DVD Format war talks fail

BluRayDVD.jpgAlthough you may dismiss these posts on a new DVD format war you do so at your own peril, for you will be affected by them. Whatever new format comes out will be applied to games consoles, DVD players, recorders, TV-DVD combo units, handheld DVD recorders, and if you don’t own one now there is the chance that sometime in the future you will.

So if there’s a format war you’ll be forced to choose sides, and it may be the wrong side meaning you may be left with obselete equipment. If you already have DVD in some form, you may be forced into choosing how to buy your new equipment and DVD’s, investing in one of the options and hoping it doesn’t loose.

The last piece of news we had was that Sony and Toshiba, the two rivals in the new formats with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD respectively, were in discussions to merge or at least to make them compatible before they started distributing the products and selling them to the consumer, thus forcing the choices onto them.

Just this week we find that the talks between them have failed and they are set to go their separate ways, it’s now up to us who wins. Eurogamer carried the news:

Speaking in a press conference, Kutaragi [SCE president Ken Kutaragi] said: “There’s very little chance that the negotiations will go through.” This follows Toshiba’s announcement last month that it would not agree to a unified format based around the Blu-ray disc.

Kutaragi went on to discuss Sony’s decision to adopt Blu-ray for the PS3, claiming that “product planning” had forced the company to make a choice early on.

Basically it boils down to this, whoever sells the most units and grabs the biggest market share wins, and that decision is up to us, to a degree. The decision is forced on us when one of the companies forces the DVD unit on us, in either the computer you’ve purchased, or the games console or even what studio produces the movie you want to buy on DVD. Different studios will be releasing their old and new catalogues on their chosen formats. Now we just have to wait and see who wins.

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22 thoughts on “DVD Format war talks fail

  1. The PS3 and Sony have made the Blu-Ray technology.

    But we need UNDAMAGABLE data. I’ve TONS of VCD’s, that aren’t damaged with scratches, but begin to malfunction, because I watch them a lot, and VCD’s are generally low quality discs. I’ve been told that CD audio and DVD’s are the same, over many years….I would not enjoy purchasing ANOTHER special edition of Spaceballs on DVD…..

  2. Consumers unite !

    Boycott both products until they settled to 1 format.

    Or make a petition to your senator or president.

    Who knows… maybe it will works.

  3. I’m not interested in either format. I rent movies and games from Gameznflix. They will be offering near 50,000 titles soon. This should satisfy my entertainment needs for many years.

  4. Snake eater – yes, in an ideal world, that’s what would happen, but what makes me think it won’t? Studio press releases saying that they will only release on their adopted format.

    Sure some Studios may go on both formats, but there are those already publicly stating they won’t.

  5. just because there is 2 different formats dosent mean the movie wont come out on both formats.

    kinda like how the same game comes out on all 3 systems

  6. i think its just a matter of waiting & watching’ …
    as well as these formats for video they’re sure to bring out units for pc’s – over a year or so they will become damned cheap as componenets for pc always do – then standalone’s will follow.

    i’m going to keep with dvd’s until i see for myself the actual quality diff & if its actually visible to the eye. i think there is also a chance that we’ll be able to buy new films on dvd as opposed to new formats just like vhs is still avaialable & a lot cheaper at that.

    in the long run – i think the video market may become very like the game market {gamecube / xbox / ps2 / pc / interweb} … all just a matter of preference.

  7. it sounds like a bad idea but if they make new dvd players that can support the new format and are backwards compatible with the old ones, than whats there to lose. you can watch all your old dvds and watch new ones in better quality and new features.

    i only wish the x-box 360 thought of this change. Maybe MICROSOFT will create an add-on for the 360 to support these changes. And if SONY is part of the partnership for the creation of the new format than the PS3 will most likely have an add-on or allready be able to support this new format.

  8. They just want our money. DVD is all we’ll need for at least 5 more years. Why don’t they let their new formats mature and get even better there’s a HUGE incentive to upgrade our collections, instead of “Oh, yea, it’s bigger faster and better, I’m SOLD!”

    I’m not going to spend $400+ on a new collection of movies I ALREADY OWN.

  9. Im sure some unscrupulous techno wizard will (illegally) come up with some sort of converter that will allow your hardware to play both. Isnt that the norm?

  10. Word is on all the specs so far that XBox 360 will carry a standard DVD player.

    The movie industry is 50\50 on the formats as is the computer industry, I think you’re right show, the PS3 will play a major factor in it.

  11. Like the guy at the digital bits website said, I think BlurRay holds the trump card with the likely saturation of BluRay playable PS3’s next spring. With the computer industry and half the movie industry in BluRay’s pocket, HD-DVD might be able to keep up if Billy Gates decides to support it on Xbox 360.

  12. This is just like Betamax and VHS. I think this problem of obsolescence is beginning to effect consumer habits anyway. They are getting smarter. As long as the equipment they own does what they want or need it to do there is no need to replace it. Take computers for example. I need two things from my home computer. First I need it to run the tax software to do my yearly taxes and second I need to get on the internet. That’s about it. As long as I can do both with my computer there is no need to replace it.

    My kids (18 and 15 years old) still enjoy their old super ninetendo games. They actually play them as often as their playstation 2 games.

    Consumers are getting smarter. Take the new plasma screens. Yes they are better than than regular television…but they are not 10 times better than a regular TV. Until they are, or until the price comes down dramatically, I’m not buying one!

  13. Joseph, good idea, but what about those of us who want the quality of video and audio? There’s been a big post about that under the downloading movies post, quite interesting and many people are willing to do the download movies rather than buy the DVD.

    Personally I’d still want to be able to play it on the home cinema system…so a download to a home media centre would work for me.

  14. Personally….I think backwards compatable is a GREAT thing! Look at Playsation 2…..everone was going to buy the next PS2….but they let you still play your old PS1 games on the new system…..made it easier to make the switch that we were going to make anyway. The next ps3 will probably let you play DVDs,CD’s and Blue Ray…..plus ps2 games and ps3’s……no one like’s being forced….they want a choice!

  15. I remember in the 80’s having to pick between the “VHS” rental store and the “Beta” store. My dad picked “Beta” and when it died off…I remember having to drive 20 miles to rent a movie. I.m sure that the 1st one to get “their” product out and offer it at a reasonable price and support it with $20 dollar dvd’s will win. Personally….Im still pissed that George Lucas waited as long as he did and only released the 1st trilogy because he could double(or quadruple) his profits…..Damn money maker!!!!!!

  16. Why don’t they just have that ‘imovies’ idea Sony was talking about, I have a pretty good computer, it can handle a couple dozen movies. And it’s better then having to spend what’s probably going to be 200 – 250 dollars (I’m guessing since the technology will be new), 500 for both, I wouldn’t mind just downloading them straight to my computer legally. It’s more conveniant for me and for thousands of other people.

  17. From the official Blu-Ray site:

    “Although it’s up to each manufacturer to decide if they want to make their products backwards compatible with DVD, the format is far too popular to not be supported. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) expects every Blu-ray Disc device to be backward compatible with CDs and DVDs.”

    That’s the key, it’s up to the individual manufacturers to make the equipment backwards compatible. Just look at MS who are currently considering not making the XBox 360 backwards compatible, there’s not an immediate incentive to make hardware backwards compatible just because there’s an existing audience out there.

    The biggest threat out there is not if the hardware is backwards compatible or not, it’s the split in the production of the new technology DVD’s by the Studios.

    Those signed up to Blu-Ray are going to produce the back catalogue and all new DVD’s in Blu-Ray format, while those Studios signed up to HD-DVD will do the same with HD-DVD format.

    Your problem, as the consumer, will be if you decide to buy a movie released on DVD by Studio A you’ll need Blu-Ray, a DVD released by Studio B, HD-DVD.

    So which would you buy, or no new DVD’s? Check some of the related posts for the story there, we had it some months ago.

  18. If I had ‘realized’ that then I the entirety of my original post would be something completely different, so no I did not ‘realize’ that.

    But either way, I’ll hang back and wait to see which format wins before I make any choices.

  19. I concur. I’m still buying my DVDs as well. This new format isn’t needed. Yes, probably in like 2010 or 2009. DVDs are still very new. You realize, if they can get away doing this, after the winner is declared a few years later they’ll do this all over again with some other format. REBUY.

  20. To put it blatantly, both sides can suck my c*ck. I’m still building up my DVD collection and I’m not going to throw all of them away and say ‘I better get Blu-ray’ like I did with VHS.

    I have bought the Back to the future three times damn it! I want justice!

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