Thursday, December 7, 2006

Has Sony Already Won The Hd Format War With The Release Of The Ps3?

Has Sony Already Won The Hd Format War With The Release Of The Ps3? by Gary Ruplinger

Can the Playstation 3 Help Sony and Friends Win The HD Format War?

Quiet as things have been, it'd actually be hard to tell that there is a format war going on right now for high definition discs. There's Toshiba (among others) on one side with its HD-DVD format and then there's Sony (among others) with its Blu-ray format. Both offer far higher disc capacity than standard DVD players and much high quality images and sound.

So far neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray has made much progress making it into consumers' homes.

However, that's all about to change.

With the release of Sony's third generation gaming system, the Playstation 3, millions of homes will have a Blu-ray player in them. Sony made the decision to include its new Blu-ray player in the Playstation 3 rather than go with a PS3 proprietary format or a DVD player that it included with the PS2. Although Sony's decision to include a Blu-ray player in their new PS3 has caused them many problems, including forcing the company to take a much higher loss on each unit than expected* and with production problems due to shortages of the blue diodes needed to make the players, this strategy will likely pay off in the long run for Sony.

In fact, one would have to wonder how Toshiba could even compete with Sony's ability to get Blu-ray players into the homes of millions of Americans. Toshiba has no game system that people will line up to buy.

Given what's likely to happen, it would seem that the answer is no. So far neither format has really shown to be leaps and bounds better than the other. In fact, both are about equivalent. Are consumers who already have a Blu-ray player with their PS3 really going to go out and buy an HD-DVD player from Toshiba? Not likely. However, many owners of one of Toshiba's players will likely go out and buy a Playstation 3 to keep up with the latest gaming technology. It would seem as if Toshiba's HD-DVD format is destined to be another technology relic like betamax and DVD-Audio.

Also, it appears likely that the PS3 will help to drive increased sales of Blu-ray movies since PS3 owners will have a Blu-ray player and will likely want to own their movies in a higher quality format since they have the player. Even those who don't have the high definition equipment will likely buy some in the hopes that in the future they will have the equipment to fully take advantage of the new technology or even merely for bragging rights.

*It is customary for game system manufacturers to take a loss on the sales of the gaming units when they're first released in order to allow more people to purchase the system. The companies know they can make there money back when consumers purchase games for these systems. Also, over time, the prices of the components to make the systems come down so that eventually the manufacturers do make a profit on each system sold.

About the Author

Gary Ruplinger is the editor of and If you want to learn how to get a PS3 before Christmas without having to pay $2,000 on eBay or camp out for 2 days at a store, then be sure to visit right away.

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