What if Blu-Ray lost the Format War?

9 Sep

After the success of the Playstation 2, Sony became over confident with its console business and thought anyone would buy the Playstation 3. Sony priced the Playstation 3 at 600 dollars because it was also a Blu-Ray player. In this reality, Blu-Ray won the format war, and is probably the only reason people bought the Playstation 3, and because Blu-Ray players at the time were very expensive as well. What if Sony hadn’t won the format war? What if instead of Blu-Rays we’d all be watching HD DVDs. This is what it would be like in that alternate reality.

In 2002, Toshiba and various other companies started to develop a new DVD format which would be eventually be named HD DVD. Various companies including Microsoft announce their support for HD DVDs. Negotiations between the Blu-Ray Disc Association and and the DVD Forum have broken down, and now both formats are at war.

The first HD DVD player finally launches March 31st, 2006 and costs approximately 1000 dollars. The first movies to be released on HD DVD are launched on April 18th, 2006. Soon after on June 20th, 2006, the first Blu-Ray movies are released.

By CES 2007, it was clear the HD DVD was the format of the future. After realizing that the format war was lost, Sony closed the Blu-Ray Disc Association and discontinued Blu-Rays. Now Sony’s already struggling console suffered even more, now that its Blu-Ray player was completely useless. In an effort to save the Playstation 3, Sony announced a newer, cheaper version of the Playstation 3 at E3 2007. The new version of PS3 would still be an expensive system at 400 dollars. Sony again tried to help the PS3’s sales announcing God of War 2 as a PS3 game instead of a Ps2 one. Even with the release of God of War 2 and new IP’s such as Resistance and Uncharted, the PS3’s future didn’t look good.  Sony’s last hope would be the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gran Turismo 5.

Two years into its the life cycle and after the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, it still wasn’t enough for the PS3. Soon after Insomniac Games would announce that it would be only developing for the Xbox 360. Right before CES 2009 Sony would announce that they would be withdrawing from the console market, and would become a third party developer just like Sega had done. Sony would eventually have more success as a third party publisher because of all the studios they own.

This is just my interpretation of what could of happened if Blu-Ray and Sony lost the format war. What do you think could have happened?


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