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OT: Will the PS3 kill Bluray or save it?

1045 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  flyingvee
Just read this over at Toms hardware
Can PlayStation 3 stick to $500?

Parks Associates' director of broadband and gaming analysis, Michael Cai, told TG Daily this afternoon that $500 could be the sweet spot for Sony. "I think the Xbox 360 was doing pretty good at the level of $399," said Cai. "I think if Sony can control it under $500, I think they should be successful, considering it has a Blu-ray Disc there. The Blu-ray DVD player alone would normally cost $1,000. So consumers, especially the savvy gamers, should especially see the value."
This made me think what that would mean.

Say the PS3 really does come out at $500 as people are suggesting (as Sony would subsidise the HW to sell more games).

What would the current companies like Pioneer that sell Blu-ray players at US$1000 and up - do?

They can't afford to subsidise the players as they make no money out of the movies.

If the PS3 is a pretty good player, then none of the other manufacturers would have a hope of selling their players at more than twice the price.

Would they pull out and leave Sony on their own and start making HD-DVD players instead? Would they just pull out of the market altogether?

There would always be room for high priced prestige models but it would lock anyone else out of the mass market except for Sony.

It seems an odd situation and can't make the other companies in the Bluray camp very happy.

It is different to the PS2 launch, when it came out DVD players had already dropped to below the PS2 launch price, and had already become a very popular format (and wasn't competing with another format).

Unless of course the PS3 is going to cost a lot lot more.

I could be way off, but it really got me thinking.
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If Sony does everything right, and I hope they do, we will see another Betamax.

All the companies behind Blu-Ray have known for over a year Sony was planning on releasing a heavily subsidized PS3 - so no one is going to pull out of the BR consortium because of PS3.

We well have to let this one play out, but IMO $500 PS3 is going to be too high a price for most family's. Not that they won't sell the first 2 million models before XMAS, they will, but if they think they'll get to 25 million, the price point will have to drop under $300. I also expect Microsoft to drop the XBox 360 down to $300 ($400 w/HD-DVD) to try and stifle the PS3 launch.

I don't really need another $500 clock - I still have my old betamax for that (and my betamovie!)

You say they won't pull out, but from a business perspective how will the other companies make money selling players at double or more of another player and no way to match the price? I never thought of it before today, and can't believe no one has brought it up anywhere else.

The only way out I can think of is that the PS3 will be a lot more than $500?
Ahh, but you're forgetting something, though. The $1000 players that are on the street now (or will be soon) are the high-end machines for early adopters. By Christmas, there will almost certainly be several Blu-Ray players close to $500, if not less. Now, your instinct is to say, "OK, but why would anyone NOT buy a PS3, then? It's like getting a free game machine!!!". But, this whole thing has already happened with DVD and the PS2!

When the PS2 hit the market at $299, it was also price-subsidized by Sony and priced quite cheaply compared to a lot of DVD players at the time. Yet, people still bought DVD players and the other manufacturers didn't stop making them because of the pricing pressure. Why? Because not everybody WANTS a PlayStation!

As a DVD player, the PS2 wasn't really that elegant. You had to buy a remote (a crappy one at that - at least compared to most dedicated players' remotes), it didn't have a display, and it didn't look nice sitting on the shelf (compared to a shiny black DVD player, anyway). That, and it was a game machine - some people just don't want them no matter how great the "deal" is. The PS3 will probably have some of the same disadvantages compared to nice dedicated-purpose BD players.

To be fair, there are other issues that make this whole deal a bit more of a crap-shoot than I'm making it out to be. Blu-Ray has competitive market forces (DVD and HD-DVD) that the original DVD didn't have. When DVD came out, the only way most people could watch movies was on VHS, and it was easy to show people how superior DVD looked and sounded. Without a rigged demo, it's not as easy with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray to show superiority over DVD. Most digital displays (720p) won't even show that much difference! Probably the worst thing is that DVD looks awesome to average Joe.

So, who knows how it will play out? I don't have much disposable income right now so I won't be buying either before Christmas. But, I would bet that the PS3 will definitely help Blu-Ray. The questions are:

1. "How much?" and

2. "Will it be enough?"

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Yeah but you could buy DVD players for $199 when the PS2 came out at $299.

$1000 isn't the high end players, $1000 is the entry point at the moment, there are $1500 plus players for the high end.

It looks like typical Sony stuff to me, court other companies in to get support, and then attempt to own the entire market place without regard for those same companies.

Ahh well, I guess we just have to wait and see.
Yes, the PS2 was never cheaper than entry level DVD players, and its games didn't even look as good as some Dreamcast games, while being much more expensive. Some nitwits were taken by the whole "supercomputer" advertisement (there are what, 100 million PS2's with an average 2 games per PS2).

With the PS3, it would be the cheapest BluRay player. For gaming, it will look near identical to the Xbox360 and have near identical games. However, HD-DVD players will be cheaper as will their titles. The only thing that can make BluRay more attractive over HD-DVD is a significantly larger catalog, not the PS3. In America, I don't expect either HD-DVD or BluRay to take off unless DVD is terminated prematurely. Next gen DVD is mostly a solution without a problem. There is a niche group of us who demand High-Def to feed our expensive displays, but we are a strong minority and unable to support an entire market.
Well, I was wrong, the price was announced today, $500 for the budget version $600 for the high end version of the PS3, and it is coming Nov 17, whether that is just Japan or worldwide who knows?

Info here:


I'd hate to be a Blu-Ray manufacturer trying to sell their $1500 players right now, sony is pushing that their player will do 1080P.

Some info on the Gran Turismo demo.

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Glen, does it say anywhere in there that the unit will have a BD drive?
Over at Anandtech, they have a table with specs . Since the two players will be at $500 and $600, I wonder how much the Xbox HD-DVD drive will cost.

Yes, unlike the previous rumors, both units WILL have the BD drive - dunno if I'd pop a hundred bucks for an extra 40 gig of HD, but there will probably turn out to be more extras included in the price of the "good" one. And I don't think they'll have any trouble selling all they can ship - at least not until next summer.

ecrabb beat me to the punch, tho I'd disagree with some others - as I remember, the PS2 was pretty close to the same price of dvd players, and you got a pretty nice gaming system with it, for free if you want to look at it that way. But go to the Secrets site, if the review is still there, the PS2 was actually a fairly crappy dvd player. Would expect the same level of functionality of the included BD player.

Think of Sony as being more like your local heroin dealer - you buy the PS3, then when a compelling title or two come out as sell-thru, you get them, pretty soon you will be sick of what will likely be a very mediocre user interface for playing and watching your new discs, and then, VIOLA, the standalone makers will sell you another BD device.

If HD was shipping with the 360s, that would be something different. At this price point, Sony will be ok.

Marc - didn't follow? if Sony does it right, this will kill Blu-Ray? If it works on my crt, I'll be buying it. If the authentication remains as draconian as early rumors - that will kill it - is that what you're hoping?
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Whether we like it or not if you want HD-DVD (BR and HD-DVD) you're probably going to end up with one of each or a combo player. If one format does fail it may take several years and to have access to all the content you may want then having a player for each format will be the only way to go. If Toshiba gets China involved and HD-DVD players start selling for $149.00 then everyone with a HD display is going to be tempted.

Sony turned the front projection market upside down with the Ruby! They even hung the Qualia owners out to dry (their own customers), so significantly undercutting their Blue Ray allies shouldn't surprise anyone including Panasonic, Samsung and Pioneer!

The problem with the PS3 is that it will be fairly late to the game (no pun intended). By November there may be HD-DVD players for $299.00. All this competition should be good for the end user with the only wrinkle being that we'll probably need two players, but who cares since many of us already own multiple DVD players!


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Originally Posted by flyingvee
Marc - didn't follow? if Sony does it right, this will kill Blu-Ray? If it works on my crt, I'll be buying it. If the authentication remains as draconian as early rumors - that will kill it - is that what you're hoping?
I look at how Sony has been doing business in the past. The PS2 had a junk laser in it. The failure rate was astronomical, to say the least. Just google for PS2 laser repair. This is typical for Sony's optical pickups. Sony will sell you DVD and CD burners plus media only to turn around and make this same content un-playable on their own stand-alone players. The PS2 fiasco was so bad that Sony was forced to honor an extended warranty. This is NOT their policy. Usually they'll deny that a problem exists, even if they have an in-house service bulletin on said problem. I have been hung up on when quoting bulletin numbers.

The PSP was released with many desirable features. Then Sony sat back to see what people did with it. Finally, through "firmware upgrades" those features were disbled so you could go to Sony and PAY them for the same "Feature" as an add-on.

So what makes anyone think that the PS3 and BlueRay will suddenly be any different? I suspect the same old BS. Short laser lifespans, hidden "firmware" upgrades, and horrible warranty battles to get that expensive laser replaced.

I wouldn't even waste my money on the hard drive either. See the PS2 for why.

ONE game. It took some creative hackers to make use of the HD to actually store games you own on the drive. I did this just to prolong that POS laser in my PS2.

Yes, I legally own all 4 titles for it. :D I actually got one just for Gran Tourismo 4.

Awesome game.

Sony's answer to the HD hack was to release a PS2 "Slim" version that could not accept a HD. Gee..... many, many people had optical drive failure within hours to days. Several hardware modifications were/are sold on the web NOT by Sony to fix the design flaw and save the Laser.

Yes, you can take it to Sony, but they won't fix the flaw. Only replace the bad chip again.

So yeah, I'll blow $500 or more on a PS3 Blu-Ray box that will very likely die 3 days past warranty. No thanks, I'll wait it out at least a year, probably 2. Someone else can pay big $$ to be Sony's R&D department.

But it's ok... Sony continues to thrive on their name, and the fact that people will buy anything. Sony used to make incredibly good products. What happened????

Nowadays I'll buy Samsung instead. I miss my legendary Sony quality. It's all gone.

Do I seem bitter or biased? Well, yes. I loved early Sony stuff. I have worked with Sony professional since 84. But things changed for the worse. I have no respect left for this company. (and some others) But I do hope they will eventually pull their heads out of their posteriors and make Sony famous gain. ( And no.... not in court. See the CD fiasco. )

Take it as you will. Most will rush right out and buy anyway, as long as it's shiny and promises something new. Only time will tell for sure.

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Originally Posted by Tinman
But it's ok... Sony continues to thrive on their name, and the fact that people will buy anything.
Have you seen Sony's financials lately? Sony is dying, and if they lose the billions on blu-ray R&D to Toshiba in a format war, Sony will either be a shell of itself by 2010, or possibly purchased by a larger corporation. Sony's stock peaked in 2000 @ $150 and is now trading around $50. They lost $581 million last quarter.

BD, DVD, CD, SACD, and Next Gen games for $600! I will buy 1!
Like Marc, I'm really annoyed with Sony as a company - especially their cheap consumer stuff.

By November, I'm hearing there should be an HD-DVD player for $300 street. The $400 X-Box 360 may also be $300 by then. So, for the same price as the PS 3, I can get two devices that are likely superior to the single Sony device. I think I'd rather do that.

Alas, it will depend on how many movies are available and what the prices are, though for each system's content, and most important to me, which one is most practical and useable with a CRT.

For some reason, I think this war is going to play out in months, not years. I'm not saying one or the other won't still be around, but the war will be over by next year this time. I guess I'm making a prediction.

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I am not sure about bluray and PS3 but..

Sony actually is a good company based on many experience I have had with them in the past for 30 years as a consumer.

Bashing a company so broad in one area as whole is not a good idea.

I have owned a lot of Sony equipments and they are fine and like them a lot.

You may blame Sony of America or one division of it but the entire company??!!
I'm pretty sure Marc and others are primarily referring to products in the CE space. There really have been some glaring examples of horrible quality control, poor product design, intentionally crippled products, and non-compliance with industry standards (how long did it take Sony to acknowledge MP3?, MemoryStick?).

On the other hand, there are other divisions of Sony which are doing excellent work - pro video for one. The CineAlta digital cinema cameras have really jump-started digital cinema acquisition. Even in the CE segment, some Sony products are best-in-class - many of the DV and HDV cameras are excellent cameras for the money and very competitive.

Overall, though - in the consumer market, the company's name and products do not have the prestige they once had. The reasons for that are simple: quality and price-point - they're simply not a "premium" brand as they once were. Then, combine that with the crippling relationship Sony Entertainment inflicts on Sony Electronics.

You can debate the reasons (internal/external) for the decline in overall quality and brand prestige, because the same forces have negatively impacted other CE companies. But, the reality is that Sony, as a consumer brand, is not what it once was - which just might have something to do with its presently abysmal financial situation.

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Sony traditionally is not a low end consumer product company.

They offer excellent mid/hi budget with unmatched quality and performance for the money.

I have never been in MP3 but from audio/video performance they are a great innovator and will continue to do well IMO. But we will see. We don't want china and other copy cat vendors to decide what we use in long run.
OK Marc - I can buy that. I would like it if Sony got their act together also - while my original PS2 still works, I don't use it a lot; my son is on his 3rd - laser death, as you stated. And while I love my Viao laptop, I've already had to fix the video chip - it overheats and separates from the moboard.

Fair enough - maybe I will wait. But there is a sweet spot with Sony - if you can figure out when the bugs have been worked out, but before they start to grossly cheapen and strip the guts out of a product, it is not impossible to get something decent. I'll just have to watch the boards carefully.

As for my PSP, I love it, and can do a lot of things with it - only thing it won't do anymore is play games - the CHEAP analog joystick bit the dust as I was finishing the final tour of Ridge Racer. :(
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