Is the “format war” over?

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I don’t know how much you gamers have been following the Blu-ray vs HD-DVD “format war”, but since every PS3 owner has a stake in it, I thought I’d share some interesting developments that have taken place recently…

If you *have* been paying attention, you’ll probably remember that about a month ago, Warner Bros. threw its considerable weight behind the Blu-ray Disc format. Then in the last week, both Best Buy and Netflix also chose Blu-ray as their format of choice.

This weekend, in what might be the decisive victory in this “format war,” Toshiba – leader of the HD-DVD camp – is reported to be pulling out of the HD-DVD business. Analysts had been saying that a lot of consumers are waiting for a clear format victor before plunking down their hard-earned money on a device. Based on this month’s NPD numbers, consumers had seen which way the wind was blowing even before this week.

Blu-ray’s benefits for gaming development are clear. For those of you who have seen their PS3 as the hub of their home entertainment center, I hope you find this piece of news reassuring as well.

Happy Presidents’ Day, and see you from GDC!

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  • If Bluray was so damn good, we wouldn’t have to waste time installing games on the HDD.

  • I’m glad for once, a superior technology wins out.

  • You could use the installation time to post rubbish on the internet.

  • Now if only Toshiba with just let HD-DVD die and quit dragging this out. The “War” has only been good for movie studio Execs.

  • Nice victory, being a fan of high definition cinema this is huge for me considering my sizeable investment in blu-ray movies.

    Awesome stuff Jeff keep it coming.

  • i only bought 3 blu-rays since i got my PS3 at launch.i did rent alot on netflix though. i might start buyin more now that i have a HDTV. spiderman 3 looked really good on blu-ray

  • No, the “war” has been good for the public. You can be damn sure players wouldn’t be at the price they are if the two weren’t competing! Same goes for movie titles. I just hope the remaining studios move over to Blu-ray sooner rather than later. I’m guessing no later than May!

  • I will be happy when the price of blu-ray movies come down. That’s the only thing keeping me from buying them.

  • Personally to me this format war was over awhile ago, but Toshiba and their camp just hung in there hoping the tide would change.

    And its kind of odd in the world how Sony and Toshiba can work together on the Cell processor yet be “enemies” on the HD format side.

  • Nice to see that blu-ray will finally be the HD format of choice. I’m hoping that soon there will be portable Blu-Ray players (like the DVD ones) so that I can take my kids movies and play them in the car on road trips.

    Good job, Sony!

  • So should really try to get advantage of this situation.

    Blu Ray has won and when Toshiba officially announces it’s over and Universal and Paramount get on board, PS3 will have a tremendous amount of momentum.

    Moreover important games are coming, GTA4 and MGS4 are around the corner.
    Microsoft is losing steam in the US market, they’re preparing to cut the price by 50$ in March/April and they’re getting ready a motherboard revision which they hope will fix their reliability problems.

    Sony has to take the ball Microsoft has dropped right NOW, riding the positive Blu Ray news and KA games coming with big announcement on the hardware front.
    They need to cut the price by 50$ to maximize hardware sales, to not let Microsoft regain momentum with their price cut.

    So put the 40GB at 350$ in March, introduce the Ceramic White 40GB at 350$ in March and relase the new top of the line SKU with 120GB and DS3 at 449$.
    Launch a Greatest hits line in March and with all the momentum from Blu Ray Sony will have a terrific first half of the year in the US market, which is exactly what they need to make a strong comeback.

  • I knew this already.

    Awesome for Blu-ray!

  • Bluray won!!!

    I’d like to hear what all the critics has to say now. Since they all were complaining why the PS3 had an expensive Bluray player drive. LMAO!!!

    Now can we please start seeing games that shows the superior power of the PS3 compare to the 360. There is very little difference between the current titles.

    The only difference consumer as seeing are the price gap between the two consoles. That’s not helping Sony out much.

  • Ok, now all that energy you put towards blu-ray, put toward getting home out and making it easier for developers.

  • Once its all official, I’m hoping that they lower the prices of the movies themselves. I got my first 5 Blu-ray movies free, and bought 300 for $24 and never intend to spend more than $25 for a movie. I didn’t buy the PS3 as a movie player, but kudos to all behind Blu-ray on the win, and a heart felt pat on the back to early adopters of HD-DVD.

  • It just feels so good that your hard earned money has been put on the right basket. It is even better to see that things are starting to get better for PS3 and just like Kenjisan [#11] says, SONY has to take the ball that microsoft just dropped and do dunk it a-la Michael Jordan and them moon walk its way back to the top.

  • @13

    Personally, I think you can already see the PS3 superiority in games like Unreal Tournament 3, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Heavenly Sword, and gasp… Motorstorm from way back last year.

    These are games that I feel couldn’t be done on the other systems, graphically or technically… and the difference will only be more noticeable as these are for all intents and purposes games that were released in the first year of PS3’s life.

  • I definitely do see this as a great step forward in making my PS3 the true media center hub it should be.

    But I’m still thinking there’s more that can be done. So Jeff, I’ma put you on the spot and see if you cave =D

    Many have heard the rumours regarding a Sony/Netflix tango to bring movies (and hopefully television shows!) to the PS3 sometime this year.

    Any weight to this, or is it the “confirm or deny rumours” portion of your job that makes us all cringe with anticipation.

  • True, but my only concern is the relatively low speed that the PS3’s BD drive operate at. Yes, it has a consistent read speed, not a variable one, but it still loads data slower than the 360, which is apparently causing a lot of developers to force us to install 4gb+ files on our PS3’s.

    The PS3 is a games console and media hub. It’s not a PC. We buy consoles to avoid the hassles of PC gaming and the like. Why should we have to install games? Sure, it loads fine after the file is installed, but in the end I could have been playing my game instead of sitting around for 30 minutes while it installs.

    If faster BD drives are ever placed in future revisions of the PS3 then I would buy one in a heartbeat.

  • I am definitely glad this is all over. Now I can set about building a huge Blu Ray collection

  • Great: war won. Now hurry up and release a 120GB+ with DS3 will you?

    And for those morons commenting on it, HD installs are Capcom’s fault. Did Uncharted need an install? How about R&C? AC? CoD4?

  • Point of the tread was the format winner for MOVIES. Yes, the best format won.

    PS3 might have longer load times utilizing the Blu-ray technology, but still beats changing disk (ah laziness) once games require that much space.

    I am looking forward to BD Live (Profile 2.0) on the PS3 this year, right?

  • I have been following the war for a while and I am glad to see it coming to an end. I rent a whole lot of Blu-rays from netflix and own a few as well.

  • The consumer was the only real winner this time around. Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD dropped prices and offered insane bargains to rake in sales. For the record, who honestly expected HD-DVD to come out on top?

  • @1:

    You do realize that it’s necessary to install certain games to the HDD because of the Blu-ray drive’s speed, right? It has nothing to do with Blu-ray itself. If the PS3 were released now, it would have a 4x or 6x drive, making things a lot speedier.

    On topic, thank God this war is over. I knew Blu-ray would win and I’m glad to see the superior format came out on top.

  • i feel bad for all those 360 fanboys, especially the ones that supported blue ray, aahhhhhh what a joke!!

    i feel also bad for 360 gamers.. and their 4 disc rpg game!!! lol ahhhh!!

    blueray is where its at, sony and the ps3 are the best!

    eat your heart out now fanboys!!!! i get the last laugh!! ahha hah ahahhah

  • make that suppoeted hd dvd ahha hh a hha

  • Yes it’s over. I’m glad to say that I helped contribute to the demise of HD Dud. Putting a BD Drive in the PS3 was an excellent idea. Way to go Sony

  • @1 if you did not have aBlu-Ray player, you would install 3 DVD-ROM discs one at a time to get the same amount of Data on your HD.

  • now i want ken kutaragi back, he knew what he was doing, everyone should apologize to him he design the ps3 future proof, he is the maaaann

    sony please get him back

  • when can we expect some news on thr GDC, its started already in SFO but no info at the moment………whats happening????

  • 31, what you mean no info??
    they already have announce killzone 2 for march 11, the new psp phone next week and home coming at the end of the month!! come on wake up!! lol

  • It was over before it even began… congrats to Sony! now lets move on to game please…

  • Hope Blu-ray wins; it is clear that it is the better format.

  • @25, @29,

    Wrong. The games that need an install on the PS3 do not have multiple DVDs on the 360. The fault lies with Capcom (if I was at Sony I’d be majorly p****d at them).

    Plus, Uncharted did not need an install so why the hell should DMC4 and the like?

  • @Zorox- Do you understand why a portion of some games are installed (or cache) to the HDD?

    OrganicShadow- The actual constant read speed is a much better advantage as developers do not have to worry about storing their data on the disc only to have certain assets read at a lower speed than they wanted. I will take the average over the peak any day of the week. Also to note, DL DVD reads a bit slower than SL DVD and data on Blu-Ray can be repeated to improve seek times. You may confuse game install with game cache. The only game to install anywhere near 4gb and more is Capcom’s DMC4 and their upcoming Lost Planet. That is a developer issue NOT a BD issue. Also UT3 has a full game install but that is optional and you must elect to do so in the sub-menus.

    I think Sony covered all aspects of storage this generation. A required HDD in every console. Not only that but for those looking for more storage, they can easily swap out the HDD with any 2.5″ HDD. Gladly they avoided the proprietary HDD case… Another bonus of course is using Blu-Ray as the game media. Developers do not have to worry about storage in their game design which means we don’t have to worry about a gimped game, being that it is exclusive. Recently I did jump on the blu wagon and say I am very happy. I won’t be double dipping my old collection unless I absolutely love the movie and the transfer is excellent. Though for future purchases, the future is indeed Blu-Ray. Now, to drive down prices for mass consumption.

  • Now we just need Batman Begins on Blu Ray, then I’ll be happy.

  • is there going 2 b an post on todays GDC?

  • I really havent noticed that bluray has a big impact on the games, yeah uncharted looks good but it doesnt feel like it was impossible to do with dvd.
    I hope we will soon see the benefits of a bluray-drive in a game-console (maybe Killzone 2 will be the first one to show us?). And hopefully the developers will take advantage of it when making multi-games too…
    If they arenĀ“t too scared of making the dvd-game look a bit bad compared to the buray-game.

  • Its something the effect the Warner Bros Announcement had on the Format Wars, soon after that the CES HD-DVD booth closed up before the show started, Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, BestBuy, Netflix have all gone backing the Blu-ray player. This is the fastist Format war ever, I mean even good old VCR lasted a good while before it was replaced by DVD.

    Now rumors have it that Microsoft has a Blu-ray standalone player for the Xbox 360 ready to be released as early as May of this Year.

    One thing is for sure if its not over, HD-DVD has to pull a lot of rabbits out of the hat to make that Last Stand. Like a Buy one get three free on all HD-DVD’s or something.

  • I wont buy any blue rays until the price comes down considerably.

    As happy as I am that this will sell ps3 hardware I still worry about the software not selling.

    How do you feel bout all this Jeff?

  • Let’s hope that now the format war is over the price of Blu-Ray might drop some. You have to admit that when its so expensive for a movie…I’ll just keep downloading mine and watching it on the computer….at least until I finally get HDTVs and a good bit of money :p

    PS: The 5GB Install is Capcom’s problem. It has nothing to do with Blu-Ray or the PS3 itself. If they wanted to they could make the game without the 5GB install.

  • @17 nmc75 | February 18th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Yeah, all those titles you named are great.

    How big of a difference are they compared to a 360 game visually? A regular gamer cant even tell.

  • you forgot about Wal-Mart turning Blu. Anyway on the whole Required Install thing. Most games use install the good way having it 100-500MB for cache purposes but if Capcom is going for broke and using anything higher then 2GB to install to make something faster they are basically saying they don’t like the Blu-Ray disc read speeds. It’s bad enough you got other developers doing horrible at learning the PS3 architect and complaining it can’t do certain stuff while other developers having almost no problems. Almost makes me glad Capcom isn’t bring Monster Hunter 3 to the PS3 but i’m boycotting them anyway

  • @39

    It’s as much about future proofing as anything else. Plus, take into account the fact that two separate developers (one of which being the mighty Insomniac) have said – independently – that they’ve yet to exceed 20% of the PS3’s potential. Yet!

    The 360 has nowhere to go with DVD-9.

  • You forgot to mention wal-mart going blu ray exclusive in the post

  • I knew Toshiba was going to call it quits when they started investing in cell processors.

  • Great, maybe Sony can now put Backwards Compatibility back again

  • Sony dont celebrate jet!! you have to make good moves to make this good to the ps3 and be on top for another 10 years!!! give us more good games and Please put Mexico on the PSN

  • Finally. I know a lot of my buddies were waiting out this format war before they went ahead and bought a PS3. Now I can play with people I know for a change.

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