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Blu-Ray The Flavour of The Moment 358

Posted by Zonk
from the like-sweet-candy dept.
News from all over seems to indicate that Blu-Ray has been accepted by entertainment media groups. wingman358 writes "The technology research group 'Forrester Research' has declared the Sony-led next generation Blu-Ray format the winner over HD-DVD, led by Microsoft. Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler says, 'After a long and tedious run up to launch, it is now clear to Forrester that the Sony-led Blu-Ray format will win.'" Meanwhile, the format continues to improve. mimio writes "Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday raised the stakes in a battle between high-definition DVD formats by urging a group led by Sony Corp. to include features important to PC makers and users." Finally, Tibor the Hun writes "Apparently Warner has switched from backing HD-DVD to Blu-Ray. What impact might this have on Microsoft's decision to use HD-DVD on the Xbox 360?"
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Blu-Ray The Flavour of The Moment

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  • A God Has Fallen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geomon (78680) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:24AM (#13844696) Homepage Journal
    What impact might this have on Microsoft's decision to use HD-DVD on the Xbox 360?"

    I'd say that the impact will be to let people in the industry know that you can buck Microsoft and not suffer immediate penalty. If everyone else is in the Bluy-Ray camp and Microsoft isn't, then Microsoft will not look like it is leading the industry - an image they have been cultivating for nearly two decades.

    This is an image impact for Microsoft. They will have to make HD-DVD work as a standard or accept defeat and use Blue-Ray in their next iteration of XBox.
    • What's going to happen is the slow adoption of blu-ray will give the illusion that it's leading the pack. Then when the xbox is released it will sell tens of millions, quicker than any console before it. The pent up demand is already there.

      With so many HD-DVD players out there working, in the field, Microsoft wins again and the rest of the industry will need to make a massive change of tack and bring themselves into line.
      • With so many HD-DVD players out there working, in the field, Microsoft wins again and the rest of the industry will need to make a massive change of tack and bring themselves into line.

        With your comment stating the exact opposite of what my post and the other reply has written, I'd say we all are just guessing at this point and that we have, for the first time in many years, a real horse race on our hands. This is a good thing for the industry because it allows each faction to pitch the advantages to the ge
      • Except you've very obviously missed the part where Microsoft isn't going to ship the xbox 360 with an HD-DVD drive. They may decide to in the future, but there is no commitment that they will. Hence, your point is negated.
      • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:4, Informative)

        by EpsCylonB (307640) <eps@NOSPam.epscylonb.com> on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:00PM (#13845058) Homepage
        Of course it is worth reminding ourselves that the drive in the 360 is a normal dvd drive, Sony's PS3 will be the first console to offer HD video, and it will be using a blu ray drive.
        • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Delphiki (646425)
          Actually, the XBox was the first console to offer HD video, the Xbox 360 will be the first console to offer HD video in all games, and the PS3 will be the first console to play HD movies off of optical discs. I usually don't nitpick like that, but there seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the Xbox 360, so I thought it was worth pointing out.
    • by slipnslidemaster (516759) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:40AM (#13844871)


      I think it's interesting to watch and see who is the 800lb gorrila here. Sony doesn't want to repeat losing the format war like they did with betamax and Microsoft want's to lead the charge with "innovation" and being an industry leader.

      Who has more to lose in this fight? I've often thought that Sony would be the company that has the muscle to actually give Microsoft a run for their money.

      Finally, one of the comments further down says that "Blue-ray" is a cooler name. Don't discount this. I think that "Blue-ray" as a term resonates with both us geeks and the public. Silly as it might be for us, using specifications and capacity, etc., the coolness factor of something simple like a name might sway the buying public.

      My money is on Sony in this one.

      • by Sancho (17056) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:45PM (#13845458) Homepage
        Blu-Ray definitely sounds better, but don't understimate the fact that HD and DVD are both in the current lexicon. Most of the public knows about DVD by now, and HD is growing by leaps and bounds. Combining the terms to form "HD-DVD" gives your average consumer an immediate understanding of what the product is, whereas they'll have to research (even if it's just asking the salesdroid) to figure out what Blu-Ray is. Your average consumer is not going to care about resolution, DRM, or any of the other technical details about the product. They're just going to want to make sure it works on their new HD television. That ought to give HD-DVD quite the leg-up.
      • by garcia (6573) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:47PM (#13845499) Homepage
        My money is on Sony in this one.

        Exactly. It would have been different if the 360 was going to START shipping w/HD-DVD but because they are trying to be first out of the gate and are instead equipping their models with standard DVD drives, they aren't going to be able to beat Sony's Blu-Ray PS3.

        Microsoft went about this the wrong way, IMHO. It will likely depend on the success of the PS3 vs the 360 (equipped or not).
    • I don't think this will affect Xbox games anyhow. Think about it, can you import XBOX 360 to PS3? No, so what does it matter. Companies will still make a game for XBOX, but this will help ensure that no hacks come out to let someone who owns a PS3 play XBOX 360 games - since the media is of a different type.

      If anything, this new blue-ray type will hurt DVD vendors...now they will have to subscribe to the Blue-ray format...we are assuming, obviously, that blue-ray won this competition - which is still
      • I don't think this will affect Xbox games anyhow. Think about it, can you import XBOX 360 to PS3? No, so what does it matter. Companies will still make a game for XBOX, but this will help ensure that no hacks come out to let someone who owns a PS3 play XBOX 360 games - since the media is of a different type.

        You are correct. BUT...

        The whole Blue-Ray cs HD-DBD think isn't just games, but movies. Everyone's waiting to see who wins so they can start printing Movies on the appropriate discs and start buil

        • by AviLazar (741826)
          The problem is compounded by the fact that Microsoft is large and can throw TONS of money towards advertising and lobbying to make HD-DVD the format. While they may not win it will definately slow the whole process down.

          I do not think this is a problem, especially since Sony can do the same thing. Since this is not going to be lobbys against congress, but against the people - I don't mind if MS throws some money down my way (assuming they will make their product cheaper).
        • Microsoft want's people to use their X-Boxes as more than just gaming rigs to increase sales. "Buy an X-Box 360 and watch High Def Movies!" But if they lose the format war then that's a major loss to the X-Box, as it goes from Home multimedia system to gaming system that can maybe play mp3s.

          Except MS isn't committed to either format at the moment while Sony is. If Blu-Ray wins then MS just ships their next rev of the XBox 360 with Blu-Ray. If HD-DVD wins then they ship with HD-DVD (and software to allow
          • Except MS isn't committed to either format at the moment while Sony is.

            I don't see how that is the case.

            XBoxes are supposedly coming out in November, so we're talking about a month away. Plus, they already have them sitting in some Walmarts as demos.

            It's my understanding that the hardware for Blue-Ray cannot play HD-DVD and vice-versa. So if they already have the final version out, isn't it a done deal?

            • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Sancho (17056)
              Xbox360s will be shipping with a regular DVD drive. Microsoft said that future revisions may have HD-DVD. This brings up two points:

              1) Few if any games will ever be made to utilize HD-DVD because it effectively requires buying a new console. This significantly reduces the market for the game, as not many people will buy the new console.

              2) Given 1, the only useful purpose for an HD-DVD XBox360 is to watch HD-DVDs. If HD-DVD as a format doesn't take off, Microsoft simply won't include HD-DVD drives in lat
      • Both of them offer HD video. HD-DVD is in no way more related to HDTV than BluRay is.

        And neither of them will work in current players.
      • Can HD-DVD be used on my current player?

        Your current player won't be able to play a native HD-DVD (or BD) disk -it doesn't have the right kind of laser.

        OTOH both formats have specifications for hybrid disks where one side of the disk is HD-DVD (or BD) and the flip side is a 'normal" DVD. Much like today's DVDs often have a "Full Screen" and "Widescreen" version on different sides of the same disk.

        IIRC though, this limits the number of layers that can be used, so the normal DVD side can only be a single (4.3
    • by Have Blue (616) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:46AM (#13844919) Homepage
      The 360 was never going to use HD-DVDs. The initial 360 shipments were always planned to have normal DVD drives, they just admitted they were keeping open the option of including HD-DVD drives in the future. That was a reasonable position as they assumed (correctly) that the format war would not be resolved until after the 360 was released, or so close to the release as to make guessing which horse to back too risky even for Microsoft.
    • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:3, Informative)

      by alecks (473298)
      I'm not sure what HD-DVD or BluRay has to do with Xbox? MS announced that the xbox360 will use a standard 9GB DVD... and untill the Xbox720 comes out, i'm sure a lot will change by then.
    • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:5, Informative)

      by WARM3CH (662028) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:55AM (#13845006)
      I guess you've forgotten that Microsoft's profit is secured as the VC-1 codec is used in BOTH Blu-Ray and HD-DVD formats. Moreover, Xbox360 only includs a noraml DVD drive on the initial release so Microsoft can always switch sides.
    • I'd say that the impact will be to let people in the industry know that you can buck Microsoft and not suffer immediate penalty.
      I'm sorry, but you need to get over your MS-hate and see what's really going on here.

      If you thought MS was bad, wait until the xxAA comes along. The only reason MS preferred the HD-DVD format to Blu-Ray was the god-awful copy restriction stuff that Blu-Ray mandates which would prevent MS using their XBox 360 as a remote player for a PC with a Blu-Ray drive. In any case, it's Tosh
    • Re:A God Has Fallen? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DrStrange66 (654036)
      This is just plain dumb. Until one of the formats actually mainstreams no winner can be declared. It is ridiculous to declare Sony the winner when their product has yet to reach the consumer. There are articles stating that Blu-Ray will lose badly simply because the name. HD-DVD is pretty clear that it's a High Density DVD. Everyone knows what a DVD is. HD-DVD solely in name screams compatibility to the consumer. My prediction is that the war is far from over.
    • I agree that it currently looks like MSFT will have to put its tail between its legs and move to Blue-Ray or look like a follower for longer than they would otherwise. But why are they SO tied to HD-DVD and opposed to Blue-Ray? It stunned me when they put out that press release putting down Blue-Ray and attempting to pump up HD-DVD. So did the HP/Dell rebuttal but that's another story. IIRC, the Blue-Ray spec has it with a network I/F for standalone use so maybe that's the reason, no Windows needed.

      Does any
  • by Michael_Munks (869444) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:25AM (#13844710) Homepage
    The name is way cooler.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's actually Blu-Ray, which is even cooler than Blue-Ray, because of the hip omitted letter. Everyone knows that to be cool in today's society you have to omit letters, add extra ones and/or substitute S with Z. Infact, the HD-DVD consortium would have been better off calling it H-Deez DVD from the start in order to appeal to the predominantly young market.

      Just think, our grandads died shooting Germans in a freezing forest for this...
    • Well, the HD-DVD camp was going to call theirs "Hoo-Ray", but somehow it just didn't sound as good. The new Chinese standard will, I believe, be called "Hu-Ray" but that's not confirmed.
    • To many of us, it was obvious for a while now that Blu-Ray was going to win. At first, HD-DVD was the superior format due to its support of MPEG-4, while Blu-Ray only did MPEG-2. Then Blu-Ray caught up and adopted all the codecs HD-DVD was supporting, making the only difference between them storage capacity. Blu-Ray's is much larger, so it was clear since then that Blu-Ray would win out. That's not even getting into the fact that the Playstation 3 will be using Blu-Ray discs.

      Even Apple is backing Blu-Ra
  • by TheGuano (851573) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:26AM (#13844720)
    vis a vis Xbox360. After all, one of their #1 concerns with the console is to prevent piracy. If HD-DVD flopped generally, then there would naturally be fewer people with players, and specifically burners. I'm sure that would put some kind of dent in "casual" piracy of HD-DVD content.

    And it's not like it really matters that much for a console - MS probably wouldn't mind if it was absolutely proprietary (like DC's GD-ROM was *supposed* to be), as long as they can play standard DVDs. Maybe when production costs go down, they'd even support both Blue-ray and HD-DVD.

    • Umm...Blu-Ray is suppose to have burners available as the media comes available I thought, while HD-DVD was going to be delayed in response to burners. If I remember that correctly, M$ would be safe for a while with HD-DVD anyway.

      The problem with GD-Rom has nothing to do with proprietary media. What happened was game makers often did not use the full storage making CDs still usable for games. You could launch games easily enough because of the way Sega implemented the bootrom for the purpose of allowin
      • The problem with GD-Rom has nothing to do with proprietary media. What happened was game makers often did not use the full storage making CDs still usable for games.

        What you just described IS a failure of a proprietary format. The fact that it was rendered redundant because of game size and additional support/features/workarounds in the system doesn't really change that fact.

        In fact, the very first sentence [wikipedia.org] of the Wikipedia article on GD-ROM supports this: "GD-ROM is the proprietary optical disc fo

    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:14PM (#13845184)
      If HD-DVD flopped generally, then there would naturally be fewer people with players, and specifically burners.

      This will hurt MS. Unlike Sony who has design engineers, patents, and manufacturing facilities and experience, Microsoft has none of these. They're known mostly in hardware for the MSMouse and the XBox.

      Sony can make their own new format (e.g. UMD) including the drives, media, and pressing plants. Microsoft can't. If HD-DVD was to only appear in the XBox with a run of a few ten's of millions over the next 7 years the price would be so high that XBox would really become non-competative.

      The only reason Microsoft wants HD-DVD for the XBox is because they clearly need an HD drive of some sort, and HD-DVD is the only game in town that isn't Sony.

  • by Godeke (32895) * on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:27AM (#13844729)
    Considering that the 360 uses a standard DVD drive out of the gate it would seem pretty obvious that if Blue-Ray gains traction and the disks and drives are in bulk production at a reasonable rate that Microsoft's "decision" will be about as long term as the decision to not include a next gen drive at all.

    I guess it is *possible* that Microsoft has drank the coolaid to such an extent that they would prefer to hobble themselves than use a competitor's product (the Java requirement of Blue-Ray must be killing them). Even if so, it will simply mean they have a drive that is only really useful for gaming. I sometimes wonder if part (and only a small part to be sure) of the Game Cube's lackluster sales was the fact that is played "games only", removing the "but we can play CDs/DVDs on it" excuse. However, that is much less of an issue every day as DVD players are nearly available as toy surprises in cereal boxes.

    Blue-Ray drives and disks have been available since the July in Japan as opposed to the HD-DVD which is still vaporware (just this month the first sample drives have shipped). I have to give Blue-Ray some credit for being available, some more for having a pretty important backers (Sony's commitment to it in the PS3 has a lot more credibility than "Xbox will have HD-DVD, maybe, someday"). The movie industry has made it clear they don't plan to *ignore* Blue-Ray (which was the earlier stance of some). HD-DVD looks forward to a more and more uphill battle if they can't pull more important backing than Microsoft out of their hat.
    • Every once in a while, a spelling error comes along that makes me chuckle.

      This time, it's an error that actually corrects the original mispelling of a word.

      Kool. :)
    • "..the Java requirement of Blue-Ray must be killing them (microsoft)"

      Could you elaborate on this a little more? Why would a storage format require a certain programming language?

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:28AM (#13844742)

    News from all over seems to indicate that Blue-Ray has been accepted by entertainment media groups.

    Read: Pr0n industry.
    • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:48AM (#13844944)
      But what do fishermen have to do with DVD formats?
    • Okay. Can you name a porn group supporting it?

      For some reason, it's an incredibly popular meme here that the porn industry drives everything (probably from the myth that Betamax died because porn supported VHS...instead of the much simpler fact that Betamax had a limited 1-hour running time that is shorter than your average movie, and that VHS allowed consumers to record for 8 hours with decreased picture quality). But as in the linked articles, you can see that the entertainment media groups referred to
    • Actually, everything I have read indicates that the industry is still pretty much split. Apparently, larger studios are leaning towards Blu-Ray because of larger disc capacity, and smaller studios are leaning towards HD-DVD due to it's lower cost. Those were the reports from this years Adult Entertainment Expo anyway. (uh, not that I follow porn industry news, my friend told me that... I mean, I just read the articles... I mean... nevermind...)
  • ...is normal, everyday, plain-Jane DVD's. Mostly so that I don't have to re-buy all of my DVD's just to keep up with the current standards, re-buy a compatible HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player, and then have to do the same thing all over again several years from now, just to "keep up with the standards."

    Seriously. If it's not broke, don't fix it.

    • by Chosen Reject (842143) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:42AM (#13844888)
      so that I don't have to re-buy all of my DVD's

      I was unaware that when the next generation comes out that suddenly all old stuff dies. Tell us, when DVD came out, did your VHS collection suddenly go up in flames?

      re-buy a compatible HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player

      You already have one!?!! Wow, you must be on the inside, somewhere!

    • This makes no sense. You don't have to re-buy them if a new standard comes out. If you are happy with the current standard, then by all means, stay with them
      If a new and improved standard comes out, at least you have the option of buying a better version.
      Contrary to prevailing culture, you don't have to keep up with the Joneses. Feel free to be happy with the older version, while people who want the better quaility can pay the price of admission
    • ...is normal, everyday, plain-Jane DVD's. Mostly so that I don't have to re-buy all of my DVD's just to keep up with the current standards, re-buy a compatible HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player, and then have to do the same thing all over again several years from now, just to "keep up with the standards."

      I own a turntable. I can buy a new one if I so desire. I've even taken the time to copy vinyl to cassette and more recently copy to CD. It's a hassle but I prefer CD over cassette. But one of the nice things about
    • by RaboKrabekian (461040) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:10PM (#13845143) Journal
      It *is* "broke." DVDs are unsuitable for HD contet. Your old DVDs will still play fine for as long as you want them, but there needs to be a new format for HD. If you dont want to make the jump to HD yet, then don't. Your old content will play fine for as long as you want it to, ad you'll be able to buy DVDs for a very, very long time.
  • by n0-0p (325773) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:29AM (#13844756)
    I suppose I'd be less hesitant if Forrester wasn't so often financed by the people they report on.
  • by Captain Chaos (13688) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:31AM (#13844779)
    Warner has not made any statements that they are dropping HD-DVD, they will most likely release in both formats like Paramount plans.
    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/news/html/breaki ng_article.cfm?article_id=8150 [homemediaretailing.com]
    • From the article you linked to A statement of software support, in which Warner will formally announce its intent to release movies and other content on the high-definition disc format, is expected sometime today.
      I actually just read an article stating that the WB didnt announce support because of HP throwing a wrench in their plans. WB was demanding greater DRM which the BluRay working group had accepted until HP demanded that they allow managed home copying a la HD DVD http://www.tgdaily.com/2005/10/ [tgdaily.com]
    • Warner has not made any statements that they are dropping HD-DVD, they will most likely release in both formats like Paramount plans.

      The difference is slight, when you think about it.

      With these media companies, what really matters is *not* supporting a format, depriving it of content. Early on, both Paramount and Warner had said they were only releasing titles on HD-DVD, which made people worry that Blu-ray would fail for lack of titles. Now... now it's looking like HD-DVD owners are going to be the ones

  • by SumDog (466607) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:32AM (#13844796) Homepage Journal
    I like the fact that the war is won even before either format is officially in use. Honestly, we're not going to truly know the winner until the PS3/XBox/HD-DVD/Blu-ray players hit the shelves. Unless 90% of all distributors declare going on way or the other (and who's to say they won't change with the tide if they can do so without too steep a manufacturing loss), we really aren't going to know the winning standard until they're in full use. It's the good ole Betamax/VHS battle. Personally, I hope Blu-ray wins...and I hope we get Bur-Ray writable drives. That would be so bad ass!
  • by EvilDonut (164879) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:33AM (#13844805)
    What impact might this have on Microsoft's decision to use HD-DVD on the Xbox 360? [slashdot.org]

    Microsoft has NOT decided on anything with regards to HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray on Xbox 360. The /. article linked in the summary is erroneous, it was based on a Bill Gates quote that pre-dated it by three months, and all he said was that MS might put a next-gen optical drive in the Xbox 360 after the format war had been settled, if the demand was there.
    • Blu-Ray will be in the PS3. If HD-DVD beats Blu-Ray in the format war then the PS3 is gonna have an expensive not particularly useful component. Sony are using the PS3 to push Blu-Ray but they are taking a huge risk by putting their eggs in one basket. M$ are neutral to formats because they aren't tied into either. But they know that a HD-DVD win would be good for Xbox 360 so hence they are supporting HD-DVD. If they supported Blu-Ray they would be helping Sony. In that sense M$ won't want the HP changes m
  • Companies urged (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LordSnooty (853791)
    ..."to include features important to PC makers and users." I'd say the no1 feature of import is that the format isn't battling with some other similar but incompatible format. Stick to one format, guys, that's what will satisfy the consumer most. Do they REALLY want a rerun of VHS v Beta, Cassette v DCC, CD v Minidisc? These chaps are thick in the head.
  • by NekoXP (67564) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:37AM (#13844838) Homepage
    XBox DOESN'T use HD-DVD, so no impact at all.

    Blu-Ray, for all it's "industry support" is going to cost 10x more to implement for the industry than HD-DVD to retool all the DVD production lines in the world to make the new format. HD-DVD works, it's cheap to produce, there really IS no major advantage to the higher capacity of Blu-Ray that any consumer would notice, and the crazy content protection devices have no fair-use workarounds on Blu-Ray to compare to HD-DVD's right to "at least one managed copy".

    It's just this way because the companies involved are too scared to slap their dicks on the table and get a tape measure, right? Because the cheaper, Just-Works, proven-technology evolutionary thing really should be the way to go, and not the expensive, convoluted, confusing, "OMG MORE GIGABYTESSSS!!!" still-improving-antiscratch-coating format?

    Neko
    • Think for a second about how managed copy has to work. It HAS TO require a network connection back to some server to allow or deny siad copy. And that means it's like not having the feature at all.

      Apple's "Fair Use" rules require no server interaction whatsoever. This is not the same as FairPlay - as far as I'm concerned Blu-Ray has as much fair use from the gate as HD-DVD, which is to say exactly none.

      As for retooling, that's a one-time cost so in the long run completely meaningless. If a lot of plants
    • there really IS no major advantage to the higher capacity of Blu-Ray that any consumer would notice,

      One could say the same of the higher capacity of HD-DVD over normal DVD. If you're going to upgrade to a new format for higher capacity - that's the whole driving force behind upgrading at all - then you ought to go for one that's actually significantly larger.

    • So the one time cost to produce these is going to be higher? And I should care because?

      Unless you own stock in a company that has to invest in new equipment for this, this is a non argument for consumers. And yes, I doubt that at the end the price for consumers is going to be that much different between Blue-Ray and HD-DVD movies.

      Yes, as a consumer what I care about is higher capacity, and Blu-Ray has it and it will scale better than HD-DVD. If we're going to go through the pain of moving from the DVD forma
  • Fact checking (Score:2, Informative)

    by lowe0 (136140)
    HD-DVD is led by Toshiba, not Microsoft. MS is providing codecs for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray (more prominently in HD-DVD) and has lent its public support to HD-DVD.
  • I ultimately have the choice of what to buy. The format who's specification makes it easiest for me to backup and encode the content it contains is going to get my dough. Moreover, if I can't put a DVD in all it's players and watch the ~60 movies I already own, I won't consider it for quite some time.
  • >...declared the Sony-led next generation Blu-Ray format the winner over HD-DVD, led by Microsoft...
    C'mon get the facts right...
    • Yeah, but Sony is leading Blue-ray and they're a competitor to Microsoft so Microsoft would rather see HD-DVD win. It's certainly not leading the pact, but it is something to consider. They are probably neutral on this situation.
  • Do you guys really think that either Blu-ray or HD-DVD will be the next gen format? I was thinking it'd be digital along the lines of mp3. Notice that there is no physical replacement for CDs.
  • Looking at how Microsoft is pushing the 360 while Sony seems to be resting on its laurels with the PS3 (much in the same way they seem to be doing with the PSP), I'm not so sure Sony is going to be able to drive their standard through to adoption, at least through video game consoles. Microsoft may not be Nintendo when it comes to innovation, but they are working on their strengths, such as interconnectivity, and seem to be working on that and their image as a console manufacturer instead of just releasing
    • What interconnectivity are you talking about? Since they do not make consumer hardware it's hard to claim they offer suerior connectivity with anything.

      Furthermore how is Sony "stting on its laurels". They do actually have Blu-Ray players out in Japan already, and are proceeding ponderously towards the PS3 launch at the same pace they always were. Should they have released the PS3 early before many blu-ray facilities were aviliable and hamstrung the launch?
      • "Since they do not make consumer hardware it's hard to claim they offer suerior connectivity with anything."

        With each other. I don't believe they'll get as many 360 Live subscribers as they say they are, but their reliance on it gives them something to say about their work other than "It's just like the PS3, only not!"

        "They do actually have Blu-Ray players out in Japan already, and are proceeding ponderously towards the PS3 launch at the same pace they always were."

        So what? It's a data format, and the onl
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:49AM (#13844955)
    is how much DRM each technology uses.

    Blu-ray lost my vote when they decided to build in functionality to allow the movie industry to actually physically disable your player if they chose. To restore your disabled player you would have to send it in for 'repair'.
    • They are equal (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) *
      Blu-ray lost my vote when they decided to build in functionality to allow the movie industry to actually physically disable your player if they chose.

      They both support key revocation. Back to square one.

      Really both are equal DRM wise. But it's stupid to ignore the format because of that; as long as you can burn your own content use the one that is more technically appealing and simply ignore DRM media. If you feel strongly enough about it download DIVX from torrents and transcode them to next-gen media.

      I
  • Consumers are waiting for the first one to become cheap, and will heavily invest in that area.
  • by randomErr (172078) <ervin DOT kosch AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 21, 2005 @11:57AM (#13845031) Homepage Journal
    What impact might this have on Microsoft's decision to use HD-DVD on the Xbox 360?

    Anyone played a Dreamcast? It was Sega's last from gaming system. It has awesome graphics, sound, and a native modem with an optional network card. One of its main failing was the media. Sega bet on a GD-Drive. GD drives was a modified CD-ROM that could fit nearly a gig of data on a special CD format. GD-Drives had the advantage of being cheap to make (only a few pennies more then coventional CD-ROM's) and similar storage compacity to DVD's system.

    So why do I bring this all up? The Dreamcast didn't fail because of the hardware. It failed because it didn't have a good library of title at the US launch. It Japan the Dreamcast sold great for years; and I believe a few RPG's and budget games are still being made for the Dreamcast.

    If Microsoft truley wants to thier HD format they have to have critical mas to do it with. Microsoft needs at least 4 solid games the day of the launch and 20 games by Christmas*. Without that volume Xbox 360 will almost certainly fail.

    * The reason for the footnote is that Sega Saturn had 4 poorly designed games at launch and 10 titles before Christmas and failed.
    Sony Playstation has 4 good (for the time) games at launch and within 30 days had 20 games. About 5 to 10 games kept coming a week for a very long time after the original thirty day period.
    • That's nowhere near a valid comparison. GD-roms weren't intended as a competitor to DVD. It wasn't a video storage format at all, but just a game storage medium.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:14PM (#13845176)
      The 360 does not ship with HD-DVD, and therefore will be providing no mass for HD-DVD whatsoever.

      Now you can see whay HD-DVD is really screwed. While the 360 fragments its own market on launch with the HD models, the PS3 comes out next year and you isntanted have millions of Blu-Ray players in the US. At that same point in time Microsoft releases the upgraded 360 with HD-DVD also, and pisses off all the early adoptors that are the ones who would have used HD-DVD anyway but now do not want to buy another 360 just six months later.

      I kind of think though Microsoft will be forced by market pressures to go with Blu-Ray for the 360 though.

      I thought it kind of interesting that your analysis did not quite make it to pointing out the PS2 had a DVD drive, which was kind of in the same train of thought - some people justifies the purchase of a PS2 because it could also play DVD's. It was my only DVD player for quite some time.
  • I want one format to win. But I'd prefer it be the Betamax rather than the VHS solution.

    Of course, I also expect these decisions to change again another 2 or 3 times since all of this now seems about people and groups pressuring to get what they want. Since BluRay is the flavor of this week, the remaining number of flip-flops I need can be expressed mathmatically as: Flip_Flops MOD 2 = 0.

  • I mean, HP is a PC builder. They provide equipment that is expandable & upgradable, and can be customized by the factory or the user with (relative) ease. So what if the Blu-Ray consortium doesn't put a couple of the features of HD-DVD into its spec? If the lack of those features causes the popular opinion to sway to HD-DVD from Blu-Ray, then it is a pretty trivial exercise for HP to start intstalling HD-DVD (or, more likely, dual-format) drives into their new computers, and equally pretty trivial fo
  • Does no one remember history?

    Betamax is way better than VHS (still is)

    Mini Discs are way better than tapes or CDs (they still are)

    Sony's MP3 Walkman was to kill the IPod, but they made you convert from MP3 to their own music format. (stupid)

    The only success they have had with this type of move is their split with Nintendo to make the playstation. Aside from that, their track record shows they will lose this battle.
  • by GodBlessTexas (737029) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:10PM (#13845145) Journal
    Funny, I thought it was Toshiba who was leading the HD-DVD format. Also, Warner has not dropped HD-DVD. Like most studios, they are now backing both formats. This now means that the winner of the HD format war will be the first group to get widespread hardware saturation into homes and win shelf space on retailer shelves. Those two go hand in hand with each other. At this time, that's most likely going to be Blu-Ray. With the PS3 launch somewhere on the horizon, and the ensuring massive sales that have been a art of the PS1 and PS2, it is only a matter of time before Blu-Ray delivers a knockout blow to HD-DVD.

    But that doesn't mean HD-DVD couldn't stage a serious coup by getting standalone HD-DVD hardware players out the door, but the price of the PS3 will be easier to swallow than shelling out $400-500 for a first generation standalone HD-DVD player for consumers used to spending less than $100 for a DVD player and serious money on a gaming console. The XBOX 360 launching before an HD-DVD drive is available is certainly not helping the HD-DVD format.

    • "Warner has not dropped HD-DVD. Like most studios, they are now backing both formats."

      That should read... "Like ONE other studio, they are now backing both formats." About half of all studios support HD-DVD and ALL of them except one now Blu-Ray.
  • My own theory on the studos initial format split is that they were on both sides to force compromise in features between teh two formats. Kind of funny how the lines were drawn exactly in half, eh?

    Since they can see that has palainly failed, so now studios are going to back they one they think will actually win. It's pretty obvious where momentum is heading now.

    They may have been finally drawn to Blu-Ray over HD-DVD for technical reasons, but I think it might be they feel more comfortable siding with a fe
  • by thisissilly (676875) on Friday October 21, 2005 @12:28PM (#13845323)
    My #1 feature request, for either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD: No non-skippable support. I want to be able to go straight to the menu/movie, enough with the non-skippable ads, logos, FBI warnings, etc.
  • by mroshea (173510) on Friday October 21, 2005 @01:04PM (#13845691)
    To support Blu-ray, Microsoft's player would have to use Java to render the Blu-ray disks user interface - interactive menus etc (current DVDs use pre-rendered MPEG menu elements with very simple control interfaces). Does Microsoft want to depend on a Java Virtual Machine for anything? Like hell they do.

    HP's current "appeal" to the Blu-Ray Assoc also includes a request for Blu-Ray to support iHD, the XML based menuing definition language used by HD-DVD. The Blu-Ray Assoc (including HP!) did a side-by-side eval of iHD vs BDJ (Blue Ray Java) and they heavily favoured the BDJ solution. If iHD was adapted as an alternative (or replacement for BDJ) MS wouldn't have to use/license Java. Then they might consider supporting Blue-Ray (even though it would still hurt like hell). HP are doing Microsoft's bidding on this one, no doubt.

    I imagine Sun have been on the blower to Sony & company on more than one occasion since HPs 'appeal' yesterday.

    (blogged about this earlier -
    http://www.xlml.com/aehso/2005/10/21/blu-ray-requi res-a-jvm-microsoft-dont-do-jvms/ [xlml.com])
  • by rubberbando (784342) on Friday October 21, 2005 @01:42PM (#13846030)
    I know playing most games with a remote would probably suck.

    However, if you could use java and a Blu-Ray burner to make your own Blu-Ray player/PS3 compatible games, that would seriously rock!

    If this works, I could easily see Blu-Ray player manufacturers making gamepad style remotes or maybe even gamepad ports for their players for playing java games on them.

    This could open up a whole new market for the small developer.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday October 21, 2005 @02:14PM (#13846296)
    Blu-Ray the Flavour of The Moment

    Does it taste like burning?
  • by caudron (466327) on Friday October 21, 2005 @02:30PM (#13846428) Homepage
    Warner has switched from backing HD-DVD to Blu-Ray

    Though I understand why the submitter said this---because the article is unclear on this point---but Warner has only agreed to "nonexclusive" support for Blu-ray, meaning it could theoretically produce films in both formats, though it will initially produce movies for Blue-Ray. Not as ringing an endorsement as Walt Disney and Fox, both of whom have exclusive support agreements with the Blue-Ray tech consortium.

    I know it's splitting hairs, but in this case, those are important hairs to split.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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