Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Upswing for Sony?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) sets the outlook for the electronics industry for the coming 12 months.

This year didn't disappoint. Warner Bros. announced that it is to discontinue the HD-DVD format, effectively pledging allegiance to Blu-ray. And although Toshiba put a brave face on it at the time, the announcement has culminated in Toshiba surrendering the next-generation DVD format war to Sony.

Maybe now we can move away from the tedious characterisation used by virtually all the analysts in describing the general public as being "confused" by the format wars. To my mind, there was no confusion, just frustration.

The public was never confused by which format was the right one to buy - they were very clear that they shouldn't buy until the war was declared over.

So what do we expect moving forward? Sony will increasingly push PS/3 as a triptych offering games, DVDs and online content. Especially given rumours of the Blu-ray spec being revamped to make the Ethernet socket mandatory, thus favouring the PS/3 over all the other stand-alone Blu-ray players.

Microsoft is left with a painful decision: either it concedes 360 does not compete with PS/3 for playing high def DVDs or it coughs up the Sony tax.

For now, Microsoft appears disinclined to pay such a tax and Paramount has announced further online content availability for the 360. But does this give Sony a three-legged chair to Microsoft's two-legged equivalent?

1 comment:

James said...

But the upside for the consumer is that at least now we can go ahead and start buying Blu-ray discs...