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Sony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don’t. At a press conference a few days ago, he pointed out Sony’s plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% by the end of the year. How is this possible you might ask? Well, apparently new Blu-ray devices to be offered by Sony will include a model integrated into an HD LCD TV with Blu-ray recording functionality.
But that’s not all. While the vast majority of Blu-ray players out there are the ones built-in to the Playstation 3, Sony has plans for cheaper Blu-ray players including a new focus on “IT devices.” (Because we all would adopt Blu-ray if only our computers had it, apparently). Last but not least on the list of reasons, more Blu-ray movies will be offered by Hollywood studios to entice you into switching to the new format.
All of this may very will be true, but none of it has happened yet. The Playstation 3 is still the best deal for anyone interested in Blu-ray. And that’s because you get a gaming system along with your Blu-ray player for the $400 you’ll be spending. Otherwise, your Blu-ray player options still seem to be well into the $400 price range.
And let’s not forget the cost of the movies themselves. HD DVD movies now are finally reasonably priced only after the format is pretty much dead. But Blu-ray? Does Sony really think that $27.95 is the new price for movies?
Plus, we’re seeing some serious momentum behind the move toward downloadable/streaming content. All things considered, though, I think the biggest challenge for Sony is that people seem just fine with good ol’ DVD. Sure, I could see this changing but only if the premium for Blu-ray (over regular DVD) was, say, 20-50%. I personally think 400%+ is a bit much.