back to article HD DVD fights back in the US

HD DVD managed to cut itself a rather larger slice of US hi-def player sales in the third week of January, according to one analyst group's figures. But a rival market watcher still believes that HD DVD will be dead before 2009. US Standalone HD Player Sales BD vs HD DVD Source: NPD According to the NPD Group, HD DVD …

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Why not PS3?

I don't really see how they can just 'not count' the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player. The fact of the matter is that thousands more BDs are selling because people have a PS3 to watch them on. OK, so PS3 owners aren't the main HD format buyers at the moment, but most have at least one or two and it's a fair bet that their decision on which format will follow the fact they already have a player now.

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Anonymous Coward

$312 a player?

$2.7m divided by 8639 is $312 per machine. They'd have been better off handing them out free on the streets.

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Flame

HD and Blu-Ray player?

....and why hasnt some boffin invented a Blu-Ray and HD DVD player seen as though both discs use the same wavelength blue (well violet)-laser? Whats the big problem?

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Flame

RE: Why not PS3?

Because counting the PS3 wouldn't be a fair comparrison. *most* people buy it to play games and not watch movies ... the fact that people who own PS3's do buy movies is probably how Woolies is able to report Blu Ray outselling HD DVD 10:1 over Christmas.

Sales of individual titles are where PS3 makes the difference.

But still, even at an a minimum of 30% more expensive Blu-Ray is outselling HD DVD. If that's not the writing on the wall nothing is ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not PS3?

Quote "I don't really see how they can just 'not count' the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player."

Well, they aren't saying it's not a Blu-Ray player are they, i think you missed the point. It is still important to have figures on just the standalone players too, as well as everything grouped together.

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Paris Hilton

Not PS3

They can't count the PS3 because playing BluR movies is not it's primary job. It's a games console, you get the BluR movies as a secondary motivator.

PH, cuz even she knew that.

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Anonymous Coward

What is the point?

Beats me why they are bothering. Both formats will be dead by 2009 anyway when the next even higher def offerings of both formats are up for grabs. Personally, DVD does me fine on my comfortable 32" TV - I saw the directors cut of Blade Runner on HD-DVD on my boyfriends 46" high quality beheamouth (it's not one of the cheap things you get out of high street stores, either) and my honest too goodness response is ... am I bothered?

Of all the films I'd watch on the two formats, they're on HD-DVD, Transformers being one of them. In all this make-believe chaos, DVD prices are falling quicker and lower than ever before, and that'll do me just fine.

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Rob
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In the UK

All it will take is for WH Smiths to drop HD DVD and it really will be over. With these two high street giants only supporting BluRay, mum, dad and grandpa are only going to buy what they find in the shops for little jimmy's birthday present and that will only increase sales. Come on 'Smiths do us all a favour and nail that coffin down, then we can all get some peace and invest in some hardware instead of waiting (or maybe that's just me).

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

We've have this debate many times before

No-one knows precisely how to account for the PS3 effect. On the one hand, it IS a Blu-Ray player, but on the other hand, that is not it's primary purpose, and not every PS3 owner will be using it for that now, or possibly ever. Including PS3 will overstate blu-ray player sales, while excluding it will understate them. There's no right answer unless someone takes a representative sample of PS3 owners and asks them what they're actually doing with it.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tim Lake

They believe the main use of the PS3 will be to play games, not BDs. Though it would be nice to see another slice show PS3 sales in that chart.

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PS3

How do you count the PS3 though? It isn't bought purely for movies, it is only a percentage that use it for that. Clearly PS3 is why that format is winning (as only an idiot would buy one of the half-arsed standalones), but the attach rate including PS3 is pretty poor.

I have a PS3, and am yet to acquire a single Blu-Ray disc. It isn't for lack of trying - I'm a regular trader on various websites for discs. It is just that there aren't that many available, and where they are available there is the problem of region coding.

Meanwhile for HD-DVD I can go onto any forum anywhere, and have complete confidence the discs will work on my player.

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hmmm the better titles seems to be on hd-dvd whn you in the store

and I own a blu ray Vaio XL302, edging to import a sony hes-v1000 a 400 bluray multi changer and server with bdwriter as they wont release yet in the uk as we have less than 185 titles on bluray at the moment.

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jai
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re: Why not PS3?

because if they did include the PS3, then the HD-player percentage would shrink to barely anything, and the small fluctuations in sales figures taht we see in these pie-charts wouldn't be noticeable and therefore there would be nothing to write about

ALSO if they did include the PS3 then the first 5 comments on the article would be xbox-fanbois declaring that it is unfair because it's blatantly obvious that ps3 owners only play games and never watch films

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Boffin

Don't worry Tim...

BR appears to be whooping HD DVD without Poos3 sales being included.

Can you hear that? That high pitch whining. That's the death keel of HD DVD...

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, what about the PS3?

I agree with Tim. I had no interest in buying a PS3 when it first came out - I got a Wii and was plenty happy. Recently, though, I bought an HDTV and naturally wanted to take full advantage of it by watching movies in high-def. When I went shopping for a player, the PS3 made the most sense. For about the same price as a standalone (at the time) I got a great player that I can also use to play the occasional game, surf the internet with, or use as a media hub. I think there are probably a lot of people like me that bought a PS3 for its Blu-Ray first and gaming 2nd now that they have the 40GB/$400 version. I'd love to see those charts from NPD Group include slices for the PS3 and the Xbox HD DVD add on.

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PS3 for me

I bought a PS3 as a blu ray player as I dont play games, but wanted an affordable blu ray player. I am sure I am not alone in this so they should count PS3's

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Gates Horns

PS3 owners buy movies..

A straw poll of the 15 people at work with PS3's all but 3 of them have Blu-ray movies, and not the free one(s) that came with the system...

The PS3 effect is HUGE, which makes it's ommision from any stats pointless.

With over 8million PS3's in consumers hands, its a very safe bet that 4 million of those are dual gamers/movie buyers. Also considering the PS3 is the best and cheapest player out there, it's also a safe bet, there are a very large number of non-gamers with PS3's using it just for it's media abilities.

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Alert

@Lickass McClippers

"Can you hear that? That high pitch whining. That's the death keel of HD DVD..."

Can you here that 'whoosh' as both formats completely fly past the vast majority.

I mean really, barring a few gimps, most people couldn't give a stuff about this HD format war, probably one of the main reasons it's dragged on so long.

It's a bit like the XP to Vista path, why bother if you can't really see much of a difference.

HD will be the realm of geeks for a long time to come, noone else is really interested. Hell, a lot can't really see the difference between HD and a good quality SD once you sit them 5ft from their TVs.

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Boffin

@Steve - Not PS3

I never bought a DVD player yet for some reason, I now have an extensive library of DVDs at home.

I'm never going to buy a Blu-Ray player, yet for some reason, I've started buying BR disks in preference to DVDs.

As my PS2 & 3 were bought primarily for gaming, that couldn't possibly explain it. Secondary motivators? No such thing. That's why kids never use their mobile phones for playing tinny MP3s and happy-slapping...

Geek Icon, cuz PH hasn't a clue!

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PS3, etc.

Well, my dad got his PS3 'cos it was the cheapest Blu Ray player a year ago. Saying that though he's only got 2 films, one came free with it and the other I got him for xmas.

On the other hand, I got my PS3 just after xmas and have several Blu Ray films, more than games anyway.

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PS3 numbers

Hmmm... well, let's see. If memory serves, Toshiba tried, about 6 months ago, to claim that only 20% of all PS3 owners used the Blu-Ray playback. Piffle, IMHO. I think the percentage of PS3 users whove purchased one or more movies for their PS3 is well over 50% and climbing.

However, let's be really conservative and only take that 20% of PS3 sales and throw it into the mix. Oh dear, makes those HD-DVD sales look even more horrid doesn't it? Imagine if a more realistic %, say 50% of PS3 sales were counted...

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lg has combo player

just bought lg combo drive for PC and several cheap hd dvds

toshiba needs to get hd dvd rom and hd dvd-r drives out for PC i

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My Decision Making Process

To complement my shiny new HDTV I decided to get a next generation player. In doing so I had the following thought process:

1. Decided to go Blu-Ray, just because it was a format that I had heard more than HD-DVD.

2. Look for a suitable player based on reviews and price.

3. Decide that the PS3 had the best reviews for playing movies (and the cheapest), and you get a next-gen games console in the bargain.

4. Purchased as a Blu-Ray player and play the occasional game.

I'm sure I am not the only one to do this. The cheapest and (arguably) the best Blu-Ray player. No-brainer to me!

I'm sure the number of people purchasing PS3 players would be significant enough to significantly affect these figures. I understand also that these numbers are not tangible enough to include.

I just want HD-DVD to roll over and die, so Transformers and Shrek 3 will be available on Blu-Ray ;)

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Unhappy

Poos3?

Is that the best you can manage?

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ssu

Standalone BluRay players????

Who is buying them and where from? If you look on the various AV forums the usual new toy nutters are waiting for a decent standalone BluRay player that is going to work with the profile improvents in the future. Last time I looked only the PS3 was relatively future proof. Maybe its different in the USA?

Then if you look at the sales charts for sellers such as Play there seems to be little interest in standalone BluRay players - the HP30 and HP35 HD DVD players have been in the top 10 before and after the recent price cut.

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Linux

Ah Come on Guys

Support the Under dog ;-)

Where's the British spirit!

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NUMBERS DO NOT MATCH!

I live in the US. The above numbers do not take into consideration sales of PS3 (with a PS3 40GB package for $399 including BD Spider-Man), and also do not take into consideration that you can buy everywhere a HD-DVD player for about $100 with a coupon for 5 free movies. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's about 50 GBP.

Luca

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re: HD and Blu-Ray player?

First of all, there is at least one combo player, second: no, they do not share the same laser technology.

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PS3 Vs HD-DVD for XBOX 360

First of all, I'm a XBOX user so I guess I should stay with HD-DVD right? Wrong :) hehehe.

The HD-DVD for the XBOX is a lousy player and hardly worth $100 if you ask me, on the other hand, for $399 you can get a PS3 with a very high quality BD Player for the same price (or nearby) of a stand-alone BD player. So, my temptation is to get a PS3, if not to play, at least to watch BD movies.

On amazon.com now you can get the PS3 40GB with Spider Man for $399 plus 5 other BD movies for free.

I think PS3 should be taken into consideration for the above statistics, one reason is because with BD movies being bundled with it people will be forcedly tempted to watch it and get hooked, and let's not forget that many computer monitors sold today are HDMI compliant and High Definition capable. I think many people are buying a PS3 today to watch HD movies, and then using its gaming capabilities as a bonus.

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Coat

Smiling when reading the whining BR fans - party is over, boys...

...yep, you got your 15 minutes of fame, thanks to Warner's announcement - however when it comes to STANDALONE PLAYERS - because that's what will generate NOTHING BUT MOVIE SALES - Toshiba is beating the whole BR camp alone.

Remember: Amazon and Walmart are not included in these numbers so most likely these numbers are even worse for Blu-Ray...

As for 'dead!' comments - did it occur to you, clueless losers, that if one format rules then you don't get ANY cheaper price for long time to come, nor any development?

BD-Live - which rendered EVERY CURRENT BD player except the gaming console PS3 outdated overnight - will arrive by the end of this year, thanks to HD DVD's excellent features which are the same since its inception several years ago...

...Blu-Ray has a long way to go to catch up with HD DVD - too bad they rather try to kill the other one instead of winning a comptetition. Make no mistakes: if Toshiba would give it up - hardly, with over 1M players out there - then BD has ZERO chance to kill DVD, it's obvious, thanks to the control of such overpriced, monopolistic players like Sony, Pioneer.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone buying Sony products or standards is ill informed

Just google it. Sony is possibly the MOST untrustworthy company in commerce history. I would rather watch paint dry than buy anything Sony. It's upto us consumers to teach them a lesson - no one else is going to do it.

I am going to buy a Tosh HD for it's upscaling abilities for normal DVD's. I will then wait until all the media companies wakeup and either the next format is born or it will all be downloads.

Laffer.

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Black Helicopters

Ask Sony...

It seems plain as day that if you own a PS3, you will be a part of Sony Home (to get the updates, etc). Sony's software has a catalog (locally stored, of course... sure...) of all titles (games and movies) played on your box. It does this to mark if updates are needed and can then be downloaded after hours (while asleep).

Simply ask Sony for the numbers. But then, they really don't need to chime in with HD doing so poorly, do they...?

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Gates Horns

@Mr ChriZ

The Underdog (HD DVD) is crap, that's why. In almost every way, it's inferior to Blu-ray. Even it's touted features, when you look at them are inferior. PiP for example, is 1080p for both feature and PiP and swapable on Blu-ray, on HD DVD, it's mostly 1080i for the movie, and 480i standard def for the PiP). HDi is very basic in it's abilities, BD-J is vastly superior, but requires proper programmers..

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Gates Horns

@Levente Szileszky

HD DVD does not have 1m players out there, go back and reread the figures, it's 700,000. Many of those are now being bought as upscalers in Toshiba switched it's focus away from marketing them as HD DVD players.

Blu-ray features are vastly better than HD DVD's rushed specs...

1) HD DVD has a paultry, far less than adequate 128mb cache for downloads.

2) HD DVD has low bitrate max

3) HD DVD has low capacity

4) HD DVD has few lossless audio titles

5) HD DVD has only one title with more than 5.1 lossless channels

6) Web-enabled is mostly limited to downloading SD trailers

7) PIP is limited to a secondary SD video stream.

8) Most HD DVD players only show crippled, downsampled 1080i video instead of the 1080p/24 image actually encoded on the disc.

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Re: Smiling when reading the whining BR fans - party is over, boys...

You seem to be forgetting the point that it doesn't matter what the sales of the players are, it's the sales of the actual MOVIES ON DISC that is the killer. There is no point in high HD player sales if there is bugger-all movies to play on it, and for HD DVD, it's moving in that direction when most of the major movie studios have declared their HD output to be Blu-ray only. And your comment about no cheaper player completely omits a basic grasp of economics (there'll be competition between manufacturers of the players, driving down prices) and a precedent already set by VHS and DVD (who enjoys exclusivity in their field and prices have and are still continuing to fall for both players and media). So your comment looks like the fanboy rant it is now, eh?

And as for Andy Kay (Re: HD and Blu-Ray player?), there's been a combo stand-alone player out for ages now. Problem is that it doesn't do both functions particularly well (especially the HD DVD support part) and is expensive, due to costs of licensing and building to both specs. So it's not necessarily a particularly good solution.

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J
IT Angle

PS3 factor?

Well, as someone said, if you include them, you overestimate, if you exclude them, you underestimate.

Easy solution: look at the number of MOVIE DISKS sold... OK, some people will invent some reason why this might be flawed (like, BD people buy more disks on average or whatever), but seems like it would be a more significant estimate, no?

And I sort of remember it's been on a Reg article a while ago...

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@levente Szileszky

Point 1.

Amazon numbers consistently show Blu-Ray with an immense sales lead over HD-DVD.

Point 2.

Toshiba is the only game in town for HD-DVD and is driving sales with firesale pricing. The 'BR camp' as you delightfully call it, consists of most of the CE industry and the majority of the movie/TV studios. Without fire sale pricing, their sales are holding up nicely in the face of desperate deep discount sales by Toshiba.

Point 3.

Dead? In our moment of triumph!?....HD-DVD is as lively as laserdisc was.

Point 4.

BD-Live, what's your point here? BD profile 1.0 players can play BD profile 2.0 discs. 2.0 mandates PiP, Net connectivity and 1Gb of local storage for downloaded content. None of that alters the playback of the movie, so the BD profile 1.0 player will continue to function just fine thanks. BTW the main extra feature of BD-Live is the inclusion of a mobile version of the movie that can be downloaded to a portable player such as PSP, can HD-DVD do that?

Point 5.

Blu-Ray has to catch up HD-DVD? Since when? Blu-Ray movies are and have been outselling HD-DVD by considerable margins in every market since day 1. Who's playing catch up again?

Point 6.

Blu-Ray is not owned by either Sony or Pioneer. Pioneer is certainly not a monopoly player in any way. Not sure where you are going there. Toshiba is the sole CE major involved in HD-DVD. The HD-DVD tech is more or less entirely owned by Toshiba. Seems like as usual people want to ignore the simple facts that HD-DVD is far more proprietary and Toshiba is close to being monopolistic in the HD-DVD market (by default since no one else wants to play).

Last thing. Toshiba is beating who exactly? Oh, that's right you are excluding PS3s. They do play Blu-Ray movies you know. Excluding PS3s from this discussion is rather like saying that anything except a stand alone CD player doesn't count, thus excluding car radios with CD playback, PCs with CD players, DVD players with CD playback and of course integrated music systems with CD playback. That simply wouldn't fly as an argument would it? Or perhaps discussing DVD players and exclusing PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, PS3, Wii, PCs, TVs with built in DVD players, DVD players in cars, portable DVD players with folding screens, after all none of them are stand alone DVD players that exclusively play DVDs...

Hmmm?

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ummmm No.

@Levente Szileszky:

Math, let me show it to you.

FTFA:

"..translate into 8639 HD DVD units and 16,496 Blu-ray units, during the week ended 19 January, according to NPD numbers cited by website The Digital Bits"

Now who is beating who? Is it Product A which has sold 16,496 units or Product B which has sold 8.369 units?

The only reason HD-DVD is selling anything right now is because they are giving the players away with an oil change.

"did it occur to you, clueless losers, that if one format rules then you don't get ANY cheaper price for long time to come, nor any development?"

Explain how DVD works then.....

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cut HD-DVD disk prices, not player prices

The main problem is that they're charging $25-35 per disk, and that's just way too much. If Toshiba gave incentives for movie studios to release HD-DVD disks at the same price as normal DVD releases, ie: $15-20 in the United States, they would probably sell a metric ton more disks, and that would influence the studios a lot.

I'm one of the fewls who bought a cheap HD-DVD player a few months ago when it looked like they might win, and I've bought 6 or 7 movies to try it out with, but I haven't bought one in a while because I just can't make myself pay $25 or $30 for one damn movie. It's absurd, exhorbitant, and it's a deal breaker. My upsampling HD-DVD player plays normal DVDs just fine, and they look great on my 52" lcd. HD-DVD looks better, but not better enough to cost me an extra $10 per movie.

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Congrats HD-DVD...

Now please die. Thank you.

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Sam
Joke

Re Michelle Knight

Gurls don't get Blade Runner anyway..

Was "my boyfriends 46" high quality beheamouth" instead of "behemoth" a Freudian slip, BTW?

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Alert

have to say

A repeat of my post on the review of the latest Toshiba HD-DVD player, but given the comments I think it's worth repeating myself

For those laughing that blu-ray early adopters can't access the extra features - at least they can still watch the film. The touted triple layer HD-DVD spec makes no guarantees that you will be able to play version 1 disks AT ALL, never mind the extra features. You take your chances when you are an early adopter and blu-ray owners win here. As for the PS3 being the only player to be able to be updated, there are now 3 other stand-alone players that I know of with upgradeable firmware.

As for content, Transformers, Heroes etc being HD-DVD exclusives - just how long do you think it will be before they are converted to blu-ray once paramount and universal give up on HD-DVD? Expect to see the blu-ray versions within the next 12 months. Paramount are already teetering on the edge of showing HD-DVD the door. They are putting a brave public face on it but from what I hear, management are seriously unhappy with the extremely low volume of sales and are thinking about the massive amounts of money they are losing by not producing blu-ray disks.

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re: HD and Blu-Ray player?

There's one or two, such as LG's BH100, BH200, or Samsung's BD-UP5000. Personally, I'm waiting for such a combo player, but one that is more affordable and will play all the latest features of the new Bluray format which are said to cripple existing Bluray-only players that can't be upgraded to the new feature set. A lot of people are saying that ONLY the PS3 can be upgraded to the new feature set of the standard's latest revision. That's dumb, and I'm sitting out until that problem is resolved, and for prices to come down to what I feel are acceptable, which is in the $250 range for a full up to date all-format player.

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Go

@ Andy Kay

They do - it costs £140 and is sat in my HTPC right now letting me enjoy all movies available in HD - you kids can have your "format war" - I don't care =D

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Dead Vulture

If the PS3 is primarily for games ?

If the PS3 is primarily for games then why on earth did sony lumber it with such a slow, awkward technology as Blu-Ray? If they wanted more storage then why didn't they sell games on HDD - you must be able to buy 50Gb drives for pennies nowadays. They launched the console late and expensive for the sake of Blu-Ray not because of the games-console part of the machine. If Sony hadn't been equally keen for it to be a movie-player as well as a console they would have rushed out a half-engineered job like the 360 instead of gifting Microsoft a headstart and significant proportion of the games market - they could have stuck a cheap DVD drive on and matched the MS machine, their dominance in the market with PS2 would have just carried them on and status quo would have reforme^H been maintained. The PS3 is just as much of a movie-playing machine as anything else.

The only people who ever split out the standalone player 'market' are pro-HDDVD when they're clutching at the very thin straws left at the bottom of the red-laser barrel. The reason BR doesn't hit back with a chart of actual players is likely the same reason BR movies don't have half-an-hour of annoying self-promotion "The definition of purrrrrfect" ego-massage advertising at the start of every movie, they won on sales of actual discs a long, long time ago. Now is the time to buy that 'collectors' HDDVD player and punt it on ebay in 20 years as a rare esoteric 00's HD movie player with 7 bundled copies of Transformers.

Also the person claiming the next great resolution 'leap' beyond 1920x1080 is definitely utter vaporous - I saw something about a weird 3k version of HD but since 99.9% of all 35mm film rolls are scanned and re-recorded at only very slightly higher resolution than current HD it will be no better than watching upscaled standard def is at the moment. Only computers and the occasional 70mm movie would see much benefit.

I have a 40" HDTV, from across the room, on the sofa, 1080 is practically the same as standard - up close eg. playing computer game distance it is easy to see and appreciate the difference. It's not until I bought a projector that renting those BR hi-def movies really started to make sense.

It's also a well-known fact that even the shortest sample of Vangelis will make a girlfriend's eyelids droop quicker than a double dose of rohypnol so claiming to have seen any of Blade Runner except possibly when strapped to the Clockwork Orange viddy machine (I'm not making suggestions merely outlining possibilities) instantly undermines any sort of credibility.

Dead-Reg because a raving HDDVD apologist sneaked in under the el reg radar and squitted out 4 blood-tinged pages of low definition hardware 'review' in another article on the deeply discounted tosh standalone player.

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PS3...

I think they should do some sort of poll, to find out what percentage of PS3 owners actually buy Blu-Ray discs as well. I do, in fact I have over £400 worth of Blu-Rays already, and I have a PS3 - so the statistic should not be completely discounted.

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Dead Vulture

@Mark

You're not very good at understanding this under dog business are you :-P

I'm voting for an under dog icon

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Paris Hilton

Fanbois to the left of me, fanbois to the right, here i am

Ok, i made a comment that the PS3 is a games console and therefor cannot be counted. Somehow that makes me a HD-DVD loving commie and i should be thrown to the wolves? I do own an XBOX360, do i own an add-on HD-DVD player? No, because it's rubbish. I love toshiba, i think they make great products, but this war has been won by BluR. Shame really, because Sony make lousy products. Will i buy a PS3? Yes, as a games console. That's what it is, a games console. As soon as more decent games come out for the games console, i will buy it. As a games console.

So there you go, i merely stated the PS3 was a gmaes console. I did not say "It's a games console, so HD-DVD is winning!". Stop trying to twist other people's words to fit your wishes.

Here i am, stuck in the middle with P.H. Far more charming than any fanbois.

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