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Why the Playstation 4 won't have Blu-ray

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Arrow Why the Playstation 4 won't have Blu-ray

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One of the key components in the Playstation 3 won't be in the Playstation 4 if Sony plays its cards right. And which component is that?

It's Blu-ray drive.

I know Sony zealots will probably scoff at the very thought of Blu-ray not being included in the Playstation 4 because of their belief that so much of Sony's future is tied to Blu-ray, but I'm not willing to sip the Kool-Aid.

To me, Blu-ray is the LaserDisc of its time. It's not nearly as useful as the DVD that it's trying to supplant, and the future is coming on so quickly that it may not have the time to cement itself in the industry before HD downloads become the next big thing in the space.

To make matters worse, I simply don't see how we can categorically say that Blu-ray was such a major part of Sony's success this year with the Playstation 3. Let's be honest--is the average mainstream user who isn't tech-savvy at all, really buying a Playstation 3 to watch the same movies they have on DVD already?

But the fact that the Playstation 4 won't feature Blu-ray goes far beyond the fact that it's not as coveted in the Playstation 3 as some want to believe. In reality, it's more likely that the Playstation 4 won't have Blu-ray than you may think.

The Playstation 4 should be made available in the next three to five years. During that time, Sony will need to work on getting Blu-ray into more homes and try to supplant DVD as the leader in the media space.

But how will it do that? The main advantage DVD still enjoys is that it's mobile and ubiquitous. You can bring a DVD from your house, play it in your car en route to your buddy's place, and finish it when you get to his house. You can't do that with Blu-ray and the chances of it happening soon are slim.

It took DVD almost a decade to reach that kind of saturation, and Blu-ray simply doesn't have that much time. With companies like Apple, Amazon.com, Netflix, and others quickly moving towards a home environment that doesn't require a disc, but rather a download or streaming service, Blu-ray can't compete.

It's becoming easier and easier to stream movies from your computer to your HDTV. A Roku Netflix box means Blu-ray isn't even needed anymore, and cable companies offer VOD service for those that don't feel like popping a DVD into the player. And as broadband speeds increase, making HD downloads more relevant, Blu-ray finds itself squeezed out by the past and the future.

And all the while, Sony is left to make the decision of whether or not it wants to tie its next video game console to an irrelevant format.

But don't take my word for it. Andy Griffiths, the director of consumer electronics at Samsung UK--a strong Blu-ray supporter--told Pocket-lint earlier this month that Blu-ray would be dead in five years and forgotten in 10.

"I think it (Blu-ray) has 5 years left, I certainly wouldn't give it 10," he told Pocket-lint in an interview.

Sony has also been making waves with a new brand of Bravia HDTVs, which will work with the company's MovieLink technology, making Blu-ray and even DVD useless by streaming content directly to the HDTV without the need for a set-top box. If that doesn't make Blu-ray irrelevant, what does?

Granted, the next iteration of the Playstation will need a format to play games on and it might be easier for Sony to use Blu-ray, but I'm not so sure it has to. Microsoft has done just fine using DVDs with the Xbox 360, and game developers have shown that DVDs can still be a fine solution. Even better, DVD production will be even cheaper when the next generation rolls around, and although Blu-ray will be too, it'll undoubtedly cost more to use that format instead of DVD. And in an industry that's being dominated by high cost and diminishing returns, developers will want to save money in any way they can.

The argument is oftentimes made that DVD was experiencing the same issues Blu-ray is today and everything will turn out just fine. And while that's true on a number of levels, the argument fails to address the fact that DVD wasn't being impacted so heavily by the future the way Blu-ray is. After all, the idea of HD downloads and streaming movies to an HDTV were hopes and dreams when DVD first made a splash.

Sony learned quite a few lessons during this generation. It learned that developers really do matter and making them happy is a key component in being successful. It learned that people want a video game console first and an entertainment device second. Not the other way around. And most importantly, it learned that providing a worthwhile experience while keeping the device's price down is just as important as the games.

Can Sony truly learn from those mistakes if it hitches itself to the format that representatives from other companies say will die soon and even its own strategy suggests the same outcome?

Assuming what the analysts say is true--Sony will release a new console in three to five years and Blu-ray will be dead in five--how can the company justify putting a Blu-ray player into the Playstation 4? Does it really want to tie itself to a loser even though it spent so much money trying to make it a winner?

Given the company's financial woes in the video game space as of late, that could turn into its greatest blunder.

The technology industry is pushing Blu-ray aside as more capable offerings become available. I think Sony knows that already and will try to milk Blu-ray for as long as possible. But once the Playstation 4 is announced, the company will make its strategy known: it will forgo support for Blu-ray in the video game space and start focusing on streaming and HD downloads--the future of the industry.
Link: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10042820-17.html
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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This is funny.

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Granted, the next iteration of the Playstation will need a format to play games on and it might be easier for Sony to use Blu-ray, but I'm not so sure it has to. Microsoft has done just fine using DVDs with the Xbox 360, and game developers have shown that DVDs can still be a fine solution. Even better, DVD production will be even cheaper when the next generation rolls around, and although Blu-ray will be too, it'll undoubtedly cost more to use that format instead of DVD. And in an industry that's being dominated by high cost and diminishing returns, developers will want to save money in any way they can.
Ummmmmm, if the PS4 has a drive that plays little 5" discs(not saying it will) it will no doubt be a BD drive. PS3 going back to DVD = idiot writer.

Last edited by hatt; 09-16-2008 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatt View Post
This is funny.


Ummmmmm, if the PS4 has a drive that plays little 5" discs(not saying it will) it will no doubt be a BD drive. PS3 gong back to DVD = idiot writer.
Yeah. This guy obviously has a bias. Face it. Games are getting bigger in size not smaller. The PS4 will most likely support even better graphics which means more space and bandwidth. There is no way a gamer is going to want to play Metal Gear Solid 5 on their PS4 if it means swapping out 10 different DVD's. I can see games eventually being download-only, but not for another 10-15 years.

I love how everybody is quoting the Samsung executive now. He seems to be the rallying cry for the anti-Blu's.

And just look at history of Sony and consoles. Sony has never regressed with regards to game consoles. Going from Blu-Ray to DVD would be taking a step back. Not forward.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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I found it rather interesting that the writer never mentions that the present downloads don't even hold a candle to HDM. Comparing today's streaming downloads to BD is like comparing a Mustang to a Bentley.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:50 PM   #6
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So are games going to be streamed as well? Maybe the PS4 will just be a chip supplied by Sony to your local doctor who will implant it to the base of your skull so you just think your playing games.

All I know is DIe Sony Die! Of course once I get the chip that'll change, lol.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
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Even if Blu ray failed as a movie format it would still be used in the PS4.

Game systems that dont use movie formats:
Playstation 1
Super nintendo
Dreamcast
Gamecube
Nintendo DS
Sega Genesis etc. etc. etc.

Game systems that cant play movie formats:
Wii
etc. etc. etc.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:03 PM   #8
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:18 PM   #9
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Bitter isn't he!
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnyDC View Post
Even if Blu ray failed as a movie format it would still be used in the PS4.

Game systems that dont use movie formats:
Playstation 1
Super nintendo
Dreamcast
Gamecube
Nintendo DS
Sega Genesis etc. etc. etc.

Game systems that cant play movie formats:
Wii
etc. etc. etc.
A bit pedantic I know, but the PS1 could actually play a movie format (as could the DC) as they were both capable of running Video CD (it was actually a big format in Asia even though it completely bypassed the West barring systems such as the Philips CDi)
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Goofnut View Post
I found it rather interesting that the writer never mentions that the present downloads don't even hold a candle to HDM. Comparing today's streaming downloads to BD is like comparing a Mustang to a Bentley.
Yes but unless you have access to a Bentley to compare the Mustang too, The Mustang will do very nicely for most!

I suspect that by the time the PS4 does hit the streets, there will be another more mainstream (and cost effective) content delivery method employed. Otherwise, it would only be an evolutionary change, from Sony. With HD games, the only next technology frontier to tackle is either voice command interface or 3D video or both. IMO.

I do not know why people feel that DL must compared to BD, in all respects! NEWS FLASH: I DOESN"T HAVE TOO!

The competition is not necessarily at a technical level! It is (and should be) at a cost and convenience level!

Personally, I have a ton of HD channels now, available to me on sat. (I pay a monthly premium for this). Are the AQ and PQ comparable to the same content on BD, I suspect not, but I have no idea, as most do not. How is the comparison relevant, to me, anyway? With my HD Sat. I have a much greater selection of movies presented in HD than that of BD and I do not have to take up any shelf space with any more () HDM cases. (Wife is happy = ALWAYS A BONUS!).

Now if I could just watch anything that I recorded, anywhere in the house, I would be completely set for the time being!

Does that mean that there is no longer any room for both, in my world, absolutely not! But that will be some time coming for me, and in the mean time, even with 3mbps DL capability from any D*TV receiver in my home, the more I use it, the more that I am really beginning to like the VOD service.

On my 4 year old Sony 1366x768 HDTV the VOD DL's look good, but on my 4mo. old 1080p TV they look awesome! Do you see where this is going folks! No they will not have loss-less sound, but (speaking for the average person) WHO REALLY CARES?. If they only watch it once every two years, and the DD 5.1 soundtracks have pretty decent fidelity and when cranked up, can still piss off the neighbors?

Anyway, this is pretty much subjective to each individual movie's audio engineering efforts, versus, just the delivery technology. (many older movies do not really benefit much from a loss-less audio track, however some of the newer movies can. It depends upon one's tastes and budget, I guess)

Don't get me wrong, I am a complete proponent of HDM technologies, however, being a realist, I do also see where all of this is destined to go. (it's an on demand world!)

I refuse to maintain blinders on, just to feel good about my recent HDM investments. This is CE folks! By the time you and I can actually buy a product, it is already potentially obsolete from a development standpoint.

HD DL is only waiting on the infrastructure at this point. ALL of the major Hollywood studios want it, to help them maximize their profits. Many have this capability already, and for it is some it is quite impressive. Check out the Fox TV show web site for an good example of one of FIRST generations of HD DL/Streaming technology. Yes, one will need a computer for this, but it is only an example of what is possible today, much less two years from now, if the industry is serious about DL/Streaming HD video content.

I no longer buy physical disc's for my son's PS3. We DL ALL of the games, that he is allowed to play, at this time.

I personally have no issues with a 9 hour DL time for an HD movie, as my, "To be watched," queue far exceeds my time to watch all of this stuff anyway and I'm willing to bet that the same is true for many of us here.

So the technical arguments about HDM versus DL are moot to me, as I can not miss that which I do not have the ability to play! What I do have, I enjoy immensely!
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:18 PM   #12
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OK, but this is mainly about video games.

By the time the PS4 comes out, you and I will have BD players in our bathrooms.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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you and I will have BD players in our bathrooms.
I'm not even going to ask what you will be using that player for!
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:46 PM   #14
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I found it hilarious that the guy said that they might use DVD instead of BR in the PS4. It is just about a guarantee that it won't be a DVD drive. I just can't see Sony saying that the PS2 was a better device than the PS3. On the other hand, the PS4 may not have a BR drive - it may have something better. Better might be flash memory if they can get 50 GB+ for reasonable prices. As for download replacing existing packages, the industry just doesn't change that quickly. What I expect the PS4 to have is the option to fully download the latest games as an option, sort of like the Wii is allowing users to download old games as an option. Change will be much more incremental than the 3-5 years this writer is imagining.

My expectation is that the PS4 will include a BR drive, that or we will have to wait more than 5 years for the PS4. BR is still too bleeding edge for a new format to challenge it in the next couple of years. My expectation is that when that new format arrives, it will be flash memory.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:46 PM   #15
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I'm not even going to ask what you will be using that player for!
I was intending to use mine for instructional videos on hygienic care.
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