Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD

Home Media Magazine said total sales of Blu-ray discs, using a Sony Corp backed technology, totaled 1.6 million units from January 1 through July 1, compared with 795,000 HD-DVD discs sold in that period.

Why is this important? Well it's not. HD-DVD is outselling Blu-Ray in Europe and other areas globally. Everyone likens this to the VHS vs. BETAMAX battle, and it's really not. The formats are very similar and Sony has learned from its mistakes on how it tried to force BETAMAX and lock people into it.

And my theory is that Sony stands to make more money and over a longer term with its licensing of Blu-ray then it ever would with its Playstation unit. So by focusing on combining the two and then relaxing on certain key developers to really push killer games for their new box, you have a lot of people sitting with a $600 PS3 and not much to do with it. And if I was in that boat, I'd be scarfing up Blu-ray movies too to take advantage of the thing. I also wouldnt put it past Sony to be behind the help of the leaks of the recent encryption keys used on HD-DVD's to allow for them to be more easily pirated.

In the end, there will be both and since the market isnt huge for this type of content yet it will take a very long time for consumers to really decide which format will win out. And a word on companies like Blockbuster only offering one format over the other - you're really shooting yourself in the foot for absolutely no reason.

So whichever player you have go out and purchase your movies and dont worry about a year from now of not having any access to the format you so heavily invested in - none of these companies will allow you to come to a dead end and risk that bad PR.