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Let's settle PS3 attach rate once and for all

post #1 of 165
Thread Starter 
The bickering on these forums often goes in infinite loops.

"POTC sold more units than the Matrix. But in terms of income generated, The Matrix almost sold as well as POTC. Okay, but in terms of income BD standalones are selling almost as well as HD DVD standalones. Okay, but HD DVD standalones have sold way more units than BD standalones. Okay, but in terms of units, POTC outsold The Matrix...."

And so on, for eternity.

One of the most glaring and long running examples of this problem has been BD player sales vs. software sales. Depending on who you ask, BD software sales look great (units sold) or look terrible (attach rate). The problem is, both estimates are flat-out wrong. Why? Because it's difficult to answer a very simple question:

Is the PS3 a Blu-ray player or not?

In terms of specs and features: yes, of course. It's one of the best, actually. But in terms of calculating total player sales and attach rate, things get complicated fast.

If you count all PS3s sold as Blu-ray players you can say that there are millions of Blu-ray players out there. Much more players than HD DVD players. This looks good on paper. The BD marketing guys were happy to say this. Of course, it's their jobs to spin things to look good, so let's be a bit more intelligent and realize that things arent' that simple: All PS3s are *potential* Blu-ray players, but all PS3s are NOT "active" Blu-ray players.

Since PS3 owners in general don't actual buy BRs in significant numbers (yet), what happens is that BR software sales end up looking quite low compared to the number of BD players out there (PS3 included). This is because, unlike all other High-Def players, the PS3 is the only one with a primary function that is NOT playing HD movies (insert PS3 games joke here). This means the BD attach rate looks really small because you have a large number of people who for all intents and purposes are NOT puchasing a BD player: they are purchasing a game player. We are counting video game players as BD players based on capability, but not intent. This is dumb. This makes the player sales number wrong, so the attach rate is also wrong.

How Do We Fix This?

Obviously, only a certain percentage of PS3 owners purchase BD. This number is the key to having accurate sales figures and attach rate numbers.

On average, how many BD discs have BD standalone owners purchased? On average, how many BD discs have PS3 owners purchased? From there, you can figure out how many PS3s are required to sell as many discs as 1 BD standalone. This gives you the magic number: the percentage of a standalone BD player by which the PS3 should be counted.

I don't have the numbers to calculate this exactly, but my rough estimate is that you need to sell 5 PS3s to sell as many discs as one standalone player. That's 20%. The PS3 counts as 20% of a standalone. So Blu-ray does not have over 1.5+ million active BD players because of the PS3, it has 300,000 active players and 1.2 million "potential players". This makes BD attach rate jump up significantly, but to what I don't know (where are all the player sales numbers and attach rate figures coming from, anyway?).

The summary:
- No matter what marketing people say, counting the PS3 as a full standalone for statistical purposes is just dumb.
- The PS3 counts as 20% of a BD standalone player until proven otherwise.
- The number of active BD players is far less than 1.5 million.
- The number of potential BD players is 1.5 million+
- The BD attach rate is far higher than .33 or whatever people are saying.


As a final complicating note, please remember that this only holds true for sales that have already occurred AKA "active" players. The PS3 is still a "potential" player. Having PS3s in homes also creates an increased potential for BD sales for those who have yet to jump aboard the HD Optical train. This is another matter entirely, but the main point is that the PS3 attach rate may grow with time (as people increasingly buy HDTVs for example), so projecting it statically into the future is fairly silly. Attach rate itself is a fairly silly and misunderstood statistic, but that's another post.

This post was just logic, so I'm hoping it can be agreed or disagreed with on that basis and NOT fanboy biases. I just want a world where a semi-intelligent debate can actually happen rather than people pulling out whatever statistic makes them look good. If we can agree on this PS3 thing, there's no need for the endless "look at how many more players we sold/look at the low attach rate/yeah but it's the PS3" cycles: The player sales and attach rates will be very clear and we can all bicker in a semi-pointless fashion rather than a completely pointless fashion (at least on this issue).

Thanks.
post #2 of 165
Quote:


We are counting video game players as BD players based on capability, but not intent. This is dumb. This makes the player sales number wrong, so the attach rate is also wrong.

So, what's your point? Are you defending the BDA or are you indicting them?

You do realize the reason the PS3 is counted as part of the Blu-ray installed base is because it is the BDA themselves that have perpetuated this concept. Sony and the BDA used the PS3 as leverage with the studios touting "millions of Blu-ray players within months".

No, BDA made their bed and they can lay in it. Millions of Blu-ray players. Abysmal attach rate. It is what it is.
post #3 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

So, what's your point? Are you defending the BDA or are you indicting them?

You do realize the reason the PS3 is counted as part of the Blu-ray installed base is because it is the BDA themselves that have perpetuated this concept. Sony and the BDA used the PS3 as leverage with the studios touting "millions of Blu-ray players within months".

I'm not defending or indicting anybody. Heaven forbid I not act like a fanboy and just try to make logical sense of things. OF COURSE the BDA would count the PS3 in their player figures. They'd be stupid not to. That's what marketing is. However, we don't have to follow silly marketing speak. I thought many of you hated the BDA for their claims, and yet you blindly adhere to them here? How mature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

No, BDA made their bed and they can lay in it. Millions of Blu-ray players. Abysmal attach rate. It is what it is.

Lying in a bed of millions of players is no punishment. Nobody gives two @#$# about attach rate at the end of the day: only the bottom line matters. Counting all PS3s as BD players is just dumb, as is not counting the PS3 at all. Settling on a much more realistic figure makes things not so ridiculous around here. If not, you have to sit there and explain why Blu-ray is murdering HD DVD on player sales despite HD DVD having a huge price advantage. Then you come back at me with some low attach rate figure. But we both know that both our points hold true because of the atypical PS3! It's a silly little dance that just needs to stop. Let's grow up and use a shred of intelligence for half a second: it will make a world of difference.
post #4 of 165
Most people buying PS3 use it for high end gaming, but many use it as Blu-ray player only and do not plan to use / not interested in games at all.

I personally have PC drive because i am not interested in movies nor games for the moment but the excellent, unmatched storage capacity
post #5 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

So, what's your point? Are you defending the BDA or are you indicting them?

You do realize the reason the PS3 is counted as part of the Blu-ray installed base is because it is the BDA themselves that have perpetuated this concept. Sony and the BDA used the PS3 as leverage with the studios touting "millions of Blu-ray players within months".

No, BDA made their bed and they can lay in it. Millions of Blu-ray players. Abysmal attach rate. It is what it is.

dead on they want to count it as milions of bd players ok but it has a really low attach rate.

so its creaming hd-dvd in blu ray players and has an edge in software sales

but its attach rate is low if it where high hd-dvd would be no more.

but like all my friends say till software cost's the same as dvd they wont be buying blu ray discs for their ps3's

look at what happened with the sale they had at amazon. it creamed hd-dvd for a while.

hd-dvd has cheap players but they need to drop software prices also.... have a sale for $12-15 per movie and they will come. but dont drop the rebates on stand alones.
post #6 of 165
Quote:
Lying in a bed of millions of players is no punishment.

Depends on how you look at it. Sitting across the table from the head of Disney or Fox home video and continuing to tell them how many millions of Blu-ray players are out there while they look at their own terrible sales figures can get to be embarrassing eventually.
post #7 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

Depends on how you look at it. Sitting across the table from the head of Disney or Fox home video and continuing to tell them how many millions of Blu-ray players are out there while they look at their own terrible sales figures can get to be embarrassing eventually.

Whether the sales figures are terrible is all that matters to Disney and Fox and I'm sure they could care less if that's from a few thousand players or a few million. They're selling more than the "other team", so that's all they can really hope for at this point.

You act like if Sony were selling LESS PS3s, Disney and Fox would be happier. This isn't true. Revenue is revenue, whatever the attach rate.
post #8 of 165
Well, I doubt that anything with regard to the attach rate will be "settled" after this thread, but I'll quote myself here on the matter from something I wrote earlier this evening:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya View Post

We cannot know what percentage of PS3s are used for BD playback; yes, the percentage is low. But whatever the case, we can infer that regardless of what that percentage is, in absolute terms there are more individuals actively purchasing BD films than there are individuals actively purchasing HD DVD films. Why everyone obsesses with regard to the vector or the means around here is beyond me. Pretend that the PS3 didn't exist, and that instead those that use it exclusively for gaming have something called the "GameStation," and those that use it for BD playback or more have something called the "MovieStation."

Everything else aside, it is clear that the "MovieStation" is presently the most prolific player, and the BD sales results are reflected in this. People saying that the PS3 attach rate is abysmal does nothing to diminish the fact that abysmal though that rate may be, it still "wins" week after week in the Nielsen.

HD DVD should be so lucky as to be in a 9x player, 2.2x movie sales situation. But they're not.
post #9 of 165
So where are the high-end games?
It's a Blu-ray player.
post #10 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya View Post

Well, I doubt that anything with regard to the attach rate will be "settled" after this thread, but I'll quote myself here on the matter from something I wrote earlier this evening:


Actually, this "vector" is very important. Everyone acts like there is an unlimited number of people in the world. There is not. Eventually you will run out of people willing to buy the PS3 (and let's at least admit that the PS3 is what is keeping BD afloat at this point). The market will deplete. So having a low attach rate means you will deplete your market and only have a small percentage who buys BD's.

Attach rate may not matter looking at the short term, but in the long term, it is extremely important.
post #11 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnorris View Post

Actually, this "vector" is very important. Everyone acts like there is an unlimited number of people in the world. There is not. Eventually you will run out of people willing to buy the PS3 (and let's at least admit that the PS3 is what is keeping BD afloat at this point). The market will deplete. So having a low attach rate means you will deplete your market and only have a small percentage who buys BD's.

Attach rate may not matter looking at the short term, but in the long term, it is extremely important.

Yeah, with the way HD discs are selling the studios are really sweating running out of people in the world to sell the discs to

This is exactly why attach rate DOESN'T matter: you can completely ignore it and just look at total sales. Do you really think studios are worried about DVDs attach rate right now? No, they just look at how many units they sell (AKA how much money they make). Attach rate is a needless complication.

Also, there is nothing to stop PS3 owners how aren't buying Blu-ray right now to start buying them later (perhaps they don't have HDTVs yet).
post #12 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haghighi View Post

So where are the high-end games?
It's a Blu-ray player.

Resistance, Motorstorm, Tekken 5.5, Virtua Fighter 5, Obilivion, F.E.A.R...

Anyway, it's not about this. It's about how many PS3 owners buy Blu-ray discs. If you don't buy a Blu-ray movie, it's not a Blu-ray movie player. And looking at attach rate, it looks like about 1/5 of PS3 owners buy Blu-ray at this point (averge).
post #13 of 165
Assuming you normalize PS3s to their equivalent number of BD standalones (1.5 million PS3s = 300K players?), the next question is of course:

Do BD standalones have the same attach rate as HD DVD standalones? The quick response is "of course", but HD DVD players may appeal to less rich individuals (they're cheaper, after all), so they may be fractionally less inclined to buy discs. Or maybe BD buyers are too broke after spending double for players....

Not that it really matters as everyone is spinning, and even Nielsen's and Amazon's data is skewed by where they do their counts. Come up with the best possible formula, and it's still GIGO.
post #14 of 165
How many PS3 Blu-ray remotes have sold? That's a pure BD movie purchase, and probably pretty close to the _serious_ BD movie PS3 owner count. Certainly the number of PS3 movie buyers is no fewer.
post #15 of 165
As far as I see it, attachment rate means absolutely nothing. Zilch.

The bottom line is, what is selling the most disks?

Right now, it's Blu-ray:




If tons of people buy into the cheap Toshiba players, then the numbers can change. I'm expecting this to happen over the next few months, if BR doesn't counter with some players that are closer in price.

IMHO, players discounted to double the price of HD-DVD players aren't an impressive discount.
post #16 of 165
When considering what percentage of PS3s sold are being actively used for BD movie watching, I think a good metric to consider is the total percentage of U.S. HDTV households, which, last I heard, was between 15% and 20%, although that number can be much higher. Presumably, a non-HDTV household wouldn't be buying very many BDs.
post #17 of 165
Well i know a lot of people.. and only 2 buy movie all the rest rent and copy or download from the internet (younger one 20-30), 1 know one who only watch them from AVI, DIVX. Out of those people we are 3 that have HDTV's, 2 have PS3 (me and my friend) and we use it both both gaming and Blu-Ray because we are the only 2 who buy movies LOL!

The rest buy some when they are 5$ in the walmart bin..
post #18 of 165
I did a statistical analysis on this at the AV Forums a month or so ago.

Making a few pretty solid assumptions (such as standalones having a similar attachment rate, whether HD DVD or BD), I worked out what was going on.

The big problem is the attachment rate for the 360 add-on, so I had to make a couple of assumptions.

I can't remember theexact figures, but it worked out that, at the most the PS3 had an attachment rate of just under 1 disc per player, whilst it might have been as low as 0.3 discs per player.

Of course it's totally true to say that a sale is a sale, and so what.

But if the Toshibas start selling hand-over-fist, and have a reasonable attachment rate, with PS3 sales slowing to a trickle, the implication for the future is pretty obvious.

Before the PS3 came into the equation, there was only game in town - HD DVD had a big lead.

Then PS3 launch day came and BD suddenly had a potential 1 million player plus advantage.

Now BD has a small lead (sales ration of c.1.4:1 most weeks, with the odd exception). But standalone sales are growing and, due to the very small number of PS3 owners buying films for their machine, the PS3 factor will diminish for both sides.

It'll soon be back down to which format sells most standalones, with the PS3 not mattering much at all.

I'll try to dig out my initial calculations.

Steve W
post #19 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmatiz2 View Post

As far as I see it, attachment rate means absolutely nothing. Zilch.

The bottom line is, what is selling the most disks?

Right now, it's Blu-ray:



Correct! The objective is to sell disks (at this stage in BR's lifecycle it may be even more important than maximizing profits). All this argument has proven is that the "attachment rate" metric is a poor measurement of the overall corporate objective.
post #20 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecker View Post

Now BD has a small lead (sales ration of c.1.4:1 most weeks, with the odd exception). But standalone sales are growing and, due to the very small number of PS3 owners buying films for their machine, the PS3 factor will diminish for both sides.

It will diminish, yes; but likely throughout the end of this year it will nonetheless represent the single largest generator of high-def movie sales on either format and overall. The day that PS3 is reduced to a footnote in its format war effects is much more likely to be one year away than it is one month away - and I think we all agree on that. By that time, BD standalones and HD DVD standalones should cost roughly the same amount anyway, and I don't think that Toshiba will be able to enjoy increased player sales relative to its competition based on price advantage alone.

So, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
post #21 of 165
Attachment rate is an excuse. A way of saying, "We're winning" or "we're going to win" when there is no other proof. It's a fabrication of proof.

I don't care of Sony sells 10,000,000,000 PS3s, and the attachment rate is less than 1. If they sell a lot more disks overall, then attachment rate means nothing.

I also wonder about rental popularity. What if those hypothetical 10,000,000,000 PS3s that never buy disks are renting instead (like I hope to be doing). What will the rental stores choose to support more of?

Keep in mind, this could go either way. If Toshiba sold 10,000,000,000 A2's, then the same rules would apply.

In the end, money is what talks -- and that means sales of disks. I do believe, however, that Sony is playing with fire by letting HD-DVD offer players at 1/2 the price.
post #22 of 165
It's obvious there is no one in this thread from any studios. I worked with those people for years when I was doing reviews, and trust me, in the first few years of the DVD format, the first question they were interested in was "how many players have been sold", and all that was for was to set up the second question. "How many discs did we sell?" I assure you the second question means more than the first question.

The difference between now and then is, obviously, the format war. Now the questions get more complicated. they still want to know how many players were sold, but now they want to know how many of each format. The second question is still the same, but now instaed of just "how many discs did we sell", they also want to know how many discs the guy selling the other format sold. Then they do the math.


I can absolutely, positively guarantee you the attach rate for both formats is a VERY important statistic at the internal studio meetings right now.
post #23 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padriac View Post

This is exactly why attach rate DOESN'T matter: you can completely ignore it and just look at total sales.

The attach rate absolutely matters. Like Robert pointed out, Sony talked the studios into supporting BD by selling them the Trojan Horse, i.e. millions of BD-players within months. Sony sold the PS3 to the studios as a BD-player, not as a games console. There are certain attach rate expectations that come with such a deal, and I'm sure Disney & co. are not happy about how few titles those millions of BD-player owners are buying.
post #24 of 165
If we ask paidgeek (Sony Pictures) to post a response here would you folks remain civil?

I asked paidgeek to respond to another thread and I was embarrassed at some of the post that was made afterward. Thankfully the mods came in and cleaned up the thread.

Does anyone know folks from other studios that would post?
post #25 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmatiz2 View Post

As far as I see it, attachment rate means absolutely nothing. Zilch.

The bottom line is, what is selling the most disks?

Right now, it's Blu-ray:


What really jumps out at me when I look at these graphs are "YTD" and "Week Ending" numbers. The year to date sales data is terribly lopsided, and continues to be that way despite Disney and Fox postponing alot of titles, while Universal is spitting them out like a Pez dispensor. That doesn't bode well for HD-DVD. Also, a week with buy days for both HD-DVD and BD shows BD with a huge edge too.

This is the Nielson data, what the industry goes by. We can have our fun buy days and try to influence eproduct wars, but we are a tiny blip on the sales radar.
post #26 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

Depends on how you look at it. Sitting across the table from the head of Disney or Fox home video and continuing to tell them how many millions of Blu-ray players are out there while they look at their own terrible sales figures can get to be embarrassing eventually.

Never thought of it this way...
post #27 of 165
LOL
The PS2 launched The DVD Format too..
post #28 of 165
Quote:


This is the Nielson data, what the industry goes by.

Nielson data is all well and good and I'm certain the various studios know how to use this data as they have had a very long time learning how this industry-wide data relates to each individual studio's business. While the overall sales advantage for Blu-ray may look fairly impressive on a pie chart, I rather doubt it looks so impressive on the sales data sheets at Fox, Disney, Lionsgate, and Sony.

When one considers that a sizable percentage of that blue section of the pie actually belongs to Warner and Paramount/DreamWorks, that big blu advantage isn't translating to anything terribly impressive for the rest of Blu-nation. This gets us back to attach rate.
post #29 of 165
The trick would be in figuring out what the attach rate actually is. Some people will tell you that no PS3 owners ever buy Blu-ray movies, yet every PS3 owner I know IRL buys them, myself included.

It's an interesting discussion, and I admit that I never looked at that way before.. that while the PS3 is certainly a BD player (I thought it was stupid when someone actually asked this question recently), not everyone uses it as such. Obviously, for a standalone player, attach rate should be 100%, so it makes sense that way. For me, it's certainly a BD player.

So, does anyone actually have any inkling of what the actual attach rate is? Is there even a realistic way of finding out?
post #30 of 165
Buena Vista calls Sony.

"Hey there, Sony! Did I catch you at a bad time? Still messing round with BD+, huh? Sure, sure, I understand perfectly! Keep up the good work, buddy. Listen... about this POTC I & II release we did. We spent a lot of money pimping those up, because you told us they were extremely important titles for the whole format and that they would sell like gazillions. Allow me to be brutally honest here. We were expecting the sales to be a lot better. A LOT. Yeah... yeah, I know we shoulda asked you before making any predictions, but... well, the thing is... folks are a bit miffed round here, because someone here made a Powerpoint presentation with a sales target of 500,000."

"Hey, hey... HEY! Don't you get angry with me, buddy! It was you who said all those PS3s are Blu-ray players. We took the amount of BD players out there in consumers' homes and made a sales prediction, that's all! And it was a reasonable one, everyone here thinks."

"Now... don't get upset, you know we luv ya, buddy, but certain execs are making some noise. They're saying we would have sold at least double if we had released those titles on HD DVD - and with a better profit margin, and with even more attractive Special Features! ... What? No. No, I'm not one of those execs. They're about to be fired, anyway."

Don't take this too seriously, k?
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