Wright of Way

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No Way for Blu-Ray

I was reading an article recently in BusinessWeek about the ongoing argument between Sony (and its gang) and Toshiba (and its gang) over the competing interests of the next generation DVDs.

The article, aptly titled, "Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD" went into eggregious detail about the benefits of both and who's lining up to support which technology. Interesting to see the history and politics play out. It kind of reminds me of a WWE Royal Rumble.

Basically - Sony's version (Blu-Ray) is the cornerstone for the new PS3 due out next year, and will allow a ton of space on each disc. Plus, the movie and gaming studios like this one because it's going to have beefier piracy controls. Microsoft's version (HD DVD) will have arguably better quality, although not as much space on each disc.

But here's why this entire debate doesn't even really matter.

#1 - As we've seen with the recent iPod Video launch - and my even more recent blog posting - discs are merely another consumer electronics technology that will eventually go the way of the vinyl record, 8-track, cassette and VHS tape. If I can download an episode of Lost or buy my favorite song from the Black-Eyed Peas, then why should I rearrange my schedule to be home at Wednesday's at 9pm or buy 12 other songs I really don't like? With content On Demand, individually priced and mobile...I can interact/view that content when and where I want. CDs and DVDs are too limiting.

#2 - With all the big players lining up across from each other, the attention seems to be diverted from the one company that will make or break this whole discussion. Wal-Mart. According to a July 20, 2004 post in the Movie Marketing Blog (great read, btw), Wal-Mart accounts for 37% of DVD sales in the U.S. So goes Wal-Mart, so goes the decision.

My suggestion to Sony? Be sure and make the Arkansas Razorbacks nearly unstoppable in the 2007 edition of NCAA College Football.


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