PS3 Lifeboat

So now that my 360 is dead (again), I suppose it is a good time to discuss the PS3. I in fact have had a PS3 for about a month. I bought it for a couple of reasons, neither of which are PS3 games: I wanted a Blu-Ray player, and I wanted to get a PS3 while it still had the Emotion Engine chip on-board (and thus far better PS2 backwards compatability).

First and foremost, I wanted a Blu-Ray player. Back before the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war got underway my prediction was for Blu-Ray to win based on PS3 sales. Last year for a while that prediction looked false because HD-DVD got a several month head start and the first Blu-Ray player (and titles) were buggy and produced crap images. So Blu-Ray got a terrible start and HD-DVD took an early lead. But over the first part of 2007 Blu-Ray got decent players on the market, higher-resolution titles, erased that sales lead, got a huge advantage in terms of studio support, and got more key exclusive titles. Take a look at this analysis from The Digital Bits, dated 2/15/07.

Let's look at these simple facts: Of the 12 major and mini-major Hollywood studios (Fox, Disney, MGM, Sony, Lionsgate, Paramount, New Line, HBO, Warner Bros, Universal, DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company) 9 support Blu-ray, 5 of them exclusively. Only 6 support HD-DVD, just 2 of them exclusively (one studio, DreamWorks, remains uncommitted). Not counting computer hardware or budget brands, Blu-ray Disc has 9 major set-top hardware manufacturers behind it (Sony, Pioneer, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, LG, Mitsubishi, Thomson, Sharp), while HD-DVD boasts just two (Toshiba and now LG). HD-DVD is an add-on to Microsoft's Xbox 360, while Blu-ray is built into EVERY Sony PlayStation 3. Nielsen VideoScan is reporting that in software sales, Blu-ray has virtually erased the sales lead enjoyed by HD-DVD since the formats were launched, and is now outselling HD-DVD by a 2 to 1 (and growing) margin.

My Two Cents - Archived Posts (3/2/07 - 2/5/07)

Of course, once I had one I did pick up a couple of games - I bought MotorStorm out of the gate, and after trying the demo I picked up Ridge Racer. I also bought flOw and Lemmings from the online store, and I currently have Resistance: Fall of Man from Gamefly. My verdict so far: I still wouldn't buy a PS3 for the games, even if your 360 dies ;-)

As for Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD . . . meh. Blu-Ray is a nice format and I'd rate the picture quality of the two formats pretty evenly. The thing I like most about it now is that I'm agnostic. The majority of my discs come from Netflix and Netflix will ship me either format. So I can watch Casino Royale on Blu-Ray, then turn around and watch Clerks II in HD-DVD and not really care. I bought a couple of titles on each format, but I don't see myself building up a big library in either format - and I probably wouldn't build up a library if there were only one format. Turns out the way I watch movies means most of them I don't need to own.

There was one shady bit I didn't like at all. I bought my PS3 at Best Buy. In the physical store mind you, with a plain old credit card (and I don't have whatever stupid Best Buy loyalty card thing they have going.) The next day I got an email from Best Buy about new things I can buy for my new PS3. Follow that for a moment. They've connected my credit card number to my email address and didn't ask for permission. It took me a minute to even figure out how they did that - a couple of years ago I used the web interface to buy something for in-store pickup and that required both my email address and credit card. Apparently now they scan any purchases to see if it matches that record. Well! I unsubscribed from Best Buy's email list right then, and I'm sorely tempted to stop using that credit card at Best Buy. I don't like this sort of data mining - it makes it terribly clear that Best Buy is profiling me. What's the privacy policy on this data? Will they give it to the government if they ask? Or Sony? It's entirely not kosher.

So anyway, I guess I'm going to be playing a lot more Motorstorm and Resistance over the next couple of weeks (sigh). And watching Blu-Ray instead of HD-DVD . . . .

technorati tags:, , ,

Blogged with Flock