Commentary

Blue Horizons

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. In the highly charged race for the new high-definition disc format, Sony's BluRay has emerged victorious. This has implications for everything from computing, where higher capacity allows for more efficient disc backups and physical transfer of data, to the obvious effects for Hollywood. Gaming too, will feel the reverberations of this sudden change in the media storage forces.

Sony took a big gamble with the inclusion of BluRay in the PS3, and early analysis suggested it backfired, making the console too expensive, and really failing to pick up enough market share to carry exclusive titles. Many of the formerly exclusive titles for the system have been released, or are planning to be released, on the Xbox360 as well, due to the poor PS3 sales.

However, the reverse of Sony's marketing efforts may end up happening. While the company hoped to push the BluRay format into homes with the expected huge success of the PS3 game system, Sony may end up selling PS3 systems because of BluRay's success over HD DVD. Over the coming year leading up to the holiday season, Hollywood's offerings for BluRay should grow with the end of format infighting. As consumers consider shopping for a BluRay player, any household that has a serious gamer in it will likely consider the PS3. That, coupled with some of Sony's other planned releases, such as "Home," may just put the system back on the map as a serious competitor to the Xbox360.

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Additionally, this raises questions for the next generation of consoles. If Sony has the rights to the format, will this put Microsoft at a price disadvantage in production, because of licensing fees for the player and discs?

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