Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sony Plans Ahead

Since its inception, Blu-ray technology has been causing quite a stir in the media and games industry. The format wars, the criticisms, the storage capacity, the color, the smell, anything that people could pick at has been poked. It doesn’t matter whether or not people liked it - the damn disc has spoken and it’s here to stay (that’s what it said to HD DVD, at least). Of course, gaming aficionados are gonna do the whole cartwheel thing when they find out Sony’s next step in taking the words “home entertainment” to the next level. So what’s this oh so marvelous news coming from Sony? Does the word “hybrid” do anything for you? No? Well, it gives me butterflies in my tummy… and when I say hybrid I don’t mean vehicles that use shit like compressed air, for crying out loud.

The hybrid thinga-majig I was speaking of involves Sony marketing the PS3’s multimedia capabilities by throwing out PS3 hybrid game/movie Blu-ray discs this year. Say wha? According to the boys over at Sony, your average PS3 game takes up around 30GB to 40GB of a Blu-ray discs current 50GB capacity. Sony plans to use the remaining space by including movies on the discs to fill the remaining gap of wasted space - unless, you know, PS3 games really start going storage crazy like Metal Gear Solid 4.

In a recent interview with Video Business, John Koller, director of hardware marketing for the PS3, stated,

We’ve talked about the player holistically up to this point. It was a brand effort versus a feature-based effort. We really need to elevate that point, that [rival players] don’t match up dollar to dollar, feature to feature with the PS3.

Whether or not the hybrid Blu-ray discs would constitute a higher price-tag wasn’t really stated. But I’m pretty confident that when it’s released, it will be a tad more on the dollar. If not, then, well… I don’t know, you can do the friggin’ Hokey-Pokey and turn yourself around.

Koller also states,

We are actively pushing, and the way that we see the future is that the movie and the game are placed on the same disc. There are a lot of developers who say, we have this game based on a movie, wouldn’t it be great to marry these concepts? We will definitely see this stuff this year,” he added, predicting two or three such releases during 2009.

This is beyond awesome news for PS3 owners who will have the ability to have the best of both worlds in one disc. This move might save a crap load of cash. The issue that bewilders me the most, though, will probably have to be whether or not these movies retain their high-definition quality with such limited space (unless Sony is working on a compression wonder we’re not aware of). Because we all know that Blu-ray movies take up just about, if not more, space than games. I’ll say this much; if the movie quality is that of DVD, you can take that hybrid and shove it sideways up your ass. Sure it’s a grand idea. But what would be the point when I only buy Blu-ray movies now? Should I own two copies and spend the extra buck on an unwanted hybrid? Or the developers can offer a choice of a hybrid or a standalone game. Spending extra cash on an unwanted feature doesn’t sound too great, ya know. I’m crossing my fingers here, guys. I hope that the hybrid becomes as great as it sounds. If not, well, the guys at GameStop will have to put up with my bitching on illogical business decisions for a long time (and that is a warning to you, GameStop store person reading this!).

Source :