Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HD-DVD is Dead
Damn you Sony

Well, I guess it was inevitable but Sony has finally won the high definition DVD format war. With Toshiba abandoning its own format, there’s really no competition left to stand against Blu-Ray. It’s too bad cause I was really enjoying this particular technological war.

The color coding was perfect. Blu-Ray went with blue boxes for everything so it was easy to see in stores. So naturally, HD-DVD went with the red box. It was like some sort of mockery of the democratic system. Though I personally would have made Blu-Ray the Red Republicans and HD-DVD the Blue Democrats since Toshiba was sort of the format of choice whereas Sony was just buying everyone out to convert them to their format. It was also Sony that stonewalled the talks of combining the two technologies.

It’s funny how this reminds me of the original reason to buy a Playstation 2 when it was first coming out. Even then it was severely overpriced, but DVDs were the new big thing. The PS2 played DVD movies, and it just happened to be one of the cheapest DVD players on the market at the time. It became highly coveted as a result (despite not having any good games for about a year or more). People would flip out when a PS2 was offered as a prize at some stupid company raffle. Probably because it was so overpriced.

Anyways, now that Blu-Ray has won the format war, that pretty much opens the door for PS3 domination of the game market again. Despite its expensive nature, if you want to get maximum use out of your high def tv, you need a high definition movie player. The PS3 is the cheapest one on the market at the moment. Plus it plays games…

What sucks is that Blu-Ray is also the more expensive DVD format. In Sony’s hands, it will become practically intolerable. They love to charge all sorts of fees for people using their format, so expect Blu-Ray DVD prices to stay high for a very long time (even as the manufacturing costs decrease). That’s just Sony’s way. Sony has been quite arrogant for a long time and I was really hoping that they’d lose this format war and eat a bit of humble pie. But I guess it wasn’t to be.

There is one glimmer of hope though. Digital distribution could surpass all disc media formats and come to the forefront fairly soon. The 360 already allows high definition TV shows to be downloaded directly. TiVo now allows you to record shows in high def, and they also allow you to download movies from Amazon.com directly to your TiVo over any internet connection. We are an inherently lazy people, and digital distribution really rubs us in all the right areas. Imagine never having to get up off your couch to put a new disc into the DVD player… You just turn on your 360 or TiVo using the wireless remote, select the movie from a list and hit play. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, you can already do it, right now.

So you can have your little blue laser technology Sony. You can overprice your stupid product out of the market too. You can also keep your lame blu-ray DVDs at a high premium if you want. I for one, have moved straight to the digital model and while I will sorely miss the workout of getting up to change the disc in my DVD player, I won’t miss your arrogance and your overpricing, Sony.

If I were a betting man, I’d start investing heavily into colostomy bags and dialysis machines…

posted by CommanderHate at 6:30 pm  

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