Originally Posted by William Mapstone
Yea, many HD-DVD only supporters here on this forum were hoping that the PS3 would suck as a BD movie player. One day after launch there hopes were crushed, and the excuses began. My favorite is that gamers don't care about watching HD movies What a load of crap that was.
I think the real question was in this scenario:
Early adopter technologies are initially priced far outside of game consoles (i.e. $1000). If the PS3 was priced at such a premium to other consoles, it would not happen. If the PS3 was priced at a point where it might be competitive with other consoles, Sony would be sacrificing the high premiums many early adopters are willing to pay and might hurt the standalone market in which they were trying to entrench the technology and license it to other manufacturers. The only way to make this palatable to others making standalones would be to offer something like basic functionality where the standalones were greatly enhanced. In the end Sony basically chose to make the PS3 a full featured BR player, still arguably the very best player on the market, and slash into the standalone market - both their's and licensees while trying to keep the price of the PS3 in some type of range of the 360. This worked fairly well since Microsoft hasn't really played the price game this generation. They took such a beating last gen and are in a reasonably good position that they haven't yet really dropped much despite taking major costs out and increasing margins.
I think what both Microsoft and Toshiba forgot was that Sony is also a good competitor and if you want to really beat them, you had better be relentless. For Toshiba and HD-DVD that meant actually marketing the damn players and technology instead of letting Sony own the retail and "Best Buy" market and trying to solely drive adoption through price of players. One of the HD-DVD benefits was lower cost of media production yet the retail price for films are exactly the same. Another was DVD compatibility and yet the dual format discs are priced at an outrageous premium and tend to be troublesome technology. Stupid strategy. You want to win, make sure the cheaper media is priced cheaper at retail. You want to play the backward compatibility card, try not double-charging for a dual format DVD/HD-DVD, this isn't about double dipping at outrageous prices, it's about adoption which is exactly how Sony played it potentially hanging their console business to get players into the wild.
For Microsoft, I think it's a mistake to count Sony out or even down this early. They should have that damn 360 core down to $199 by now if they were really serious. The attach rate is great, they'll get the software sales. Sony offered them up a huge advantage by entering this gen late, at a significantly higher point of entry, and not offering an obvious performance premium (every game equal or modestly better a la Xbox1 vs PS2) for the price.
Bottom line, when Sony finally just shut their stupid hype mouth (2 HDMI dual monitor 1080p native gaming on the PS3 side and super storage size for Mpeg2 releases on the BR side) and worked hard to advance the ball, do it right, and market to the consumer - they were successful. The way it looks to me is that Toshiba/HD-DVD has not been at all committed to marketing and retail placement nor cheaper pricing of media (the real cost in new formats) and MSFT has been sitting on their laurels afraid to play the price card after last gen and their stupid hardware design writedown. Lack of commitment and fear aren't a real good combination for winning. This round to PS3.