I’ve received a lot of flack since posting my opinion piece on Sony’s Blu-ray drive – a whole lot. The Sony fans are coming out of the woodwork upset that anyone would dare say they believe Blu-ray is a big mistake.
They’re entitled to their opinions and I respect them for being willing to write in and give their side. But, I thought perhaps I should set the record straight on a few things.
First off, I am a Sony fan – a rather big one. I’m an EQ junkie and have been so for years. Most of my electronics equipment has a Sony brand name on it. I subscribe to PlanetSide, too, and I even owned a PlayStation at one point. So, Sony and I go way back.
But, I also happen to be a very disappointed Sony fan for a number of reasons. Let me explain:
1.) Sony’s inability to deliver. Sony’s hyped up the PlayStation 3 console so much it’s ridiculous, yet when the rubber hits the road, it’s had to scale back everything because of the Blu-ray diode. No longer will the PS3 launch be worldwide and the numbers they’re planning on offering are a joke – a la the Xbox 360’s initial launch.
2.) Sony has a history of major failures when trying to introduce new movie-viewing formats. Yet, the company is making another attempt to do so, and it’s entangled a gaming machine in the prospect. This console has the potential to be incredible, but Blu-ray is bringing it and Sony’s stock prices down.
3.) Sony’s arrogance in regard to its PS3 and Blu-ray simply is unwarranted. No. 1, the format is as of yet unproven, as is the HD-DVD format. Sony has spent so much time bragging about the PS3, it failed to make sure the darn thing could be put together in the timeframe it boasted. I, perhaps foolishly, hoped Sony would have been smart enough to learn from Microsoft’s mistakes, but it seems the only company taking the cue is Nintendo.
In regard to the movie studios falling behind the HD-DVD or the Blu-ray format, that I will concede is pretty irrelevant. All in all, it’s been seen in the past the studios and stores will toss their support one way and then pull the rug out from underneath it at the first sign of trouble. If Blu-ray sells, they’ll go that way. If HD-DVD does, you can bet they’ll be lining up to produce in this format. Right now a lot of them are in both camps, which I did fail to point out this morning. But the fact of the matter is, if neither format sells well, the shelves once occupied by HD-DVD or Blu-ray will have tumbleweed on them as far as new releases are concerned. This will hurt the PS3′s Sony-created selling point, but not the Xbox 360′s.
As for the Blu-ray versus HD-DVD pricing that folks have been mailing me about. Blu-ray all in all does fall in higher as does the PS3 console. The typical price of Blu-ray movies on BestBuy is $29.99. The average price for HD-DVD is $24.99. Both formats have titles running much higher and a little lower, too. Frankly, both are too high in my opinion.
My stand on Sony’s mistakes remains the same. Sony made the PS3 and Blu-ray dependent on each other in regard to selling this console. They’re the ones hyping the total entertainment system to justify the pricing.
I still believe if Sony had spent more time getting its ducks in a row and less time hyping a launch it couldn’t pull off that perhaps it could have pulled it off. Instead, Sony execs talked up the console, promised a worldwide launch and now have egg on their faces instead (and a stock price hit, too). It’s just bad business not to deliver on promises and Sony’s getting a rep for not delivering and that is a shame.
Sony’s a great company. It makes good games. It makes great game machines. It makes fantastic television sets. It even makes some wonderful movies. But, it also makes some mistakes.
It’s my belief Blu-ray will be one of those. In all honesty, it’s anyone’s guess as to which format will survive if either do. But, based on Sony’s past failures and its recent screw-ups, I’m not banking on Blu-ray.
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