David Jaffe: I Would Not Have Included Blu-ray in PS3

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by "Nerve-Damage", Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. chachi

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    Worse than that, there's an alternative coming on the scene that offers *a lot* of compelling reasons for both consumers and content providers to ignore both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD - online distribution. Going from VHS to DVD was evolutionary, it was a better version of what we had. Going from watching TV to Tivo is revolutionary. BR and HD-DVD are both evolutionary, they're better versions of what we have now. Online distribution will be revolutionary, it'll change how we watch and what we watch.

    The one advantage physical media has right now is storage, HD takes up a lot of space, but time isn't on their side. The main hurdle to doing it right now is bandwidth, most people don't have the speed to do anything even close to instant start watching, so they'd probably need to do something more like a Netflix type arrangement at first - set up a queue of the movies you want to see and they'll download in the background.

    Don't feel too sorry for MS and Sony they're both perfectly capable of taking advantage of online distribution with their consoles. It's probably the only reason for the $480 version of the 360 to exist. Sony is in a harder position, they're the chief advocate of Blu-Ray, but they're setting themselves up for a repeat of the iPod situation. The difference this time is I think the transition will happen even faster because the model has already been accepted by the public.
     
  2. Rangers

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    Except I am not sure how much movie playback has ever really mattered in consoles.

    I mean, is Blu-Ray playback a big factor in why people purchase PS3's now? How about in the future?

    First we have to assume the purchaser is interested in playing movies on the machine. It seems Blu Ray in PS3 has a very low takeup rate in that respect. According to one survey I've read just 22% of PS3 owners use it for movies. To me, looking at the sales of stand alone HDDVD players, then PS3 sales, then actual movie sales on each format, it's stunning to me that Blu-Ray is not dominating much more than it is. I mean, since launch in the USA PS3 has sold 1.1 million consoles in four months. I dont know stand alone HDDVD sales, but <20,000 a month seems to be a reasonable guess. So you can see PS3 absolutly swamps HDDVD in volume, yet in disc sales, it seems to be 3-1 for Blu-Ray, 2-1 for Blu-Ray, a much lower level of domination than the PS3 sales suggest. I think the value of each stand alone player sold is mutiples higher than each player sold in a console, because the buyer of a stand alone, is someone who is targeting the format to play movies. In this way I see the X360 add on making sense. Only people who are actively interested in HDDVD's will buy this. This is why I'm sure the "attach rate" on HDDVD hardware is much higher than on Blu-Ray if you count PS3.

    I look back to DVD sales. I'm not sure how much DVD playback ever helped the PS2. Of course as of today, it's irrelevant, mostly. There was a small window in time when a PS2 maybe had some added value as a DVD player, before DVD penetration became ubiquitous, but the price of the PS2 was necessarily pretty high at that point ($299).

    I think Blu-Ray in PS3 will be fighting that same small window of relevancy, before Blu-Ray/HDDVD prices plummet. As of now the price of PS3 is very high, so I dont think it's wildly attractive as a Blu-Ray player. Meanwhile, HDDVD stand alone prices are dropping like a rock, should be a $199 player by this fall. You could say the same for Blu-Ray, I even wonder is Sony holding up the price of Blu-Ray stand alone's to make PS3 more attractive? Overall that would be a very poor move for the format if so.

    The other thing that I think will work against PS3 Blu_Ray to a point, is HDTV adoption. There's going to be some percent of PS3 owners who simply dont own HDTV's, and to them Blu-Ray movies are useless.

    We can also look at UMD, which kind of probably stigmatized the entire Sony console trying to establish a format thing for retailers in the near past.

    Personally, I've never liked playing movies on my consoles, because I worry it'll wear out the drive faster. For example, I dont really use my 360 as a DVD player for that reason. I suspect that's more my own oddity though, and not anything the vaunted casuals would would ever think about.
     
  3. Vic

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    Bandwidth is a huge obstacle. And what about when HDD's or Flash memory become corrupted or need to be reformatted? Will all consumers be happy purely with online distribution?
     
  4. TheChefO

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    There was a study done discussing resolution and ability to visibly see the difference between different resolutions.

    Long story short: unless your TV is HD (720p+) and Large, BR/HD-DVD will do little for you.

    I'll see if I can find it.

    here's one

    Having said that, I'll gladly rebuy my Superbowl DVD in HD format if they release one. :razz:
     
  5. quest55720

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    Just looking at a local ad for pricing. New dvds go for around 14.99-17.99 the cheapest hd-dvds are 24.99. The week after release dvds go to 19.99 hd-dvd 29.99-34.99 according to the ad. If I am buying 2 or 3 movies a week which can happen for me especially around x-mass time where I will purchase many many movies as gifts to the family. The extra cost can really add up in a hurry.

    That is the thing how many people have good HD-TVs? Most are going to have the 899-1299 cheap hd-tv from walmart. Which will be 37-42 inches which is not that big. On a tv like that the difference is just not going to warent the premium. Also if you are either going to have to buy a second hd-movie player, move the player room to room or buy the dvd also as most people have several rooms in the house they watch movies on. Like me I watch movies in the living room but I also watch them in my bedroom. I don't want to move a player room to room to much of a pain and hassle. I also don't want to buy movies 2x once dvd once hd. My other option would be to buy 2 players and right now that is crazy expensive.
     
  6. TheChefO

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    Well, as it is I wouldn't call it much better...

    At least with the option of plan B they could salvage their lead in the console space.
     
  7. Deusp

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    [​IMG]

    More accurate.
     
  8. Arwin

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    Sigh.

    About BluRay delaying the PS3's launch. What exactly gave you the impression that Sony would have been ready a year earlier if they wouldn't have had the diode problem?

    The diode problem is responsible for not having enough units at launch for the U.S., and for delaying the E.U. launch. But hadn't those shortages existed, Sony wouldn't have been able to launch even within a year of the 360 anyway. Note that:

    - no console ships with no software whatsoever, and they barely had games ready for the U.S. launch as it is, let alone if they had launched even just half a year sooner
    - the SDKs for the Sixaxis only came in June
    - the final devkit around that same time
    - basics for online not even clear to third party developers after launch (witness VT3 with no online support because Sega didn't get information / sdk in time, games like Motorstorm and even Resistance patched afterwards to support universal Buddy lists, etc.)

    The only advantage is that they could have produced more units and for a lower price. However, the downsides of this:

    - Space. Yes, really. PS2 games did in fact use a lot of DVD space. Think MGS2, at 6GB (MGS3 on two discs), or Champions of Norrath, filling a 9GB dual layer disc completely. And lots of games in fact fill up a single side and limited themselves to a single side, because there were issues with authoring dual layer DVDs as well as some consoles not playing dual layer discs very well.

    Maybe some clever people here didn't, but most (like me) expected the 360 to come with a HD DVD player. That Microsoft didn't could have been clever strategy that will pay them off handsomely, or it could have been a sacrifice for getting the 360 out a year before the PS3, because HD DVD wasn't ready in time after having been delayed several times. But history shows a clear progression in how much space is needed for each new generation, and it is up to Microsoft, not Sony, to prove this trend can and should be broken. And no, they can't prove this in just the first one or two years.

    In the meantime, even on the PC we are getting games that break the mold (10GB HDD install for Stalker, anyone?) and this won't stop. Sure, you can do a HDD install on the 360 too, at least on some of the models, but the 20GB model fills up rather fast if you do even one 10GB HDD install.

    I'm sure you will see soon enough how a second generation Insomniac game like Ratchet & Clank with streaming and therefore more high-res textures will expand the 12GB that Resistance really needed, to something much bigger. Never mind a next Final Fantasy. There will be big games. And you can say what you will, but if Final Fantasy chooses to have a layout where you can access any previous area at any time, or MGS4 has an online option that allows you to use any war-theatre as an online map, then swapping discs is going to suck. Sure, game developers can program around it, but you don't want them to have to.

    - Speed and authoring complexity. There is a penalty for using Dual Layers on DVD, as switching sides takes a long time. So you have to treat the sides as two separate entities to make use of the DVD speed optimally. Additionally, you have to be more careful with using the space, as you don't have much to spare. Multiple discs means increasing your development complexity (burning test-discs, adding logic for switching discs and so on). BluRay, while suffering from this problem initially, got small burners early in its life (about a year ago) and they are now widely available: 700 euro for a PC OEM version in our local stores, anyway, last time I checked), and getting up to speed; slow burning speeds for 22GB were one reason why Insomniac chose to attempt - and succeed - at reducing their disc-size 16GB, though obviously there was room for further improvement this time (to, say, 12GB, which is still more than 4GB larger than what I understand the 360 will hold using Dual Layer, which is apparently limited to 7.4GB?).

    - Price. Before you know it, BluRay may actually save you money even for gaming. Think for instance of the recently announced BluRay cover disc for the Official UK Playstation Magazine, which will contain game demos and trailers, that you then don't have to (re)download, install to HDD and/or backup for later use should you want to. These discs can save you up to 50GB of space (though probably they'll start with 25GB) and downloading, allowing you to go longer with your internet fair use limitations, hard disc space, backup tools and so on.

    All of that is still basically game related. In terms of media, movies that have less than HD DVD or BluRay compression levels and bitrates have been compromised and deliver a less optimal HD experience. Sure, it may be good enough for you, but they may not be just as well, and this will start showing more and more as we move on to 1080p - but even at 720p, some people can tell the difference already. Authoring and recording quality, in the meantime, is just getting better and better. With all the extra features that a HD quality disc provides, downloading a similar experience is going to mean you'll need a lot of space on your HDD, and while that's not entirely expensive, right now Microsoft isn't making it exactly free either. If I download a 100 movie collection, I'm going to need to have it backed up somehow eventually anyway. There's a long discussion to be had about streaming and re-downloading and so on, and there's definitely a place for that, but it won't be ready overnight - the internet, for one, couldn't handle even handle the extra strain yet right now.

    In the meantime, the combination of profits from BluRay, and the reduction in cost of the BluRay hardware in the PS3, both highly accellerated if BluRay becomes the new standard, will allow it to become cost-effective soon enough.

    And finally, if you compare the transition from VHS to DVD with the transition from DVD to BluRay, then don't forget that the BluRay player still plays DVDs, unlike DVD players, which didn't play VHS tapes and hence invalidated your whole existing VHS collection. The transition from CD-ROM to DVD was much smoother and faster, for the simple reason that getting a DVD player was a simple way of future proofing, getting better features, without having to throw away anyting or keep a CD-ROM player inside your PC as well.

    The transition to BluRay can and will be just as smooth, and will happen in the PC space as well.

    I'm not saying that Microsoft's strategy is invalid, or that Sony will have an easy victory. But let's not understate the advantages of having BluRay in a console too much, ok? ;)
     
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  9. Rolf N

    Rolf N Recurring Membmare
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    If I were in Sony PR bunny shoes, I'd see if a press release could be issued that highlights mass production ramp-up of *cough* certain Blu-ray-related components, and more or less accidentally drops the exact BOM contribution of the Blu-ray drive choice for PS3.
    It would end a lot of people's arguments immediately. And giving a progress report to shareholders, on an area of company-wide interest to boot, is an entirely legit thing. Beats argumentative racketeering any day.
     
  10. quest55720

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    Actually it is sony has to prove that the 200 dollar premium for blue ray is worth it. MS has nothing to prove right now as they have a larger user base and outselling the PS3 badly in NA. Sony is the one the one this time around who has to do the proving. MS has so far passed every test and put a ton of money in a lot of developers pockets thanks to a user base who buys games like crazy.

    HD-DVD was never an option for MS even if it was ready no way bill would eat billions to help a movie format. Sony is willing to eat billions for a movie format because it can help the bottom line overall. MS eating billions for HD-DVD gains the company nothing. The only way a hd-dvd player was going into the 360 is if toshiba sold them drives at the same price as DVD roms. That was not going to happen.
     
  11. function

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    Wrong thread
    It's actually up to Sony to show that the retail price of the PS3 is worth it to gamers. Currently, it is not doing this.

    Also, history doesn't show a clear progression as to how much space is needed for each new generation, as demonstrated by CD's use in 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, and "128-bit" consoles, the success of the N64 compared to the Saturn and the Nintendo DS wiping the floor with the PSP. And the Wii and 360 outselling the PS3, of course.

    What history actually does show is the imporatance of content in selling a platform. That content is not necessarily directly related to the storage capacity of the media on which it is provided.
     
  12. TheChefO

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    ...and price. :wink:
     
  13. Rolf N

    Rolf N Recurring Membmare
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    What math do you use to arrive at 200$?
     
  14. quest55720

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    Since the 20gig PS3 is officially discontinued it is the 599 vs 399 right now. That is 200 dollar difference. Sony had to prove to gamers that the blue ray and PS3 is worth a 200 dollar premium. Heck in the worst case sony has to prove the PS3 is worth a 350 dollar premium vs the Wii.
     
  15. Rolf N

    Rolf N Recurring Membmare
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    Ah, those 200$. But you don't pay all of that for the blue laser diode and the plastic lens with the slightly different numeric aperture. You pay about 100$ for a machine that doesn't destroy itself, doesn't make you deaf and accepts industry-standard storage and accessories. 30$ for more processor throughput, 30$ for playing a couple thousand PS2 games, 10$ for good looks, leaving 30$ for Blu-ray. And I'm being generous.

    It needs more games. And it will get them.
     
  16. quest55720

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    It has more and better games than the PS2 did at this time. It is not the games it is the price that is keeping people away.
     
  17. pakotlar

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    Well I agree that the X360 fails way more than is necessary/should be allowable. I recently forgoed my Microcenter extend warranty option, and that makes me nervous, as my xbox has given me disc read errors a few times, and crashed a few times. However, so far no rings of death (fingers crossed). Given that microsoft has a sick warranty policy now, and renewing and extending your warranty is possible, I don't think this will be much of an issue.

    The x360 is worth more than 400 to me (got it as a gift neway) because of the online integration services it provides, xbla (I play UMK3 more than any other game, just plain fun for 20-40 minutes a day), as well as the great game selection it has. PS3 may be worth it if you are a big movie fan, but the game selection isn't great so far.

    As far as the x360 making you deaf, I sit 1.5-2 feet from my x360 (right below the monitor) and even with the drive going full speed it doesn't bother me unless I have the volume all the way down. Sure I would enjoy a quieter system, but it doesn't break it for me. I know down the road, when newer revisions come out, I will just get my system replaced under my warranty plan.

    And reliability issues will improve. Saying that a ps3 is worth it because the x360 has a higher than acceptable failure rate, is like saying the x360 is worth it because PS3 games look subpar. Both need time.
     
  18. pakotlar

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    I disagree. Dead Or Alive 2 Hardcore, Tekken Tag Tournament, Ridge Racer V, SSX, a Madden, Timesplitters were the notable games that PS2 launched with. Most of the games it launched with were either ports of Dreamcast games or extremely rushed titles. It had a little more bite because EA wasn't messing with Sega at the time. PS2's launch was awful, and the only reason it did so well was because the machine was marketed under such an aura of sex/power that no one wanted to get anything else, even if all they could do was watch the sweet PS logo pop up at bootup (and play with cubes). It was for the POTENTIAL of the system that people bought it.

    A quote from IGN: "DOA2, TTT, and SUMMONER (emphasis here), three of the better launch titles" That's back from 99. Any launch that includes Summoner as a premiere launch title is awful.

    PS3 on the other hand, launched with a few quality games, and even though it really only has 3 exclusives (now with VF5) they are all high AA to AAA quality, and the online service that the PS3 launched with is now seeing some DLC that is both exclusive and great (Tekken 5:DR, MK2, more).

    I'd say that PS3 had a much stronger launch, but unfortunately, this time around they are dealing with a kickass console like X360 which most of the time provides a better experience for multiplatform titles, already has several exclusive killer apps, has tons of dev support, a fantastic online experience, and is $200 cheaper. Not to mention it is backed by the most financially stable company in the world, which no one doubts will back the console to fruition and beyond.

    please excuse the awful grammar. i'm tired :D
     
  19. joker454

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    The price is hurting PS3 worse than people think. At work, only me and one other guy have PS3's even though we're all gamers. Asking around, the reason becomes clear. Most can't afford one, plain and simple. Even around this very forum, how often do you read posts from people who speak highly of PS3, but will then write how they don't have one yet because they are waiting for the price to drop? Factoring in the additional cost of one game and taxes, the $700+ cost of entry is too much for most when viewing it as a games machine.

    Having said that, to me the PS3 was an absolute bargain since I bought it as an HD movie player. My first HiFi VCR was $1000 in '82, first CD player in '85 was $570, first DVD player in '97 was $550. Now, my first HD movie player was $500 in '07 (PS3) which as a side benefit can also play games. I understand that it's still a chunk of change, but when you see what it can do, the PS3 really is quite cheap relatively speaking!
     
  20. Rolf N

    Rolf N Recurring Membmare
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    It was a bit pointed and perhaps inaccurate to fight fire with fire.
    I'm not against a more differentiated view on things generally, but I have started considering it offensive when someone posts the same old "Blu-ray made the PS3 200$ more expensive" regurgitated MN sound-bite. Everyone who actually cares about such details can easily find out just how wrong that line is, and not just since today. If someone really doesn't want to know but still engages in the fun of bringing the least informed version of the point up in debate, I invoke the classic troll definition and withdraw all sympathy.
     
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