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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The Age of Blu-Ray by Richard Weber

The Age of Blu-Ray by Richard Weber

Do you remember how awesome it was when you upgraded from you old VHS tapes to DVDs? The picture was way clearer and the sound was amazing, right? Well another technology shift of even greater proportions is on the horizon in the home entertainment industry.

A standard DVD or DVD-R disc has about 4.7 GB of storage, but the new Blu-Ray discs have over 25 GB of storage on a single-layer disc and 50 GB on a dual-layer disc! And all that extra space, over 10 times more than a regular DVD, does not go to waste. Movies in Blu-Ray format will have crystal clear, life-like High Definition picture and superb digital sound. This unprecedented high quality combined with a 1080p High-Definition TV will be like nothing you have ever seen before. Are you salivating yet?

The only thing that will stop you from running to your nearest Circuit City, Best Buy or Sony Style to pick up a Blu-Ray player and a couple movies to go with it (and if you're really ambitious, you can buy a Blu-Ray disc burner too) is the large and almost unwieldy price tag.

Today, a stand-alone Blu-Ray player will cost you around $1000, with each movie at about $50, meaning it would take a sizable chunk out of that portion of your bank account you allocate towards home entertainment. Now if you have a phone number annual salary that won't be a problem, but what about for the rest of us?

Well, just as with any new and emerging technology, the price will be very high at the outset, meaning that mostly techies and people who don't mind dishing out a few thousand bucks will buy it. But with time (maybe even in time for the 2006 holiday season), the price will drop until it becomes affordable. And for those of you who absolutely can not wait to get one of these awesome pieces of technology in your living room, you will be glad to hear that the new Sony Playstation 3 coming in November 2006 will come equipped with a Blu-Ray player. This next-gen console will cost around $600, a bargain for just the Blu-ray player.

The Playstation 3 will be the most powerful gaming machine ever released in terms of raw computing power. It features a new technology called a "Cell" chip, which works like 9 CPU microchips in one. This allows for blazing speeds and spectacular graphics, especially when it comes to running lots of programs simultaneously.

So, how do you obtain this tantalizing cinematic machine without overdrawing your checking account? My advice is to wait until the holiday season. The mainstream will have caught wind of the new Blu-Ray technology and it will become a holiday must-have. The price will inevitably be lower, and it will be your choice whether you want to go with a stand-alone player or a PS3.

If you wish to find out more about Blu-Ray players and what movies are available, check out for more information. This is a technology that will awe and inspire, and it will forever change the home theater experience.

About the Author

Richard Weber

-- Author and owner of

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The HD Media future by Jay Jeetley

The HD Media future

Everyone knows that media format wars have historical significance in the world of technology. Remember the most notorious battle between the Beta max and the VHS? The winner of such battles will make millions even billions. Later we had the upgrade of tape to CD, a revolution in music. In 1980 the Philips/Sony compact disc standard was finalized and nobody has looked back for the last 26 years (until mp3's came along).

Well as ever there is a new media battle but who will win again is yet unknown. This modern forest of technological mass has produced a new insurgency: THE HIGH DEFINITION WAR. Blu-ray vs HD-DVD are two competing formats which are eventually going to replace DVD's. As you look around at your local electric retailers you can see changes happening in the broadcast world, not only are we changing from our conventional CRT screens to Flat screen but also to HD ready TV. The impact this has on our lives is not as large as black and white to colour, but nevertheless a change that will definitely be a benchmark for future media.

Why New formats?

The reason we have introduced these new formats is that your traditional DVD can hold a maximum of 9.4 GB (Dual Layer) of information. This is not enough for HD broadcast as the information required is higher, being a resolution of 1920x1080. Blu-ray discs can hold 50 GB (Dual Layer) and HD-DVD 30 GB (Dual Layer). These new discs cannot be played on normal DVD players but on new HD media players of which examples are Samsung BDP 1000 (Blu-Ray), Sony Playstation 3 (Blu-Ray), Toshiba HDXA1 (HD-DVD). This means spending more money for better resolution.


This is always important especially when new models of media come out; at first it is always expensive as supply out strips demand. The players are expensive, the cheapest being the Playstation 3 supposedly retailing at £549. Blu-Ray media also being expensive; similar to DVD's when they first came out (taking inflation into consideration), blank media costing from £11.99 to £24.99.

To play a Blu-ray Disc on a PC has brought about a price concern. The fact that you have to purchase a HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) Graphic card, along with a HD monitor, not to mention a Blu-ray Drive and media, controversially may bring about decrease in sales. This is presently being contested with new Laptops and PCs that are Blu-ray compatible, look at the New Vaio VGN-AR21S.

The HD players need to be up to scratch on price. The Toshiba HD-DVD player retailing at almost half the price of the Blu-ray Samsung player creates even more competition between the two media. This could encourage sales of HD-DVD over Blu-ray, even though it's rumoured that Toshiba will be making a loss initially.

Prices of movies doesn't seem to be as high as anticipated; a Blu-ray movie 'House of flying daggers' from will set you back $19.95 (£10.68). This may encourage sales. Movies in HD-DVD identical in price, yet Blu-ray is a larger size disc.


Another problem HD may face is that the new DVD players have the upscaling technology ie. DVD is played at 480p but upscalers upgrade the image to 720p or 1080i. This produces a picture which is of high quality to the untrained eye, in fact even the trained eye has difficulty distinguishing between the two. The difference is seen on a 50 inch HD projector and looking right up close. So the question is will 1080p be much different to 1080i? Will people fork out the added expense when they know that a cheaper DVD upscaler will create more or less the same effect?

Media Backup

Software and Hardware companies have invested a lot of money in subsidising HD media. Samsung, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, LG, Sony, TDK, JVC and Sharp support Blu-ray and Toshiba and Microsoft back HD-DVD. Hollywood movie studios Disney, Paramount, Warner, Sony, Eagle rock, Fox and MGM and Lions gate support Blu-ray also. None of these large companies would take such a gamble if they didn't know that this is what the consumer wants.

PlayStation 3

Sony love to bring out their own media whether its Sony Duo Sticks or Sony Mini Discs. Their hunger to dominate the consumer market has always been there and this is nothing different. The Playstation 3 will play Blu-Ray discs, still having the ability to play older media like DVDs and CDs. The success of the predecessor's PS1 and PS2 will give much anticipation to the release of this new console and is what Sony are hoping will convert people to use Blu-Ray. A Sony spokesman has predicted that Blu-Ray will dominate the HD market within 12 months.

The encouraging feature with HD-DVD is the name, everyone's ears will ring with the name and automatically assume that this is a high definition movie. Asking someone in the street what 'Blu-ray' is will bring looks of confusion, along with the fact that both will produce similar quality pictures.

Region Coding

Region coding with Blu-Ray may put people off; the fact that you may not be able to watch a new release from the states or Japan on your European locked regional player will raise eyebrows.

REGION 1 South America, North America, East Asia (except China)
REGION 2 Europe and Africa
REGION 3 China, Russia other Countries

Multiregional configurations on DVD players has encouraged sales worldwide especially with worldwide films from Bollywood, Japan (manga) and South America.

So far the HD-DVD camp has not announced region coding just yet, and if they don't then this will be very advantageous for consumers.

Future Proof

Realistically you only need about 15-20 GB for a feature length film in High definition but who would have known that DVD's could not be able to hold enough for high definition. Theoretically they can with MPEG-4 Compression. In any case media like Blu-ray will hopefully be future proof in years to come.


The timescale and price are the two main issues here, how quick we will universally change to HD and whether this is affordable. From a consumer point of view the necessity for HD doesn't seem imperative, after all VHS was around for 20 odd years twice that of DVD (so far). You could argue that technology is changing exponentially and that changes occur quicker.

As for the battle between the two media there may be compromise ahead. A UK firm has announced a solution to the media war. London-based New Medium Enterprises (NME) has developed a low-cost, multilayer DVD disc that can store Blu-ray content on one layer and HD DVD content on another. This would leave the consumer with the choice of buying either type of player to play the one disc.

The key setback I feel with the looming HD change is the cheaper alternative to a Blu-Ray player or HD-DVD player, the DVD upscaler. Do people want to get rid of those hundreds of DVDs they bought to replace them with an expensive alternative, especially when they might not even notice the difference in picture quality?

However I do feel that HD is encouraged with consoles such as the Playstation 3. Blu-ray is its main format and may revolutionise the games industry.

About the Author

Jay Jeetley is a writer for the website, a resource for Blu-ray News, movies, forums and media

Official PS4 site

PS3 games online

Regardless of whether you're looking for classic nintendo games, or free playstation 3 demo games, within the playstation 3 network, you can actually log in and download them directly to the playstation 3. Some people speculate that the playstation 4 won't even require disks for the reason that they will be downloaded online. Regardless of what the playstation 4 holds, it's better to understand the intentions of the PS4 by first understanding the advancements that have been made in the playstation 3. The PS3 is by far one of the better, if not the best and most advanced systems out there. It stands to reason that the PS4 will be even better. So I want to direct your attention to an article that I found about PS3 games online. Enjoy.

Title: PS3 games online

John Hight, external production director for SCEA, is the overseer of PS3 games' digital distribution program, E-Distribution Initiative. He claims that this new distribution project will benefit Sony and open opportunities for game developers. Hight explains that online distribution erases inventory risks while being cost-effective. He asserts that this is Sony's contribution in the anti-piracy drive because online distribution will curtail the sales of used games and software transfer.

As added benefit for the developers and aspiring developers of PS3 games, the difficulties of breaking in the game publishing industry is minimized by the online platform. Through the online platform new games by big and new developers can be tested with low risks in a medium that encourages quick feedback. There is no need to publish the game and get reviewers to test it. The prototype of the game is uploaded in the online platform where actual PS3 gamers can play it and post their own reviews. Hight asserts, in another dig at Microsoft, that their company is committed to game development in the circle of its own studios. He reminds that Microsoft relies on third party game developers to supply their Live Arcade with games. He even added that Sony opens platform doors for independent publishers who funded their own games. But not just any game can make it to Sony's online platform. Hight stresses that despite the openness of their platform, Sony is only looking for new and fresh ideas to benefit from the influence of the PS3.

Sony Computer Entertainment's Ken Kutaragi, amplifies the cost-efficiency of their online platform. He states that they expect high returns from the sales of downloadable PS3 games. He also denies reports about added fees and charges for playing and networking through the E-Distribution Initiative. He explains that all basic services from Sony's online platform will be free except for the downloads.

SCEA also confirms reports that some of their PS3 games, downloaded or not, are not compatible with Xbox 360. The company gives hardware demands and game designs as reasons behind the incompatibility. This confirmation coincided with the announcement of new game titles developed exclusively for Sony.

From these, Sony makes it clear that it is taking steps to compete with Microsoft even in the online arena. Though the initial information released by SCEA is vague, the online platform clearly has two primary functions: PS3 games download and player interaction. Its basic functions are much like that of Microsoft's online platform. The PS3 games console is facing a tough challenge from Xbox 360 because of its delayed launch. Whether the E-Distribution Initiative will face the same challenge remains to be seen when it collides with the more established Xbox Live Arcade.

For more valuable information on ps3 games please visit

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