'm sure Samsung and the others have asked themselves that. Time to market and availability are a couple of reasons, but there should be some features in standalone players that aren't in the PS3. 1080p24 playback might be one, although I hope the PS3 has that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RADMan2000
Secondly, how would Sony get so many hardware companies to buy into Blu-ray if Sony plans on subsidizing sales of a competing device ad infinitum?
I've wondered that too. Should keep those guys on their toes trying to stay far enough ahead though.

I am also hopeful that the volumes the PS3 should do will help push HDMI 1.3 into audio receivers at lower pricepoints than might have been likely without it.

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post #22 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 02:16 PM
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BillP,

Agreed it should look stunning on BD (all-digital), but the analog portions and SD playback may be just average or above.

One extra that most people haven't considered -- noise! Keep in mind this is a game console and as such has vastly greater fan & cooling requirements than other "embedded" CE devices. So even if they do a great job of heat management, odds are good that it'll still have some fans and be at least a bit noiser than a dedicated player.

That doesn't mean it won't be an absolute steal of a deal at $4-500(ish) for a full-featured BD player, but it is something to keep in mind.

Personally, I may end up getting both a dedicated player *and* a PS3, but for different purposes.

-John
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post #23 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman
OK, can someone justify that kind of money to me?
You have to make your own decisions.

The first DVD player from Sony was $999.

What kind of justification are you looking for? Bill of materials cost? Development cost?

Cheers!
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post #24 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Williams
One extra that most people haven't considered -- noise! Keep in mind this is a game console and as such has vastly greater fan & cooling requirements than other "embedded" CE devices. So even if they do a great job of heat management, odds are good that it'll still have some fans and be at least a bit noiser than a dedicated player.
That is a good point. I can't wait to see what kind of power brick they are going to require for the PS3. The one for the XBOX360 is pretty big with its own fan (at least on one version) and I don't think the PS3 is going to be able to get away with less.

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post #25 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 04:02 PM
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Wonder when we'll start seeing liquid cooling available for CE devices. Of course, that may be just asking for trouble (;

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post #26 of 158 Old 03-30-2006, 07:05 PM
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yeah the noise issue with the PS3 is an excellent point. My 360 is loud like a banshee and no doubt the PS3 will be loud as well and that may turn some people off to use it as a movie player. I know I wouldn't use it assuming it is as loud as I am expecting it to be.

I also agree trying to compare the PS3 to stand alone players acting like they are equal is a little off base. No way the PS3 will have the overall performance as a stand alone player and I'm willing to bet the price difference will be justified to anyone with a decent setup or anyone looking for top performance.

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post #27 of 158 Old 03-31-2006, 07:43 AM
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It is unfair to directly compare the PS3 to a higher-end standalone player, that's for sure. But given the kind of numbers that it'll have and the fact that every single one of them will be a BD player does change the calculus of the whole situation! Even if the adoption rate for BD movies bought by PS3 owners only averages ~1-2 per console, that will still be 6-12 million movies sold by this time next year, which is a big, big number.

The only way HD-DVD can compete on this turf is if Microsoft includes a built-in HD-DVD drive with every 360 sold during the last quarter of this year on, at no/minimal extra cost, plus the required software to enable movie playback. That would at least level the playing field for the holiday season.

Failing that, I'm not sure what will happen with the other camp in terms of adoption rates.

Now, all that being said, I'll probably put a PS3 downstairs in the family room as a combo game console / BD player, where I'm not so concerned about the "absolute" movie experience. In that setting, it'll be good enough for sure (noise and all.)

-John
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post #28 of 158 Old 03-31-2006, 11:08 AM
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To me, the PS3 is a trial run. I would get it without the BRD capability but it's a cheap way to see if that format will 1) win out over HD-DVD and 2) be a worth wild upgrade over current DVDs without jumping into a $1000 player.
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post #29 of 158 Old 03-31-2006, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Red
To me, the PS3 is a trial run. I would get it without the BRD capability but it's a cheap way to see if that format will 1) win out over HD-DVD and 2) be a worth wild upgrade over current DVDs without jumping into a $1000 player.
All the more reason to question Sony's motives here vis a vis other BD manufacturers. If PS3 is peoples' first exposure to BD, Sony has an incentive to make sure the PS3 is a very good BD player. Otherwise, it could sour a lot of people on the format for years to come. Also, I believe that BD and HD-DVD players introduced during the first year of each format will have ample opportunities to play regular DVDs, as people will not be eager to immediately upgrade their entire disk libraries and some titles will not be available at first. If the PS3 is not a good SD player (as speculated in this thread by John Williams), it may also reflect negatively on the format, especially if the cheaper, dedicated HD-DVD players can do quality upscaling of SD-DVDs.

So I'm still wondering 1) what Sony would stand to gain in the format war by releasing a PS3 that has mediocre BD and/or SD-DVD playback capabilities, 2) if Sony subsidizes a PS3 that is comparable in playback quality (though perhaps not in features) to dedicated players, what do other BD manufacturers stand to gain, and 3) how can Sony manufacture a combination BD player and game machine, with BD/SD-DVD playback on a par with dedicated players, for the same or less than the dedicated players (even given the advantages of volume production)? I'm waiting for someone who really understands the manufacturing end of the industry to answer that last question. I'm just grasping at straws here.

Incidentally, the point about PS3 machine noise is good. But people can tolerate a lot for a $500 savings.
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post #30 of 158 Old 03-31-2006, 04:03 PM
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Sony is trying to market the PS3 as a media server/set top box type of device that you can play games (PS3, PS2, & PS1) on, more than just another gaming system. They have tried that with a half-heart attempt, a special version of PS2 in Japan called "PSX", and failed. They are not going to let that happen with their brand new platform. They will probably make sure that the BR movies PQ quality is a little bit more than just acceptable (probably not as good as the $1000+ Panasonic or Pioneer), unlike the original PS2. They will probably take a loss on console sales and get the money back through PS3 game development licensing (if I remember my fact correctly only Nintendo has made a profit on console sales).

The standalone Blu-Ray players from Sony, Pioneer, Samsung, and Panasonic will cater to those purists/enthusiasts that really want a quality standalone machine, where as the PS3 will be for the others who also want to play games, among other things (rumor says PS3 will have Linux pre-installed and can be boot up to a Linus desktop for media servers tasks and more). My feeling is that it will not be cheap ($500+ ~ $700 max US) unlike some people wishful thinking, even though they are taking a loss. This is not something which will be market to the kids alone; it is for tech-loving big kids (young adults, 25-35 crowd who grown up with their PSX and PS2) or kids with well-off parents :D Think not many people will get a $500+ media server/set top box/BR player type machine? Look at the hype on the MacMini :D These crowds (esp the tech-savvy young adult crowd) will drive the market in the first wave, and have them to spread the words on BR technology. The next generations players and the cost reduced PS3 consoles will be for the rest of the populations later on in the product life cycle.

Of course, Sony can still fail at this attempt. Anything could happen. This is too early to tell. But it is wise for them to bundle BR technology with the PS3 hype.
QuadESL63 is offline  
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