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.
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