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Sony CEO Uncertain of Blu-ray Future

by November 13, 2007
If only Blu-ray had a time machine...

If only Blu-ray had a time machine...

After the spanking Blu-ray got at the hands of HD DVD recently, Sony's CEO Sir Howard Stringer commented that the two formats are in a "stalemate" according to the Associated Press. While he doesn't cite the falling prices of HD DVD players compared to their own "budget" $400 players, he did mention that the coup HD DVD pulled by wooing Paramount into an exclusive deal as being a deciding factor in the current state of the format war.

As we have long suspected, Sony seems to have been pricing their players higher in order to give the impression of higher quality over their less expensive HD DVD rivals. Stringer mentioned in his interview that they were trying to win on "merits" though what those merits might be in an incomplete format escapes us. Stringer suggested that there was a time for a unification of the two formats in the past but blamed his predecessors for letting that opportunity slip through their fingers. But lets face it, once Sony introduces something like this (SACD anyone?) they don't "unify" anything. They just keep pushing until it dies.

With more and more dual disc players on the horizon, unification may be a moot point anyhow - at least eventually. At around $1000, dual discs are still only in the realm of those with large amounts of disposable income or the terminally impatient. At this point, there is no reason to assume that their Ethernet port (currently used exclusively by the HD DVD half of the player) will be able to be utilized for BD-Live. Wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants!

As far as we're concerned, Sony's decision to put a Blu-ray player in their Playstation 3 console is the only reason there is a format war at all. If not for that installed base (40% of which don't even realize that their PS3 has Blu-ray capability), HD DVD would have won on price alone. Consumers don't care which format wins, the just want the latest and greatest technology - and they want it cheap. HD DVD is providing that right now while the only thing that Blu-ray is providing (according to their current marketing blitz) is Disney titles. We all know that ads aimed at kids work but it seems a little low to be pushing children into begging for a $400 player. But when you're desperate…


About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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