Posts tagged ‘Sony’

Red State/Blu-ray State

As I expected, NPD reports sales of Blu-ray Disc (BD) players dropped precipitously over the last few months. This is contrary to the desires and expectations of Sony and others in the Blu-ray Disc Association, who seemed to think the BD/HD-DVD format war was the big impediment to HD adoption. Why should this drop have been obvious?

  1. The economy sucks right now. Last thing people will do is buy another box, especially since–
  2. Many consumers don’t see much advantage to Blu-ray over upconverted DVD players. (Of course, many people also bought HDTVs without any access to actual Hi-Def programming. )
  3. There’s virtually no player available (except Sony’s Playstation 3) that incorporates the full functionality of BD Live interactivity. Why would anyone buy BD now if the final feature set isn’t available?
  4. Oh, and did I mention that due to the lack of competition from HD-DVD, player prices have not only failed to drop, they’ve actually gone up. Doh!

By waiting as long as it did to settle the format war, the industry came perilously close to making discs irrelevant at the same time downloading is finally starting to gain traction. Its failure to prove a compelling Blu-ray value proposition for consumers is only making things worse. If this goes on any further, it’s game over.

Sony and its partners gave it everything they had just to win the battle, but forgot there’s still a war going on with the ultimate enemy–downloads.

Guess that makes High-Definition discs the Democratic Party of video.

Disclosure: I hold no position in any of the stocks mentioned here.

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May 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm 1 comment

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