Does the Blu-Ray Victory Impact the 360-PS3 Battle?


So now that HD-DVD is out of the picture, and every single major movie studio (even Universal and Paramount) is now backing Blu-Ray, will this impact the console battle between 360 and PS3?

I vote a definite yes. Sure, HD-DVD was always strictly optional to the 360, and none of the main functionality is adversely affected by this, but there are two big reasons, why this most definitely does affect the console battle.

People actually want HD movies on discs

More and more people are buying HDTVs and high end sound setups every day. Not so surprisingly, they want content with improved sound and video to go with that expensive hardware, and Blu-Ray is the only option that does that on physical media which is what most consumers are used to. Also, the audience for HD movies has a high overlap with the audience for games. Since the PS3 and 360 are priced very similarly, Blu-Ray is a strong differentiator.

Perception

Mass market sales and the whims of the zeitgest are about perception. Even if the loss of HD-DVD doesn’t affect the actual functionality of the Xbox 360 it definitely hurts perception. A year ago, every news website, magazine, and discussion forum was flooded with overwhelming pro-360 and anti-PS3 sentiment. Events like this strongly shift that sentiment in the PS3’s favor.

Remember how strongly Microsoft execs and PR promoted their HD-DVD add-on strategy and predicted it the winner, or how the 360 fans and fansites were loudly cheering HD-DVD in online and offline discussions around the globe, or how the media always aligned the 360 with HD-DVD and the PS3 with Blu-Ray? HD-DVD failing so spectacularly is definitely affecting public perception.

(OK, guys, that’s enough Blu-Ray posts for now. Back to games! :) )

Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it in the comments…


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by gb on February 20th, 2008

    Im sure ps3’s sales will rise alot now with it being a cheap blu ray player (i know 3 ppl who only use it as a player and have no games), just have to wait & see if game attachment is high or not.

    hopefully with the big games this year it will increase

  2. #2 by James on February 20th, 2008

    People new to HD are going to now be in the market for a Blu-Ray player, and it’s been well documented in the press recently that the PS3 is the best Blu-Ray player on the market due to its price and updateable firmware. Therefore PS3 sales should be given a decent boost with this news. Once the PS3 is under their TV and they’re happy with the Blu-Ray playback they’ll probably then go out and buy a few games to go with it. And tadaaa, a new PS3 convert is born.

  3. #3 by mpz on February 20th, 2008

    I agree. This is a big blow not only to XBox but Microsoft’s whole “microsoft in the home” strategy. Network’s are just not developed sufficiently for HD digital downloads yet. And it will be some time before they are – and physical media will probably be around for some time even after that. And now they lose another attack vector into everybody’s home too – HDi.

    Don’t believe their lies that the xbox is all about games – they are aiming to control all information and entertainment in your house, and collect a little bit on every deal along the way. Of course, that’s what Sony wants too …

    And even on the game front – more ps3’s sold as dvd players mean a bigger potential market, leading to more and higher quality titles. Which means more competition for xbox.

    Microsoft’s initial advantage of being released a year earlier will probably become a disadvantage. Apart from the negative hd-dvd association, another perception it that it is older technology – the lack of a HD drive just enforces this perception.

  4. #4 by Solid_Nat on February 20th, 2008 [ 490 Points ]

    This brings the PS3 into the mainstream. As James says above, you buy a PS3 for the blu-ray player and then you see games like Singstar, Buzz, etc and suddenly you realise that great party games can be bought for this system too, and on it goes.

    The PS2 had a DVD player and it was the first console to do it, look how quickly video died after that, granted HD-DVD put up a great fight but the same thing is happening again, now Blu-ray is the winner the PS3 is suddenly the best option for movie buffs, and gamers alike.

  5. #5 by Decompiled on February 20th, 2008

    This is a win for Sony unless Microsoft brings out a Blu-ray player too. If MS where to bundle a Blu-ray player with the Elite they might even have one-up on the PS3.

  6. #6 by Ian Robinson on February 20th, 2008

    I bought my PS3 to go with my 1080p Sony Bravia last April. It was bought to be a Blu-ray player. I saw the games console as a free addon. Several people in my office have done the same in the last few months.
    I do use the games console functionality as well as using it as a Blu-ray player.

  7. #7 by Carl;)G on February 20th, 2008

    I’m glad Blu-ray won;)
    But because of Sony wanting to include Blue-ray in the PS3(glad they did tho)they made cut-backs on the PS3
    i.e NO 100% B/C for PS2 games on PS3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-/
    (Sorry! that STILL winds me up big time!!!) :-/
    (+thank god i got a 60GB PS3 last year,but its not:-( 100% B/C with PS2 games tho:-/ i.e All the Ratchet&Clank PS2 games stutter+a few others are not right!)
    Just makes the console feel a bit un-finished like :-/
    +I prefer to own a film on disc, rather than a download.
    If you could buy a Blu-ray dvd & store the film on your PS3 that would be good! ;)

  8. #8 by SL33PY on February 20th, 2008

    To Carl, As I stated before, Sony is currently working on a software solution to emulate software for PSOne, PS2 and PS3 games for both PS3 and a next gen console.

    There was an employment ad out for the position months ago. I hope that Sony could fill it, I don’t know about Japan, but in Belgium (and Europe in general) good programmers are very scarce and the demand is enourmous.

    I almost get called on a daily basis to invite me to job interviews.

    So don’t hold your breath for it, but still Sony is working on it. At the same time everyone knows that the PS4 will be fully backwards compatible with every playstation platform ever made.

  9. #9 by JimmyStewart on February 20th, 2008

    I don’t think it has much impact on the console wars… after all the 360 was not an HD-DVD player. What if any impact the format war had on consoles I’d say would’ve been apparent by this point. Just as not having an HD-DVD drive built in hasn’t hurt MS in terms of it’s sales or attach rates, having a Blu-Ray built in hasn’t helped Sony win the console war yet or sell any games.

    I’d say in general the people (at least in NA) seem to see things similar to my own view. When I wanted a great media server and Blu-Ray player… I bought a PS3. When I wanted to play some games, I bought a 360. I still think a majority of PS3 sales are from people who want a cheap Blu-Ray player that happens to play a handful of games as well. I bought my PS3s to play movies, I bought my 360s to play games.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only chance Sony has to impact the console race is to put out a better selection of games. It can sell as a great Blu-Ray player (it’s why I bought my PS3s) but it will remain a successful Blu-Ray player and not a successful console until they start selling games to match. Hopefully now that the high def battle is over they can start to focus on some games. I’d love to use my PS3 for more than Blu-Rays.

  10. #10 by Gary on February 20th, 2008

    Bizarrely, I’m not bothered about this. The only thing I give a damn about is the games and the future is looking very bright in that department for the PS3.

    If HD-DVD dying helps to boost sales of the PS3 then great.

  11. #11 by Paranoimia on February 20th, 2008

    I bought my PS3 for games. Having had no end of problems with my original Xbox, I deliberately avoided the 360, and I’m glad I did. The majority of games I want to play are on the PS3, and in terms of the exclusives, the PS3 has the ones I want. I’ve played several titles on my friend’s 360 and been largely unimpressed by all except Gears.

    Then there’s the reliability issue. Every person I know with a 360 is on at least their 2nd unit. Even if the 360 had games I wanted, there’s no way I’d hand over money to Microsoft for such an obvious POS console. Even the new models at GDC are dying, FFS! In my personal opinion, anyone who sticks with the 360 after sending back 2 or (in many cases) more units needs their head examined.

  12. #12 by Darrin on February 20th, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Jimmy, I think you are being a little naive. Game selection is obviously a huge factor. No one denies that. But you are underestimating the impact of marketing, zeitgest, and peripheral features.

  13. #13 by mcloki on February 20th, 2008

    It’s going to have a huge impact.
    People who buy the ps3 as a games console were predisposed to do so before “THE END” of the war.
    What this victory for Sony will do is bring a potentially huge market of people who never had a console before into their living room.
    These consumers can be “won” over by showing them the PS3 can play movies as well as do VOIP, and possible video Chat with an eyetoy. Think about marketing HOME as a virtual long distance telephone. Only available on the PS3 and home computer. And everyone knows how hard it is to get movies from your computer to the PS3. Harder than slipping in the disk. PS3 wins for simplicity. This new market is the same market that the wii went after. Soccer moms that need a brand they can trust. And Nintendo and Apple don’t sell Bluray players. Yet.

  14. #14 by Justin on February 20th, 2008

    Besides the HD video content, the PS3’s Blu-Ray drive allows for games with dramatically more data than the 360’s standard DVD drive. So not only does the PS3 win on HD video content, but also on the ability to offer games with more depth and detail. Microsoft really tried to keep the price down and gain market share by not including any HD player in the 360. That stategy worked in the short term, but currently the PS3 is outselling the 360. Microsoft tried to hedge it’s bet by offering an HD DVD drive as an add-on, but that really didn’t do much to change the overall situation they created for themselves. Over the next year or two I would anticipate PS3 to overtake the 360 in installed base – largely on it’s Blu-Ray video playback and better quality games.

  15. #15 by matt on February 20th, 2008

    Installed base means nothing this generation. How well multi-platform games are selling on each system matters. Call of Duty 4 sold WAY more on 360 than PS3. Much more than the ratio of 360s to PS3s. Developers want to sell games to people who ARE buying games, not the potential customers. Millions of people bought a PS3 for a movie player only. Some may even buy a game or two. We as gamers need them to buy many games to bring up the attach rate.

    Microsoft will have a Blu-Ray attachment out by summer to fill that need. No way they have been sitting around waiting for HD-DVD to fail before acting. The writing has been on the wall for a long time for HD-DVD.

    The 360 and Wii are sold as game machines. They fact they have other functions does not change that first major reason to own them. The PS3 functions best right now as a Movie Player and a Games Machine second.

    Blu-Ray inclusion in the PS3 has now served the major reason it was included in the first place. It won a very lucrative business that Sony will make billions off of in the future from royalties. I just hope that Sony will now do whatever it takes to correct the problems they have caused for themselves with the PS3s gaming side. First get the damn price down to $299 fast. Second get the developers some help so they can get the most out of the Cell. One year in and the PS3 is still falling all over itself.

  16. #16 by Sporty on February 20th, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    That’s not exactly true matt.

    COD4 sold 2.3 million on PS3, and 4.75m on 360. While it’s true that 360 outsold by more then 50% and has a higher attach rate then PS3, the PS3 sales are enough that developers can’t ignore.

    And since this is now the 8th week in a row that PS3 outsold 360 in the US, leaving no territory where PS3 isn’t outselling 360 I would hardly call it “falling all over itself” And keep in mind PS3 reached 10 million sold 4 months faster then 360 hit 10 shipped.

    I hate doing this PS3 vs 360 crap but seems everytime Matt posts its’ ‘PS3 still sucks and 360 is god, but I hope it can improve’ angle, often ignoring current facts.

  17. #17 by matt on February 21st, 2008

    Sporty you are a complete moron. Please re-read my posts because as usual you completely ignore what I write. The TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS SOLD MEANS NOTHING TO DEVELOPERS. The Cod4 reference is one example. All 3rd party games sell worse than CoD4 compared to 360. MILLIONS OF PS3S ARE USED AS BLU-RAY PLAYERS ONLY

    Learn how to do math or write correctly. The 360 sold TWICE the amount the PS3 did (200+%). More people are buying games on the 360 with a similar amount of consoles in the market. What this means is if a company can only develop for one console the 360 wins 99% of the time. This means less games for people like yourself who only own 1 system. This is why the PS2 had hundreds and hundreds more games than the Xbox and Cube. The PS2 was almost a sure bet compared to the others.

    The PS3 is falling all of inself because SONY PROVIDES SHIT SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPERS BUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU BLAME THE DEVELOPERS AND CALL THEM LAZY. If Sony wasn’t so damn arrogant they might get great games to us sooner.

    You might think I am a Sony Hater but I don’t care. I have given them much more money in my life than you ever will. I want them to step the F#$% up and get back to games. If Microsoft wasn’t pushing the envelope Sony wouldn’t have created the PS3 as they did. Now with serious competition from Nintendo they might concentrate a little harder. The only Fanboys in this forum are the people who react like yourself to any criticism that I throw out there. Will Sony pay your mortgage if you are a little short this month? How about take you to work while your car is in the shop? Of course not so stop treating them like gods. They are nowhere near perfect and their game division needs an overhaul. Sony has lost the drive the had when the PSOne came out. Most of you are too young to understand my views so be it. Trust me I know more than most of you considering business and how it is run. Sony does not treat gamers with any respect. Nintendo and Microsoft listen to their audience and really try to implement what they want. WAKE UP.

  18. #18 by Slim Franny 81 on March 4th, 2008

    There’s no comparison when it comes to Xbox 360 or the Ps3. Both are still the next generation game consoles, and they both give equal experience. When it came down to movie format. Blu Ray hands down won. From start to finish. Give it a couple of years and we’ll see the prices drop a bit enough for consumers like us to purchase a blu ray player. So if they don’t decide to put a Blu Ray attachment on the 360, you can always go out and buy a player. All In all Playstation 3 is hands down the best console out right now. I haven’t had any problems with mine so far and I know a lot of 360 consumers have had there red ring of death problems, unplayable disc problems. So why go 360? for the network? its not about quantity, it’s about the quality. Would you rather buy a Lexus or a Honda? tsk tsk.


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