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Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead 547

Blacklaw writes "Microsoft has sided with Apple in a rare case of solidarity between the two companies, and declares that Blu-ray will be 'passed by' as a high-definition format. In many ways, it's hard to disagree. US markets have seen the demand for legal digital downloads of PC games exceed sales of the physical object for the first time, and Apple famously refuses to put a Blu-ray drive in its Macs, as Jobs prefers to send people towards iTunes to download their entertainment. That said, there's an argument for physical media, too. A recent survey suggested that the majority of gamers prefer physical discs, and digital downloads have the secondary effect of entirely cutting out the popular market for second-hand films and games — a plus for publishers, but a big negative for the consumer."
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Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

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  • Figures don't lie (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:03AM (#33662586)

    The sales figures [blu-ray.com] for blu-ray seem to indicate otherwise. Sales are up over 68% year over year, marketshare has nearly doubled year over year (2009 to 1020).

    Of course there are dynamics at work outside of the straight consumer choice angle. There is the control afforded the media companies via downloadable media to consider as well. That may be what these guys are relying on for their opinion. The question then is whether the sheep are willing to follow where they are being led.

  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:06AM (#33662646)
    Why get Civ 5 on Steam? You can just activate it on Steam once you buy the physical copy.
  • Headline wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by joeflies ( 529536 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:07AM (#33662660)
    Technically, the guy says that he predicts the format is dying (i.e. bluray is currently in use but he forsees the day that his approach, downloads, will overtake physical media). He doesn't actually say that it's dead (past tense) like the headline states.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:09AM (#33662714)

    Why not order it off fry's and put the key into steam?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:13AM (#33662796)

    That's an urban legend. Please stop spreading it.

    http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp [snopes.com]

  • Sure... (Score:2, Informative)

    by wholestrawpenny ( 1809456 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @11:37AM (#33663264)
    I think Blu-Ray will get passed by. Sony's crybaby bitchy attitude killed the last HD optical possibility. Their format war postponed the inception of HD optical media too long, and prices have been steadily too high for movies ever since because they are trying to make up the costs of this war (you don't think it really costs that much more to make a Blu-Ray vs DVD?). Now, hopefully we will move to solid state media storage, such as Secure digital ROM or some variant, where the physical media size is much smaller and more robust. I still think people want to own physical media, just not in $25-$30 optical formats.
  • by bored ( 40072 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:39PM (#33666480)

    It doesn't cost much if any more to manufacture a Blu-Ray than a DVD.

    Well, maybe not for large runs, but apparently the AACS yearly license fee's can exceed the cost of the disk duplication for small runs. Originally this was one of the HD-DVD advantages (used existing DVD replication lines, with minor upgrades, rather than replacing the duplicators). Apparently the cost difference vs DVD is still fairly significant for DL BR's (>$1) (someone has to amortize the cost of buying the duplicators). This may not seem like a lot if the movie is selling for ~$20, but it makes a diffrence if your selling in the walmart bargin bin for $4.

    Still, the studios always use the lure of new technology to raise prices. They did the same thing with DVD vs VHS, and CD vs tape. Initially they were just "passing on additional costs", but the price hikes stuck long after the new technology became mainstream.

    Other than that I generally agree with you.

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:47PM (#33666596) Homepage

    I picked up a 42" 1080p HDTV (60fps) for $700 earlier this year. The prices have dropped astronomically in the past two years, and the quality remains high. Avoid unnecessary extras like 120 / 240 hz, any sort of BS color correction, etc, and you can get a great looking screen for quite reasonable amounts these days. This is especially true over old CRT's, that had issues with color blur, "bending" the picture when things got bright, colored fringes around spots of light or dark, and weighing a bloody ton. If you're happy with your screen, by all means hold out until it breaks: the prices will be even lower later. But the screens coming out now are a quite nice upgrade.

    DVD's were far more expensive than VHS tapes when it first came out. They weren't more expensive to manufacture, they were just sold for more. As the market matured, they became the same price old VHS tapes had been in their prime. The same is starting to happen to Blu-Ray. You can get The Dark Knight off Amazon for 6 dollars on Blu-Ray, along with lots of other great movies. They were gouging, but the prices are starting to return in line with reality. I've seen double-packs of older Blu-Ray movies at Target for $10.

    And I have to say, while I never originally intended to pick up a blu-ray player, the quality is significantly higher on HDTVs. DVD's are fine for 640x480 interlaced content, but they really start to show their age when you stretch them to 1080p. It just looks really blurry. And as pretty much all TV's being sold these days are either 720 or 1080p, that difference is likely to start becoming significant to people as their old CRT's burn out. Add in that most DVD's don't handle widescreen displays quite right, and Blu-Ray seems like it will be around for quite some time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @04:04PM (#33667678)

    Steve Jobs' motto should be, "Compressed media, through earbuds, it's good enough."

    I don't know where you've been, but most iPods larger than a Shuffle support uncompressed (AIFF, WAV) and non-lossy compressed (Apple Lossless) formats. Nobody's holding a gun to your head and forcing you to compress the music from your CDs to MP3 format before loading it on there.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @04:38PM (#33668158) Journal

    Downloading over my connection would take... 19 hours

    There are several hidden assumptions in that 19 hours. The most obvious one is that the BD is full. In practice, pretty much all movies come on single-layer (25GB) BluRay disks, and a lot are under half full. The second assumption is that you need to download it to start watching it. This is also not true, you just need to download enough of it that you will have downloaded each frame of the rest of it before you need to decode it.

    The BBC now streams 720p content, which is noticeably better than DVD quality, at 3.6Mb/s. This works very nicely on a consumer-grade connection. It's not BluRay quality, but it does have the instant-gratification thing; you click play and it starts immediately (well, after about two seconds of buffering). Much more attractive than going to a shop.

    The other thing to factor in is that few people actually watch movies more than once, maybe twice. The big exception is small children, but they generally don't care about the picture quality. I'd much rather watch a new film than watch one I've seen before, most of the time. This means that the benefit of owning a physical disk is of no value to me. I would rather pay a monthly fee for access to a huge library of films that I can stream whenever I want than pay a one-off fee to be able to see just one film as many times as I want. I own about a hundred DVDs.

    There are very few I've watched more than twice and quite a few I've only watched once. When I realised that, I stopped buying DVDs and started renting them instead.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!