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Blu-Ray Should Have Been Optional on PS3? 228

Ars Technica has a piece looking at reasons why Sony may have wanted to make the Blu-Ray player optional in their next-gen console. From the article: "By tying what is essentially a gaming device to a new optical disc format, Sony is hoping to kill two birds with one stone, but they're expecting consumers to pay for the stone as if it were a diamond. That is, in hoping that consumers will see the Blu-ray player as a good investment in the future, they're risking the fallout that comes when consumers realize that diamonds aren't investments at all. They're for show. And the way the PS3 is priced right now, bling appears to be the operative word. But bling sells, and when manufacturing costs come down, we can all look forward to this edition of Sony Style... at least so long as we're not satiated by a competing product."
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Blu-Ray Should Have Been Optional on PS3?

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  • by Overloadplanetunreal ( 603019 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:58PM (#15436668)
    Actually, I work for a large game developer and publisher and every single one of our Xbox 360 titles have filled up a dual layer DVD (around 8 gigs) - we sometimes have to cut come graphic or sound content out at the end to make it fit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:05PM (#15436747)
    Blu-Ray should have been optional for very good reasons. Even the most advanced PC games to date have completely failed to exceed the capacity of a single layer of a DVD, only occasionally touching the second layer. Most games are still coming out on CD's! Even within the next six years this is unlikely to change, (apart from the move to DVD) with changes coming more incrementally and gradually as the technologies behind modern gaming solidify and standardize. There's less year to year revolution in game development these days, and there will be less as we move toward a given level of complexity.

    Few games come close to a single layer of a DVD, and there's yet to be a serious challenger for dual-layer DVD capacity yet, certainly no notable games have shipped on multiple DVD's (A few might have, but I'm a big spending gamer, and I've yet to see one). Unless that's likely to change, Blu-Ray will not be of any tangible use to gamers, it's all about the movies. Xbox 360 has gained a signifigant cost economy by restraining itself to what is needed to provide the best gaming experience, and not trying to position itself in another market. Games might grow to fill that extra blu-ray space, but the only concievable way I can see that happening is by packing it full of cinematic tripe (So maybe Final Fantasy, since those games are always CGI-heavy). An awful lot of Xbox and PS2 games were actually capable of being shipped on CD media, instead of DVD. 1080p isnt even the reason behind it either, since due to various limitations it's been widely demonstrated that you can expect most games to run in 720p on both the 360 and PS3, 1080p is nice for small puzzle games, but it's not going to be the native mode of anything or even considered for the next three years, especially since single-digit percentages of the market can take advantage of it.

    Blu-Ray is about controlling the next generation, and Sony only put it into the next generation machine on the basis that it will bolster the market position of a format that Sony gets royalties on. If you want to buy into that, then the price is worth it, because otherwise you've got a console that isnt substantially faster than Xbox 360, and any technical advantages will only be shown in the last stages of the console life cycles, where games will really push the hardware to the limits.

    Sony isnt selling a console, and it isn't even pretending to this time. Removing Blu-Ray now would simply show that the Chinese factories were right, and that the jump to HD-DVD is all that's needed for the forseeable future. Japanese companies are keen on Blu-Ray since it's technical intricacies mean only they can produce it while the cloning companies struggle to catch up, skimming the market for a year or two.

    -Steve Gray
    -Cobalt Software
  • by PhoenixOne ( 674466 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:27PM (#15437611)
    Again, I think this generation of consoles has been rushed. In 2-4 years, BluRay and HD-DVD will be cheaper and more desirable to home consumers. By then, we will start seeing games bigger than 1 DVD in size, and new block-buster movies will be released in HD for the home. But, in 2006, BluRay is not worth the cost.

    So the question is, will the "HD Future" come in time to save the PS3 (2007-2008). Or will it arrive just in time for the "Next-Next Generation" (2009-2010)?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982