I blogged about Gary Ugarek's Deadlands 2: Trapped recently. Long story short, the film maker took a shot at resurrecting a defunct video format, only to plug his efforts in the end. Reason? He cited "one too many roadblocks and poor management" as the final nails in his pet project's coffin. He has our condolences, seriously. Now, for those of you who think that the HD-DVD versus Blu-ray war is long dusted and dried, well, perhaps it is, but it is apparent another colossal industry player has something to say about it.
Microsoft, if you recall, was once part of the HD-DVD Promotion Group which met with its untimely death back in March 2008. More recently, the Gates' empire is keen to establish their curriculum vitae once again. Talking to Edge Magazine recently, Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft's Director of Product Management, revealed that the absence of a Blu-ray drive is instrumental to the console's success. He also cited Sony's move to incorporate a Blu-ray drive with their PlayStations has inflated the cost of the Japanese console by a notch. Hey, if we can deliver a cheaper console, why not? I guess this is all part of Microsoft's modus operandi. From the gist of it, it is clear what Microsoft's road maps are plotted on - digital content distribution, and not reliance on a physical disc player. Blu-ray? Bah! Question is, is content distribution enough to break Sony's back?
If I'm allowed to make an educated guess, Sony will gain the upper hand in time to come, regardless of what Microsoft has to say. Currently, the PlayStation Network offers gamers with exclusive content such as game titles, trailers, as well as access to betas and demos. Unwilling to rest on their laurels, Sony also made recent plans to deliver HD movies via the PlayStation Network with the aid of external powerhouses such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. You can say that it's a two-pronged approach with a Blu-ray player already in the bag. Content distribution? Hey, we're doing it too!
It is true that the PS3 Slim costs marginally more than the Xbox 360. It's also true that PS3's global sales figures are still trailing their American adversaries. However, I am certain there's a good portion of consumers out there who wouldn't mind forking out just that little bit extra for the best of both worlds. We can only wait and observe on how things would pan out. Just don't expect the Natal founders to incorporate a Blu-ray drive any time soon.
Andy Sim / Former Senior Tech Writer
Andy is a self-made geek with a penchant for good music and a hearty pint. His domain includes swanky TVs, notebooks and networking gizmos.