Blu-ray’s Big Day

November 17, 2006

Blu-raySo the PlayStation 3 launched today; that is if you call 150K to 200K consoles a real launch. Aside from relatively few PS3’s available at retailers, scaling issues reports of HDMI errors, a robbery a shooting and running face-first into a flag pole; everything went well.

Ok, in all seriousness you had to expect me to take a few jabs but I do have some real concerns and observations. As many of you know I prefer HD DVD over Blu-ray but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in Blu-ray’s progress. One of the things that has concerned me for the last several months is the seeming dependence on the PS3 to carry the format forward.

Back when I picked sides, some of us joked about the PS3’s importance in Blu-ray’s success but in the following months even executives from Sony and other Blu-ray partners have increasingly echoed that importance. What about affordable stand-alone players? Are we relegated to $600 game consoles and $1k+ stand-alone players for Blu-ray playback, for immediate future? Perhaps, but relief is on the way.

Digitimes is reporting that Sony and NEC’s Optiarc Inc. expects Blu-ray drive prices to drop 50% by 2008. Those drive cost reductions combined with the further production refinements should parlay into stand-alone Blu-ray players that are competitively priced with Toshiba’s HD-A1 and HD-A2.

However, even with lower cost Blu-ray players on the horizon, Blu-ray as a format may have bigger issues to contend with. While the overall quality of Blu-ray titles have improved somewhat after the disappointing initial batch of titles, reviews like this one don’t exactly leave me ready to abandon my Toshiba HD-XA1 just yet.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Blu-ray


Comments

  • Tim

    Although I would say I’m more in favor of Blu-ray over HD-DVD, both of them stumbled out of the starting gates, and it’s just going to take some time before all the kinks with the players and the software are ironed out. But I think the real progress will occur once the cheap combo standalone players start coming out and the masses start snatching them up.

  • Tim

    Although I would say I’m more in favor of Blu-ray over HD-DVD, both of them stumbled out of the starting gates, and it’s just going to take some time before all the kinks with the players and the software are ironed out. But I think the real progress will occur once the cheap combo standalone players start coming out and the masses start snatching them up.

  • David

    i think it’s going to be a good few months yet before we start to see half decent blu-ray or hd-dvd players avaliable. That is of course excluding the addon hd-dvd player for the 360 which can apparently be easily made to work with a PC.

  • David

    i think it’s going to be a good few months yet before we start to see half decent blu-ray or hd-dvd players avaliable. That is of course excluding the addon hd-dvd player for the 360 which can apparently be easily made to work with a PC.