Monday, March 19, 2007

PS3: The Blu-Ray of Hope?

I've been watching this Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD silliness for over a year now. I'm kind of surprised that I haven't blogged about this until now. Especially considering that many of the predictions I made have come true. I knew the Wii was going to be popular, because for years I've seen the potential of a motion sensitive interface vs the boring old gamepad. That seems like a no brainer. What is surprising me is how poorly the PS3 is doing. It has been selling less than 5000 units a day for the last month. I figured it would do better, but in truth I am glad it is not.

The reason is obvious. It's the outrageous price tag. And what is the cause of that? It's simple really. Sony tried forcing Blu-Ray down everyone's throats. This added way too much to the cost of the console. And it was totally unnecessary. They had no reason to do it. It was just a smack in the face to gamers. I can go down the list of reasons why they claim DVD is not good enough. Rest assured, all the reasoning is completely bunk. The primary reason is the capacity issue. That is reason numero uno, and it is also a big fat lie. 9 GB is plenty of space. It will be at least 3 more years before developers start running into serious problems with such limited capacity. One of the biggest games ever made is Vanguard, for the PC. Once installed it uses up well over 20 gigs of hard drive space! Yet it is shipped on a single DVD. Amazing huh? And remember, the Final Fantasy series on the original playstation always spanned multiple discs, yet that certainly didnt stop the game from selling. Not by a longshot. So don't believe the lies about the need for more capacity. Also, additional content can be streamed via the internet if it comes down to that. Stuff like fmv cutscenes, which games dont really need. I mean, why else would the PS3 have wifi and a hard drive if not to store additional downloaded content? shrug

Remember, the PS3 was originally set to launch at around the same time as the XBox 360. The greed of Sony is what pushed it back. They wanted Blu-Ray, and they wanted it so badly that they even allowed Microsuck to gain a 5 million unit advantage. Talk about stupid! But does Sony care? Hell no. Because they got what they wanted: For Blu-Ray to get its day in the sun.

Here is where it gets complicated. It's actually very simple, it's just that few people have actually bothered to explain what's really going on here. That's where I come in! heh. It's time to talk about the ugly truth. You see, Sony has never really cared about gamers. They view gamers with a sort of cynical contempt. They took 10 years to build up the Playstation brand name. They did a pretty good job too, I must admit. I always preferred them compared to microsoft. Believe me, the last thing I want is to see the ol Vole monopolize the video game market! If that happens you can kiss all innovation goodbye! But as it turns out, Sony is actually being the bigger of the two turds. To understand what's really going on, it helps to know their business plan for the PS3. What they wanted to do with it is use it to leverage their precious Blu-Ray against HD-DVD. They are determined not to repeat the Betamax debacle. They approached all the movie studios and said, look this thing is gonna sell like hotcakes. Look at how many PS2's are out there! Well, in a few years there's gonna be that many PS3's, and they all got Blu-Ray! So it would be foolish to support HD-DVD. And most of the big movie studios bought the bull.

To be clear, both high definition video formats are a joke and a scam. How do I know this? Because right as I type this, there sits a folder on my hard drive, and in that folder contains many beautiful pristine 1080p high definition movie clips. (Mostly just trailers.) They are mainly just 2 or 3 minute clips, but I noticed something about them. And this is a very big thing! These are high quality H.264 encoded video clips. I found that if I take the size of one of these 3 minute clips, and multiply that by 50 (150 minutes) I noticed that it could easily fit on one DVD. Very easily. In fact you could double the quality, or double the content, and it would still all fit on one DVD! So why the need for an expensive blue laser and a whole new format? Uh, duh, there is none. It's a scam. A big money scam. In fact, the amount of money at stake here is so massive that Sony is actually willing to flush the PS3 down the toilet (and give the big middle finger to gamers) just so they could gain the leverage they need to win the format war. They might do just that. But scammers have a way of losing in the end, and I believe that both formats will ultimately fail because of it.

The important thing to note is that if Blu-Ray wins, it is a loss for everyone. Howso? Because it is the most expensive of the two formats. Not just the hardware, but the media too. In fact it is going to prove so costly that it is going to be a boon for all forms of discless media. Download services, as well as the cable and satellite services, are going to be the real winners here. And as for disc based media? Who is going to be the winner? No one really. We've been taught to believe that competition is good for the consumer, but this is not true in all cases. This is the reason I am blogging about this topic now. It is very important to be able to see the different between say, a price war between AMD and Intel, and what is going on between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. I guarantee that if 3 years ago they would have just sucked it up and agreed on ONE format, the cheaper format, then right now as I type this in March of 2007, you'd be able to go to the nearest Best Buy, or Walmart, or wherever, and buy a high definition DVD player for $100. And by the end of this year, High-def DVD sales would be in a position to overtake regular DVD. Now that has been pushed back at least 3 years! Wow. Way to screw up! Even as the price of a 32" LCD is set to fall below $500, the price of the players is still rediculously high, and will remain so for quite some time. (In what kind of insane world does a damn dvd player cost more than a 32 inch HDTV? lol) And not only that, but the Playstation brand name has been tarnished considerably. The future of the Cell processor has been all but destroyed, because it was so late to the mass market. It's sad really. So Blu-Ray fanbois, rejoice. I hope you dumbasses are still rejoicing two years from now when a Hi-def DVD burner costs over $100 and the blank discs still cost over 5 bucks apiece. Idiots.

You know who else loses in this format war? The movie studios! Kind of ironic eh? They could have made billions off of HD sales by now, but no, they had to buy Sony's bs hype. Thanks to gamers. Those gamers who were gonna flock to buy PS3's. A fair amount still did, and god knows how many in europe are gonna shell out the big bucks this week just so they can pay even more money later on!

Hey you PS3 lovers, I got a question for ya. If Sony put a damn cuisinart on the PS3, would you still buy it? Yes, Sony thinks you're that stupid. And quite frankly, ya act like it too.


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