CES 2009: Blu-ray format could be in jeopardy, might bring down PS3 with it

Sections: Consoles, Gaming News, Gear, PS3

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Samsung Blu-Ray Player
It’s fitting that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas, because at this show we learn which companies have gambler’s instincts. Sony went all in betting that Blu-ray technology would win the next-gen video disc wars, adding Blu-ray capability to its PlayStation 3 consoles.

Microsoft, on the other hand, hedged its bets with the HD-DVD format. While the console didn’t come packaged with HD-DVD capability, gamers could purchase an add-on drive to upgrade. So at the last CES (2008) when Warner Bros. ended the war by announcing it would no longer support HD-DVD, it certainly looked like a win for Sony.

A year later Sony and Blu-ray still have not garnered that much anticipated victory. One of the biggest obstacles is potential customers doing an end run around Blu-ray by downloading movies digitally. Since Microsoft is equally happy to see you on the Internet as it is to see you on its game console, it jumped on the downloading craze by partnering with Netflix (although Sony refuses to do so, at least for now). Xbox Live Gold members that are also Netflix members can download movies to their console in addition to whatever DVDs they order by mail. LG Electronics has announced a new line of high-definition television that can connect directly to the Internet without a need for any set-top box. It will be able to use video on-demand services including the aforementioned Netflix.

Estimates by Digital Entertainment Group put 10.5 million American homes as Blu-ray equipped. At the beginning of the year, its anticipated figure was nearly 15 million. There is good and bad news for Sony there. An estimated 8 million of the Blu-ray homes are PS3 owners. But at least some of those owners would be hardcore gamers that would have purchased the console without Blu-ray.

The head scratching development is the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii, the least high-tech of the current gen consoles. Nintendo has sold 40 million Wiis worldwide with a console that doesn’t even play DVDs, let alone any high definition discs. Had anyone known a $250 game machine could even compete, let alone potentially win the console war, some different decisions might have happened at Sony and Microsoft. If Blu-ray is going to be the deciding factor in the console war, now would be a really good time for it to start.

Black Friday was a big day for Blu-ray with many stores opting to discount Blu-ray players to more affordable price points. That was buoyed by The Dark Knight, the biggest event movie since HD-DVD gave up the ghost. The Batman sequel moved 600,000 Blu-ray discs in a single day.This week at CES is also key as Blu-ray ‘s backers need a strong showing to convince millions who haven’t adopted the new technology that all the cool kids will be doing it. For better or for worse, the fate of the PS3 and that of the Blu-ray format will forever be intertwined.

This week could tell us whether that marriage will be more akin to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith or Britney Spears and K-Fed.

Read [New York Times] Also Read [Crunch Gear]

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  1. I hope you know that Blu Ray has had a faster adoption rate than DVD in its first 2 years(2x faster to be exact) so where exactly do you come off saying that it's in trouble? Look at the Dark Knight sales, over 20% were Blu Ray and that's the largest penetration by Blu Ray into DVD's market share yet. In Japan Blu Ray has already equaled DVD in terms of market share and Blu Ray sales in UK are up over 400%, I'm tired of you people with your baseless facts about how blu ray is doomed and digital distribution is the future. When exactly is that future?

  2. Lol, Just lol man seriously, do your research if you weren't ignorant you'd figure out that BD is doing better than DVD adoption rate wise. Don't BE A DOOR KNOB.

  3. You sure, are a moron.

    Bluray is here to stay. Get over it.

  4. Let's take everything to extremes just to get site hits! Show some integrity ffs.

    Are you by any chance related to Hiphopgamer?

  5. Wow, they were 40% lower than their expectations.


    Common sense
  7. Ignore the PS3 Fanboys. They cannot see further than their short-USB charging cables. What they don't understand is that the only reason that Blu-Ray has had a faster adoption rate than DVD in the first two years is that people were already sold on the disc technology… unlike the enormous jump from VHS to DVD…since most Blu-Ray players play DVD.
    They also ignore the fact that iTunes, Netflix, and even DVD's are coming with digital downloads so that people can make their movies portable AND hi-def.
    Time to pull your head out of the sand, boys, if everybody says the Earth is round, and fanboys are the only ones that deny it… things are pretty clear.

  8. Hey idiot.

    did you know that all the companies got together including sony and microsoft to decide on the next media? they decided on hd dvd. hd dvd was late to the party in delivery so they asked sony if the blu ray was ready. it was so they went with it. but not with microsofts software.

    thats where the war came in.

    the point? high definition media was decided long before you learned to write and research. which we are still waiting for. wether it was hd dvd or blu ray or orange floppy discs. the move from dvd to high dvd dvd was long decided. get over it.

    and yes digital downloads and physical media can co exist.

    you also mentioned black friday. the reports show that blu ray player was the number 3 most purchased item.

    1. Nintendo Wii Console
    2. Ugg Australia ‘Classic Short’ Boot
    3. Sony BDP-S350 1080p Blu-Ray Disc Player
    4. Samsung LN52A650 52″ LCD TV
    5. Nintendo Wii Fit
    6. Panasonic TH-42PX80U 42″ Plasma TV
    7. Sennheiser HD 555 Headphones
    8. Canon EOS Rebel XSi Black SLR Digital Camera Kit
    9. Acer Aspire One AOA110-1295 Notebook
    10. Canon PowerShot A590 IS Black Digital Camera


    one more thing i find funny about the digital kills blu ray writers. you never mention the raising of prices from internet service providers. bandwidth caps on upload and download. the inability to run streams on multiple devices.

    your entire article weak.

    oh and to add. blu ray is not the deciding factor on the console wars. its games. blu ray already won the format war. even without the ps3, the blu ray is here to stay.

  9. Another lame Blu-Ray article written by a moronic individual looking for hits.

    Joe Wasowski
  10. Yea, you're a bit late on the Blu-ray Ps3 blind bashing without basis or facts or logic train.

  11. "But at least some of those owners would be hardcore gamers that would have purchased the console without Blu-ray."

    How would the hard core gamers play the games without a Blu-ray drive to read the Blu-ray discs, jackass?

  12. OMG, i don't have to read this. You really missed the bandwagon.

    And you probably sat in your chair thinking to yourself that you were smart and intelligent for creating such a witty and sophisticated comment to end your "article" with as this…

    "This week could tell us whether that marriage will be more akin to Will and Jada Pinkett Smith or Britney Spears and K-Fed."

    Awesome, you should win some kind of award for referencing well known pop relationships, and comparing them to the "marriage" of Blu-ray and the PS3. OMG GENIUS!!! GENIUUUS!!! You seriously deserve the Pulitzer Prize for this… BTW I didn't have to read anything but the last sentence. That's how "Awesome" your writing is…

  13. @Cray,

    You know that Digital Downloads have a much lower adoption rate than Blu Ray right? Also none of those mentioned provide a picture/sound quality that rivals Blu Ray. I want to know how many people have a connection good enough to Download GB's of movies in a matter of minutes or an hour at most. Your dreamworld of DD is 10 years away at least, Blu Ray is here to stay, you sound like one of those bitter Xbot HD-DVD fanboys, so I'd watch who you call fanboys.

  14. Dude, you want the best high quality HD movies your tv can output then you're always getting the better deal with Blu-ray. Netflix on XBL, video downloads, HD rentals etc, will never match the quality, the 7.1 surround sound, and the features that Blu-ray packs with it.

    I have moved from 7 different states and I have had a number of internet providers from cable to dsl and even to satellite and none of those internet providers have been able to give me a connection good enough for me to even think about making the switch to digital downloads. It's just not ready. Blu-ray is here to stay. It may even be the last physical media but I seriously doubt it will. We'll get "super hd" and that'll require a physical media due to the space if movies come out for it. Then you have games taking an advantage of Blu-ray. I mean seriously, games are just getting bigger and bigger. Making a game with a huge budget on a next next gen console isn't going to only be available for download. It's going to be on a physical media like blu-ray. I guarantee you the 720/xbox 3 will have blu-ray in it. Microsoft will play themselves if they avoid it by sticking with dvd and making them on 8 discs or making all their games downloadables. It's just too early.

    My point is….Blu-ray is here to stay. Get over it and get use to it.

  15. I haven't even bothered to read this shitfest of an article, but let me guess:

    Failed to mention Blu-ray is outpacing DVD adoption, if you did, you spun it like the desperate fucks who say BR dropped in price massively (only came down in the last two months, and that's a good thing, not a bad thing).

    Failed to mention that Digital Distribution will not become dominant for another 30-40 years, preferring to adopt MS's pie in the sky dream of "DD is what people want, even though it makes 1/20th of what Blu-ray Disc sales earn (I'm pretty sure it's less, so I'm being generous).

    Failed to mention Blu-ray has already won worldwide and is the next standard, and that PS3 first helped it win but is no longer tied to it.

    Am I right?

  16. Wow, just wow. It's amazing how people are capable of producing cr@p. Some people should think before posting such articles.

  17. You wasted your time writing this article. Should have just right out said that you do not like blu-ray and want Digital downloads to take over. Your whole article is filled with misleading and wrongful facts. There is more talk and interest for blu-ray now then there was for DVD this same time in its life time.

  18. "Microsoft, on the other hand, hedged its bets with the HD-DVD format."

    No they didn't. If they really did they would have included an HD DVD drive in every 360. All they did was offer an HD DVD player. That's why Blu-ray killed HD DVD.

    Microsoft actually hedged their bets with DVD and it's starting to cause the major nightmares. How many people will want games that need three or four DVDs? Not many.

  19. Screw DVD & Blu-ray! Laser Disc Forever!!! J/K
    But remember when Laser disc was the big thing and DVD came out? There were plenty of hard core LD fans against DVD and in favor of the Laser disc format. This will all come and pass and blue-ray will be accepted. I do wonder what could be next though…. Is digital media the only next option? I guess we will have to wait 6-10 years to find out…. hopefully more

  20. I'm a PS3 owner and a massive fan of Blu-ray. That said, I welcome intelligent, well-researched articles discussing the future of the format and content delivery. This is not such an article.

    Chad Sexington
  21. You gotta love the level of ignorance of Sony fans. Yeah BLue ray is in the PS3 so of course it has a higher adoption rate. That means nothing. There are 40 million UMD players out there called PSP and guess what? That format is dead. SO your excuses have no bearing in the subject.
    Now the one thing I did find amusing is how he claims that nobody knew a 250.00 game console could sale. What generation of gaming are you judging that from? All previous gens say its true. NO machine that launched higher than 299.99 has ever achieved success before this gen and it only did it this gen because its fan base is a bunch of moronic sheep who do what they are told. Oh and kids. No game takes advantage of Blu Ray. Its just you assuming so because you have no knowledge of gaming… Whats the point of 15gig games on a 25 gig disc if they have to be padded and you have to install over half the game onto the HD.. So PS3 could have easily used DVD the way MS does. SOny just wanted to use its fan base to help them push a movie format through at the cost of gimping the PS3. Yes I said gimped. Please do not respond about graphics as they have nothing to do with Blu ray. 99% of the people posting here havent got aclue what they are talking about and are only repeating what they read somewhere online that they do not comprehend.

  22. If it's 99% includes you moron.You don't have a clue.
    You should ask John Carmack about uncompressed textures on blu-ray.

    You should ask Gaurav Khanna abour floating coma brute force provided by the SPE's and black holes.

    You should get to know Linux,and don't get cocky,now you can use the whole memory pool.

    You should get familiarized with Raytracing vs Rasterization soon;it will take over.

    Digital downloads will take over? yeah,of course you are right! I agree!,try to download [Burnout Paradise] on your heavily DRM'd hard drive.Not in the marketplace? must be the SIZE LIMIT OF DOWNLOADABLE GAMES.Try the PS store.Gotta love Wipeout HD,native 1080p@60fps.
    Yawn,I wonder if I will have enough space on my cheap upgradeable 2'5" HD,320 Gb of media fill out quick,oh well,I'll wait a couple of months when Vidzone and MTV launch their FREE service to upgrade.

    Did you heard? PS3 is going to be 3D,how appropriate.

    The weak point of the ps3 is the RSX and its inferior shaders.And Corporate Sony shooting on their bloddy foot time after time.

    The machine itself is a very underestimated piece of hardware and you,sir,are the mistaken rodent here.Stop pointing your finger and play you damn games,you disgust me fanboy,get both and shut up.

  23. This article was made just for hits. A big sounding title with no evidence to back it up.

    How can Blu-ray be in trouble when YOU say that it beat out it's competition, is now backed by the biggest movie companies in the entertainment industry and have sold a huge amount of BD discs?

  24. I just have one thing to ask about digital downloads for all those fools, what happens when your hard drive gets fried or a virus? I'll be watching my bluray discs while you are spending the next 6 months redownloading your digital media on a capped internet. enuff said

  25. @ Charles

    "No game takes advantage of Blu Ray."

    There's plenty of games that take an advantage of Blu-ray and don't have an install FYI. It's just stupid that you would say that. FXIII is already confirmed to have multiple discs on 360 version, Rage is too, Ratchet and clank would of been a downgrade on 360 because of DVD, same with Uncharted and Killzone 2 (would love to see kz2 on one dvd with 7.1 surround sound and those amazing gfx). Then we have developers running out of space for their games on DVD. 2k had issues getting a baseball game to fit on a DVD and had to take out content and make it available for download on XBL. What does that tell you? Then Rockstar is complaining about DVD space and how their next GTA game is going to fit on DVD and MS needs a solution. I can go on and on about how games do take an advantage of the extra space without an install. It just takes people like you to take your head out of fantasy world and realize it. If you disagree then I guess the developers who have said this are liars, right? Well, you enjoy the first console FPS on more then one disc and tell yourself games don't an advantage of blu-ray. Tell me how stupid you feel when you're changing the disc.

    Besides that you sound like a bitter hd dvd owner.

  26. Hey blu-ray fanboys. With Blu-ray playhers at under $100 bucks at every factory outlet sote, I'm sure that there is plenty of longevity in that format. Get a life and Roku Netflix box or a free mediapoint player from Blockbuster and enjoy the show. Unless you still want to watch your betamax!

  27. Charles, your level of ignorance is astounding.

  28. Charles/Chuckles:

    Show me a single PS3 game that requires an initial installation of over HALF of the game size onto the hard drive. I'll give you this much… some games require upwards of 6gb for a save file… but that is done over time in relation to your progress in that game, and I can only think of two at the moment, both by BethSoft.

    Show me a UMD capable of the resolution and audio of BRd. UMD was merely a new approach to the system. Failed though it may be, the PSP still sells and will continue to.

    I feel privileged that you are amongst the 1% of people 'on here' or just in general that actually know what they are talking about. Praise you, your knowledge is immeasurable.

    I'm done ranting… back to the OK/FL bcs game.

    Have a good day Chucknuts

  29. Sounds like somebody is just miffed and throwing a pity party because he was an early adopter of HD-DVDead.

    Really, it's okay to let go of your HD-DVD dreams of what could have been. BTW! I have an XBOX 360 with Netflix and it's not all that great. Your desire for digital downloads taking over are just sad pipe dreams.

    Haytorz (and uninformed articles such as this) make me laugh.

  30. Well… He is right about one thing! Digital Downloads are the future.

    Regardless if BluRay has a 2X adoption rate, the future is for the LAZY fatcats out there. Which means, staying at home and downloading their movies. BlockBuster Videos recognized this, and that's why they moved to mail services, then to downloadings.

    Let's also not forget that there are numerous other formats out there that'll hurt BluRay. For example, FlashDrives are doubling in their capacity and reducing in price every time we turn around. And though WAY too expensive, a single HVD (Holographic Visage DisK) are capable of holding 1TB. It will only be a matter of time before we realize that BluRay doesn't have enough capacity to satisfy our video geekiness.

    BluRay definately was a gamble that may go the way of the LD.

  31. Well done GamerTell – An other totally inaccurate article.



    Dan Fry
  32. Here we have another XBOX fanboy whos upset that they bought themselves a HD-DVD player and lost a few bucks. I am in australia and currently our internet speeds and download limit caps cannot handle direct download movies. I am on 16,000kbps connection (approx 1.3mb/sec download speed) and I have a download limit of 25gb, so in other words i can download 4 HD movies a month without any other internet usage. Australia is at least 3 – 4 years away for being capable of having Direct download movies as a viable option.

  33. This is yet another ridiculous non-story that gets a headline in Not only is blu ray doing extremely well, despite the global economic recession, it is an adaptable technology that will ensure its survival for a much greater length of time than we saw with DVD. Philips, for example, have just announced a 16x layer blu ray disc that stores about 400gb of data, and which is playable on any standard blu ray player. Sony have been demonstrating 3D movies, and PS3 games in 3D, using current blu ray technology coupled with 3D enabled HD screens, which we will probably see in the mass market in the next few years. So, the future very much has blu ray in it. What I'm wondering, with regards this story, is why you've published it. Did Microsoft pay you? They must have because if you were an unbiased journalist, you'd have done a bit more research before writing it.

  34. I was walking through the mall Xmas eve and the shelves that display the blu-ray movies at walmart are completely empty except for 1 or 2 expensive box sets….yeah blu-ray is in trouble alright.

  35. Protip: current infrastructure cannot support widespread digital distribution and won't be able to for some considerable time. Things will get worse (increased caps on use by ISPs) before they get better.

    But hey, knowing that would require doing a cursory amount of research, and you're a GAMES JOURNALIST™

    Rogers Jason-Townsend
  36. It goes to show how disconnected these bloggers are with the facts. First off as of April 2008 there is still only a 52% penetration of broadband in the US and even these #,s are flawed because current braodband standards only require a min 156K spd. to be considered broadband. This is usually what is available in rural areas. Ever try downloading a movie with a 156k max connection, well it takes days. The arrogance of people in the cities to think they are the only consumers in this country astoundes me. Point to the authur mentions the netflixs agreement for the x-box and says sony does not have a service. Last time I checked you can download full length movies via the PSN for as low as 1.99 a rental or even purchase them. Granted it is not a subsciption service but the option is there and the artical makes the assumption that no such service exists. Very poorly researrched. I think the people commenting fanboy to the negative comments about the article should read the article again the author is truly a MS fanboy himself.

  37. Guys,

    The problem here is not about a game console, is about a format, Blue-Ray. For me, I don’t want to start a new collection that will take space, and in couple of years a new version come out at 4K and my collection is obsolete . I think that digital files is the future. Storage is getting shipper by the day, internet connections faster, a different services getting better.

    This is want I want to see:

    1. Buy digital movies at full 1080p without DRM so I can use it in any of my Media Servers and with a price break if the movie come out in a new format version or resolution.
    2. Monthly Rent Service – pay by month, access al HD movies I want. No storage, no worries if a new resolution or format came out.

    The new generation, that what they want. Take a look to the music industry, they didn’t change fast to the new technology. Video have to prevent this! The longer it take the worst is going to be. I love my Media Server, no disk to put in, No waiting time, all my videos and music access from one place, no worries to scratch a movie, kids can use it easy, etc.

  38. Wow that was a whole lot of nothing. Thanks for wasting my time.

  39. @Cray

    Your logic is awful. You assume that since there are so many UMD's purchased because of the PSP then it should be viable as the Blu ray on ps3. What you forget that UMD is not a major format as DVD or Vhs was and the handheld and console are different market. You also fail to remember how dvd became a driving force because sony put it in the ps2. And this digital downloading rubbish lets not forget how big high def files are in size. The bandwith capabilities just are not there internationally for it to be considered a serious media format for a while and even if it was imagine the piracy issues that will abound. Too much sony hate on the internet and not enough lauding at what they are trying to establish for future tech.

  40. Why do we even bother reading this rubbish!

    I don't know about other people but I will always want a hard copy of my films sitting on the shelf, but now and again I might download a film from iTunes – Blu-ray is the only viable format that does this…

    I bet this guy bought a HD-DVD player – lol!

  41. Oh my god. People, don't be silly and believe this article. It is total non-logical, no facts to base anything on. This fake news, go to for real news.

  42. wait, do they let any uneducated fuck write articles these days?

    sasa k
  43. Digital Downloads is not in the near future.

    I had a 50 Gbps fiber optic connection(yummy) and I was able to achieve the best download quality for the Netflix HD streams and they were still no where near the picture quality of what you get on Blu-Ray. Not to mention the audio is compressed, so there's another win for Blu-ray.

    And I was one of very select few that lived in areas that could get those speeds. The majority o fpeople are still on Cable, DSL, or Satellite. Which range anywhere from 256 Kbps to 12 Mbps. I currently have a 12Mbps connection with comcast at my new residence and using the netflix service on the xbox 360 I get the best connection(all green bars on the 'signal' icon that looks like a cell phone service icon) and the picture still looks worse than the over the air HD channels I can pick up with my built-in tuner. And on top of that, I still have the occasional pause so it can buffer. People won't put up with that.

    Blu-Ray is here to stay.

    Oh, btw, this article blows. The article does not even touch on the bold claim in the title. Purely for hits. Just the same ol article that I've read 30 different times over the last year, just using a current event as an excuse to bring it back up again, but with no new facts.

  44. I agree with Jimmy, go to PSX Extreme for real news…

  45. Brain Allen is just pissed off because his HD DVD player broke so he decided to toss out a stupid article to make himself feel better.

  46. Oh man, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Feel sorry for the people who read this incorrect information and believe it.

    If you want unbiased news/information and great editorials on PS3 and Blu-Ray, go to a quality site like . Here's a link to the editorial that led me to this page:

  47. This is the most BS site I have ever been on!!!!!!!!!

  48. gamertell…….PS3 and BLU-RAY is 10 times better than microcrap. Can't stand all the bad CES news around 360?

  49. well put baraka bravo. couldn't of said it better myself

  50. 600k copies od darkknight sold on 1 day , to blockbuster and netflick , not hardly any sold to the general population you retarded sony ass kissers . DVD took off a hell of alot faster than booray has because it actually filled a void and was a improvement . Bluray is not a step up it does not fill a void , the funniest damn thing Ive ever seen is the massive ammount of pure ignorant braindead people who jump onto the sony bandwagon .
    There seems not to be 1 single intelligent Blu-ray fan . Once sony gets you all on the end of the hook and starts locking all your disc to your player and kills any resale value , just how happy will you ignorant inbreads be then .

  51. What a lame XXX writer, go find another career. You fail at life.

  52. Hmmm… I wonder if anyone ever reads these late comments? I wonder if this "journalist" is still around? Kinda missed that one, didn't you?

  53. there will be great!

    short uggs
  54. I had a great time around the fire and the food was great too. glad I could contribute to

    your tips #9. . your the best. see you next time.

  55. I had a great time around the fire and the food was great too. glad I could contribute to
    your tips #9. . your the best. see you next time.
    I love Avignon, think it’s a beautiful, contemplative scent. And hey, if it’s good enough
    for Morrissey

  56. While I certainly appreciate freedom of speech, expressions of opinions and open discourse, comments that include unnecessary vulgarities or suggest acts of violence may be removed from the site. A few such comments have already been removed.

    PJ Hruschak