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Sony CEO Sees 'Stalemate' in Disc Fight

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Sony CEO Sees 'Stalemate' in Disc Fight

Old 11-10-07, 01:45 AM
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I don't understand why retailers would be complaining about the software. I can certainly understand having to stock a blu-ray player and an HD-DVD player and having to explain to the employees and customers the difference. But I honestly don't see the big deal about the software. Buy Transformers on DVD or HD-DVD. Buy Spider-Man 3 on DVD or Blu-ray. What's the difference to the store?
Old 11-10-07, 02:09 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
Fuckedů?
Yea, there are two formats splitting marketshare instead of one. They Fucked up. Hence his qoutes about going back in time to work it out.

I asked earlier why is it that in the heads of HDDVD supporters SONY is the only company that matters? Panasonic/Matsushita, TDK, Phillips, etc. are just as entrenched in this war. In fact, did anyone from the red camp conclude that it is time for HDDVD to concede after the most recent article about Microsoft not being interested in the war was published? Matsushita alone are a ten times bigger player than SONY is.
First, I support and own both formats. I am not here to push others one way or the other.

We are talking about Sony because the thread is about specific qoutes from their CEO. Not to mention, 95% of the bullshit PR comes from Sony so it makes for an interesting read. I believe it was Sony that stated multiple times that the 2-1 sales lead already supposedly won them the war.

Stating Toshiba should give up because of a magazine article about Microsoft's crooked business plans is faulty logic to say the least.
Old 11-10-07, 02:56 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by DthRdrX
First, I support and own both formats. I am not here to push others one way or the other.
...and...
Originally Posted by DthRdrX
Yea, there are two formats splitting marketshare instead of one. They Fucked up. Hence his qoutes about going back in time to work it out.
Here's what I have to say, dealing with reality:

If you support both formats then de facto you endorse the current market division. Which according to the second sentence of the first quote you are content with.

If you however are criticizing the failure of the dual market pointing it is, let's use your description, fucked up I don't understand why you support its existence to begin with.

Pro-B
Old 11-10-07, 03:01 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by RocShemp
Just to balance things out (and this is coming from an HD DVD supporter) if Sony is going through a finger-pointing session within their corporate walls, Toshiba must be going through the same issues as well. The recent 90k players sold notwithstanding, I doubt Toshiba has turned up a higher profit than Sony (assuming either has profited at all) at this stage. Both sides must be really hurting financially right now.
I'm sure both sides are not doing so well in the profit area. Toshiba knows they will lose a lot on their hardware initially. However, they also know HD DVD sales will recoup their losses, many times over. It's an investment. They know they can't possibly make large profits initially.
Old 11-10-07, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
If you support both formats then de facto you endorse the current market division.
To an extent, that might be true. The current market division has given us sub-$100 HD DVD players within a year of release, and software prices that are angling downward (not including Fox). However, I think for most people, supporting both formats served two purposes. One, it allows us to watch whatever movies we want. Paramount goes HD only? Okay, fine, let's watch it on the HD DVD player. Spider-Man only available on Blu-ray? No problem, I'll just throw it into the PS3. Two, if or when one format finally does prevail, we're already covered. And if it takes the more stubborn companies a longer time to get behind the victor (i.e. Sony drags its tail on releasing big titles on HD DVD, or Universal twiddles its thumbs instead of releasing existing HD DVD titles on Blu-ray), then we're still able to watch the movies we've already purchased.

Dual-format supporters also gain a nice sense of perspective. There's no incentive for me, as an owner of both formats, to push one format over the other. I just don't have to worry about it. One wins, one loses, either way, I've still got the player and the discs. Or neither loses and both go on as niche formats. I'm already capable of playing both, so no loss there, either. I can sit back and watch this whole thing unfold without raising my blood pressure level, while I'm taking breaks from watching Ratatouille on Blu-ray and The Bourne Ultimatum on HD DVD, that is.

So...I guess my point is that just because someone owns both formats doesn't mean they necessarily demand that both formats stay in existence. Some of us bought both formats because whether it's called HD DVD or Blu-ray, the only people we care about winning are ourselves, the consumers.
Old 11-10-07, 06:09 AM
  #106  
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BluRay = Sony. Sure there are other partners, but Sony is the "lead singer" of the band. They gambled the home video game market on making BD the next standard, and so far they are hurting for that decision. How is Panasonic pushing BD aside from selling players?

Sony has a history of proprietary formats for their hardware. While it is their "right" to try and force Memory Stick on consumers, it isn't a smart business tactic. Consumers will choose, and price is a huge factor. I am sure there were thousands of people looking at digital cameras and finding out the added cost of going with a Sony; the media. CF and SM were both non-proprietary so they could be made by multiple manufacturers. Companies competed on price, and consumers win. Many of Sony's tactics are anti-consumer, and we have no reason to believe that Blu-Ray would have been any different if not for the threat of HD DVD stealing their marketshare.

I still say that Blu-Ray supporters owe a thanks to Toshiba and HD DVD supporters owe one to Sony for if not for each other, players would still be in the $800 range and there wouldn't be as diverse a library available.

This dove tails into a question another poster was asking about the size difference between them. Bd was intended to make use of the Mpeg2 codec that is used on DVDs. that codec NEEDS space and high bit rates- and if that was the only codec that would ever be designed, then Bd would be without a doubt the superior solution. What happend between conception and birth is what always happens with technology- it improved. New codecs were developed and refined and (as is emblematic of the HD DVD format as a whole) these are simply more efficent at compressing and don't absolutely require that extent of space.
Bandwidth might be another matter...but in limited cases and applications and circumstances.

its like two trunks and two different people packing them. One person has a smaller trunk but is a better packer and gets all his luggage in. The other packs a little sloppier and uses up all his room, or else he changes bags at the last minute and frees up more room, etc.
This is a great passage, and totally true. If MPEG2 had remained the standard, then Blu-Ray would hav been the obvious choice. BD was designed for MPEG2. The new codecs closed the gap between BD and HD DVD.

Last edited by Qui Gon Jim; 11-10-07 at 06:12 AM.
Old 11-10-07, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
Fuckedů?

I asked earlier why is it that in the heads of HDDVD supporters SONY is the only company that matters? Panasonic/Matsushita, TDK, Phillips, etc. are just as entrenched in this war. In fact, did anyone from the red camp conclude that it is time for HDDVD to concede after the most recent article about Microsoft not being interested in the war was published? Matsushita alone are a ten times bigger player than SONY is.
Sony controls the future of Blu-Ray. Not TDK. The PS3 is basically the Blu Ray maket at this point, the number of stand-alone sales is miniscule. So Sony is the most important pusher of Blu Ray hardware, and thus by extension, the ultimate decider of its future.
Old 11-10-07, 07:53 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
One, it allows us to watch whatever movies we want.
This is why I bought both HD DVD and Blu-ray players, for what that's worth. My passion is for film, not for multinational Japanese electronics conglomerates. If HD DVD and Blu-ray both limp forward, I'm covered. If, as unlikely as it is, Blu-ray keels over, I'm covered. If HD DVD sputters and dies, I'm covered. In any case, I've gotten more than my money's worth out of each format and don't regret buying in at all.

I'm not a shareholder in Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony, etc. I didn't help bring either format to market. My only interest is in how these formats benefit me, personally, and there are too many compelling exclusives on both formats for me to even consider passing on one of them.
Old 11-10-07, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
And if it takes the more stubborn companies a longer time to get behind the victor (i.e. Sony drags its tail on releasing big titles on HD DVD, or Universal twiddles its thumbs instead of releasing existing HD DVD titles on Blu-ray), then we're still able to watch the movies we've already purchased.
I have thought about that myself.

Universal has released, what, 150-200 titles? Do you really think that if they decide to support BD they will dump them all at once? Heck no, it will take years for them to catch up. Just as with DIVX, some titles, especially those that were hot new releases but lack lasting demand, or catalog titles that sold poorly, may take several years to finally be released. Some could be held for tie-in purposes. Look how long it's taking Warner to catch up 6-8 months' worth of titles from last year (and it's not just the ones with IME that aren't on BD yet).
Old 11-10-07, 08:32 AM
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Some of us love movies so much that we wanted all of our content in HD. So we spent our money and got both format players. We did our supporting with our dollars.

If HD DVD croaks tomorrow, I have a nice A3 that will play my existing collection and which already performs as my standard dvd playback machine. If BD bites the bullet, I still have an incredible gaming maching that will continue to be produced/updated for several years, and it will just so happen to continue playing my current BD collection. Doesn't sound like a big gamble for me.
Old 11-10-07, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by justbarelymovin
I just feel like the last consideration in all of this is the benefit of the consumer. I will continue to buy both formats, but it's just irritating. I wish a clear winner would surface.
As someone who owns both formats and can play movies on either one, what difference does it make to you whether a "clear winner" surfaces? Do you work for one of these companies and is your job security dependant on one format surviving alone and the other dying?

Ratatouille comes out on Blu-ray, you can play it. Transformers comes out on HD DVD, you can play it. Why do you personally want to see one format win?
Old 11-10-07, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
As someone who owns both formats and can play movies on either one, what difference does it make to you whether a "clear winner" surfaces? Do you work for one of these companies and is your job security dependant on one format surviving alone and the other dying?

Ratatouille comes out on Blu-ray, you can play it. Transformers comes out on HD DVD, you can play it. Why do you personally want to see one format win?
Honestly, I just get so sick of the back-and-forth. I feel like discussion is now dominated by the format war rather than the actual love of film itself. Instead of people discussing movies they like and dislike, and why, many people make it about the format war instead.

I guess it does not affect me, personally, whether or not one format surfaces as the clear winner (it would have had I not received an HD player free from my brother last week - he upgraded). My first HD-DVD purchase was yesterday.

And no, I do not work for one of these companies, so obviously my job security is not dependent on either format winning.
Old 11-10-07, 12:26 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by justbarelymovin
Honestly, I just get so sick of the back-and-forth. I feel like discussion is now dominated by the format war rather than the actual love of film itself. Instead of people discussing movies they like and dislike, and why, many people make it about the format war instead.
The simplest solution then is to just stop reading forum threads about it.

You have a valid point, but it really has nothing to do with these products themselves, just about a subset of obnoxious people taking the whole thing too seriously.
Old 11-10-07, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
Some of us love movies so much that we wanted all of our content in HD. So we spent our money and got both format players. We did our supporting with our dollars.

If HD DVD croaks tomorrow, I have a nice A3 that will play my existing collection and which already performs as my standard dvd playback machine. If BD bites the bullet, I still have an incredible gaming maching that will continue to be produced/updated for several years, and it will just so happen to continue playing my current BD collection. Doesn't sound like a big gamble for me.
Exactly.

Also, combo players are going to end up better and cheaper as we go forward. If one side wins they are going to need to bring over the people using the other format and combo players will be the way they do it. No one's BD or HD DVD collection is going to end up obsolete.
Old 11-10-07, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
The simplest solution then is to just stop reading forum threads about it.

You have a valid point, but it really has nothing to do with these products themselves, just about a subset of obnoxious people taking the whole thing too seriously.
That is the simplest solution, but it's not something that's going to happen anytime soon. There's no easy way to filter through it, either.

And you're right. I guess another thing that irritates me (small complaint) is the inconvenience of having my HD stuff split between two players. Once I move out, I'll probably be taking the PS3, but the HD player will likely stay behind. That means I'll have to go out and purchase an HD player for myself (not to mention, the one we have is a beast, and the loading times really stink). Oh well. At least they've dropped considerably in price.
Old 11-10-07, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
Exactly.

Also, combo players are going to end up better and cheaper as we go forward. If one side wins they are going to need to bring over the people using the other format and combo players will be the way they do it. No one's BD or HD DVD collection is going to end up obsolete.
If the combo players can get down to affordable pricing, then both sides will likely see big spikes in their software sales. Which would then mean there's no reason to abandoned either format. We have 3 different video game formats, all with their own exclusives. I think it's more likely we'll have to get used to the same thing for movies.
Old 11-10-07, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
Exactly.

Also, combo players are going to end up better and cheaper as we go forward. If one side wins they are going to need to bring over the people using the other format and combo players will be the way they do it. No one's BD or HD DVD collection is going to end up obsolete.
Your point is one of my biggest concerns. I have yet to go format neutral (have only an HD-A1) because I'm waiting for BD players to become cheaper ($200-300 range) that are future proof (besides the PS3 iirc).

If one format does come out on top, the least these companies can do is make an affordable (and reliable) combo player to help embrace the other sides demographic.
Old 11-10-07, 01:53 PM
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I want to watch 100% of available movies in HD, not 50%.

Simple as that.
Old 11-10-07, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by justbarelymovin
Honestly, I just get so sick of the back-and-forth. I feel like discussion is now dominated by the format war rather than the actual love of film itself. Instead of people discussing movies they like and dislike, and why, many people make it about the format war instead.
Isn't that what Movie Talk is for? If a topic gets started about a movie itself, it's going to get moved to MT.
Old 11-10-07, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
Isn't that what Movie Talk is for? If a topic gets started about a movie itself, it's going to get moved to MT.
Even bargain threads get heavily derailed, though (where I spend most of my time). Someone always feels the need to chime in with some kind of snide remark which contributes nothing to the discussion.
Old 11-10-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by justbarelymovin
Even bargain threads get heavily derailed, though (where I spend most of my time). Someone always feels the need to chime in with some kind of snide remark which contributes nothing to the discussion.
This place is nothing like AVS, which had to be shut down because of the constant arguing. Most threads here are civil. Partly due to the mods here actually moderating, but I think the bigger part is due to the fact that we don't have near as many fanboy assholes as that other forum. And people here actually like movies and not bitrates.
Old 11-10-07, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
This place is nothing like AVS, which had to be shut down because of the constant arguing. Most threads here are civil. Partly due to the mods here actually moderating, but I think the bigger part is due to the fact that we don't have near as many fanboy assholes as that other forum. And people here actually like movies and not bitrates.
You're definitely right about that, and I wasn't talking about DVD Talk exclusively. Also, it has improved a lot as of late. Anyway, that's enough of that! I feel like I'm just derailing the thread now.
Old 11-10-07, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
Exactly.

Also, combo players are going to end up better and cheaper as we go forward. If one side wins they are going to need to bring over the people using the other format and combo players will be the way they do it. No one's BD or HD DVD collection is going to end up obsolete.
What's funny is that the zealotry is even more rabid NOW than when the "format war" first started, despite the buy-in or risk being much lower.

I paid $499 for my HD-A1 in April 2006 and $499 for my PS3 in November 2006. You can now buy a PS3 and an HD-A3 for $499 TOTAL, exactly half of what it cost us bleeding-edgers to dive in. Granted, the lion's share of the savings has come on the HD-DVD side of the equation, but you can still own both HD formats for a total of $500. For anyone that is an HT afficionado, this is chump change.

Sure, I suppose one of the two formats could go belly up in the next 2 years and cease production (unlikely), but that doesn't mean the players instantly stop working, or that manufacturers cease procucing replacements.

If I worried about things like that, I would never buy into ANY video or music format (or computer hardware/software for that matter) because there is ALWAYS something better coming down the pike next week. Standards and formats are always changing.

I hear the naysayers sitting on the sidelines complaining about the possibility of obsolescence, with which I counter: How do I put a value/price on the fact that I've been able to enjoy the best HD available for the last 18 months? The fence-sitters never want to talk about the time spent WITHOUT HD, settling for artifact/compression-riddled broadcast and satellite HD, or upconverted SD-DVD.

At some point the intangible "price" of nonadoption surpasses any potential loss by one side going belly up, at least for the movie lover...
Old 11-10-07, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
As someone who owns both formats and can play movies on either one, what difference does it make to you whether a "clear winner" surfaces? Do you work for one of these companies and is your job security dependant on one format surviving alone and the other dying?

Ratatouille comes out on Blu-ray, you can play it. Transformers comes out on HD DVD, you can play it. Why do you personally want to see one format win?
You're right that there are few clear cut downsides to having to deal with 2 formats. Some are small nuisances.

Absolute
1. Shelf space in home theater for 2 players (until dual format player is an equal option)
2. Shelf space in stores for releases from Warner (problem only for titles that would take 1 row)
3. Double the number of power cords and connection cords (uses up 2 sets of inputs on TV)

Likely
1. Slower transition of general public to HD formats. Many are sitting out waiting for an end to the format war (even if there is no "need" to wait). If HD formats remain secondary to DVD, some titles may not be released in HD that othwerise might have been.
2. Need for 2 drives if playing movies on computers (especially laptops)
3. Limited portability until dual format players are a better option. Dual format players may increase the chance for player malfunction.

Questionable
1. Unclear what cost of a player would be if there was no format war. Would it be less than the $199 A3 (or $99 A2 for those lucky enough to get one) and $399 PS2? Would a single format player today be less than $600?
2. Overall the format war may be costing these companies money. Won't that ultimately get past on to the consumer in the long term?




So there might not be that much clear cut downside to having 2 formats. I think the problem is with perception. It just seems wasteful and inefficient. It confuses the public. Maybe it shouldn't, but I think it will be a further hurdle in HD formats gaining ground on DVD. Maybe some don't care, since the major titles will get released. It's not clear to me that 1080p is the ultimate quality that we'll ever get. It was about 9 years between DVD and the HD forrmats getting released. Should I rebuy what I have on DVD just to have another format come out within 10 years? For watching films now, HD seems great. But from a collection standpoint, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble given the format war.
Old 11-10-07, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
To an extent, that might be true. The current market division has given us sub-$100 HD DVD players within a year of release, and software prices that are angling downward (not including Fox). However, I think for most people, supporting both formats served two purposes. One, it allows us to watch whatever movies we want. Paramount goes HD only? Okay, fine, let's watch it on the HD DVD player. Spider-Man only available on Blu-ray? No problem, I'll just throw it into the PS3. Two, if or when one format finally does prevail, we're already covered. And if it takes the more stubborn companies a longer time to get behind the victor (i.e. Sony drags its tail on releasing big titles on HD DVD, or Universal twiddles its thumbs instead of releasing existing HD DVD titles on Blu-ray), then we're still able to watch the movies we've already purchased.

Dual-format supporters also gain a nice sense of perspective. There's no incentive for me, as an owner of both formats, to push one format over the other. I just don't have to worry about it. One wins, one loses, either way, I've still got the player and the discs. Or neither loses and both go on as niche formats. I'm already capable of playing both, so no loss there, either. I can sit back and watch this whole thing unfold without raising my blood pressure level, while I'm taking breaks from watching Ratatouille on Blu-ray and The Bourne Ultimatum on HD DVD, that is.

So...I guess my point is that just because someone owns both formats doesn't mean they necessarily demand that both formats stay in existence. Some of us bought both formats because whether it's called HD DVD or Blu-ray, the only people we care about winning are ourselves, the consumers.
Now that's what I call posting!

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