Howard Stringer (CEO Sony) spills beans on BluRay players and PS3 launch date

StooMonster

Well-known Member
In The Hollywood Reporter Howard Stringer (Sony CEO) says that first dedicated BluRay players will cost US$1000, but Sony will sell PS3 at a loss leader price of US$300-400 to get BluRay players into the market.

He also mentioned a number of portable video devices before PS3 release, UDM disc players I would guess.

Here's a summary: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=12788

StooMonster
 

DanH

Active Member
Stringer said:
Stringer appears convinced of a victory for Sony in the next generation battle, ending the interview by stating boldly: "Innovation and quality will win the day. Eventually consumers are going to want devices that play everything and everybody's content in the end. And the customer is king. So, I have no doubt that Sony will prevail."
Just as long as the consumer chooses BluRay and PS3 to play it on he means, with masses of DRM thrown in for good measure.
The interviewer also speculates a March release for PS3 in Japan, and this time next year for the US. If hes right, there will be a lot of ****** off people that were hoping Sony would follow suit with MS and Nintendo's world wide releases, especially as we probably wont see it in europe untill 2007, if hes right that is.
That also leaves Europe without a subsidised BluRay player for most of the year, potentially giving a bit more ground to HD-DVD.
 
K

kenji-san

Guest
DanH said:
...with masses of DRM thrown in for good measure.
:rotfl:

yeah, with the security bomb that is drm on sony cd's, i can't even begin to imagine how filled to the brim the ps3 will be, considering cd's (drm), bluray (possible online verification security measures) and whatnot.

that's quite a loss they will take per ps3, up too $700 if compared to dedicated bluray players! They really are dependent on this machine to succeed, arent they?
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
that's quite a loss they will take per ps3, up too $700 if compared to dedicated bluray players!
The PS3 will not be in the same league as the dedicated players which will, most likely, support analogue decoding of next generation audio codecs, vastly superior build quality and considerably better processing. Ergo the subsidy, at least from the components that make a BluRay movie player possible, will be nowhere near $700 per player.

The big question for BluRay is whether sub-$400 is going to be sufficient to win the largest share of the console market. At least some articles (such as this one) suggest the XBox 360 may do significantly better.
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
Rasczak said:
The big question for BluRay is whether sub-$400 is going to be sufficient to win the largest share of the console market. At least some articles (such as this one) suggest the XBox 360 may do significantly better.
Well, perhaps, but Xbox 360 won't have an HD_DVD drive (at least to begin with).

Nick
 

Rob20

Well-known Member
While the 360 looks to be a quality machine, (I have one pre-ordered), it still doesn't have the cache or street cred of the Playstation brand. People at work who own PS2's are looking towards buying the PS3 as much because of their attatchment to the PS brand as the machine itself; just as they waited for the PS2 after the PS1. Those who have stated their intentions to buy a 360 are also looking to buy a PS3 at launch. PS1 owners were prepared to wait a year or so for the PS2, (after the DC launch), they'll wait again, (especially if Microsoft can't get sufficient machines ready for xmas). I can see the 360 increasing Microsoft's market share, but Sony will still be the market leader with the PS3.

In the past I've held out for the latest Nintendo machine, yet after the poor 3rd party support for the N64/GC, and having bought a rival machine this gen in the XBOX, I can see myself buying all 3, (next gen consoles). It seems anyone interested in gaming, is also looking to get a PS3.

As for the HD-DVD format having a significant advantage in Europe if the PS3 isn't to launch until 2007, I'm not sure it will hurt Blu-Ray that much. Japan and USA are markets where HD broadcasting and HDTV uptake are 5/6 years more advanced than Europe. How many households in Europe actually own HD screans capable of displaying 720p/1080i, (let alone the 1080p I persoanally hope HD fillms will be encoded with). Then who will be able to afford the intial £1,000 or so price of the first HD-DVD boxes of which Blu-Ray are sure to have it's equivelents available. Personally, I'm not prepared to spend more than £500 and would want a recorder also. I, therefore, probably like a number of others, will have to wait for the PS3 as a cheap way to experience HD movies etc, to then upgrade to a seperate hi-def disc recorder, (with HDD), when prices have fallen. Personally I'm rooting for Blu-Ray due to the 20GB advantage it has with it's dual layer discs over HD-DVD.
 

NicolasB

Well-known Member
Rasczak said:
The PS3 will not be in the same league as the dedicated players which will, most likely, support analogue decoding of next generation audio codecs, vastly superior build quality and considerably better processing.
Do you actually have a source for any of those claims? There's been a lot of hyperbole about the Cell processor, yes, but, even after you've discarded all of that, you're left with a serious amount of processing power in the PS3 - so long as what you're doing is simple enough to run on the Cell sub-processors, and parallel enough to use all of them at once. Video decoding seems like a good match.

I can't see any reason at all to assume that the PS3's processing will be in any way inferior to that of a dedicated player. In addition, with all of the video output being digital only, we won't be subjected to the poor video DACs and dodgy analogue signal path that caused problems with DVDs on the PS2.

You may well be right about next-gen audio formats, but surely anyone who's thinking about putting down £1000 or more on a player would be thinking of using an external audio processor anyway...?

As for "build quality" - so long as it doesn't actually go wrong, why would you care?

Everyone seems to be taking it as given that the PS3 will be to dedicated BluRay players what the PS2 was to DVD players, but I can't any basis for making that assumption. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.
 

AML

Well-known Member
Ive tried to make this point before but people seem convinced that the PS3 will make a terrible player based on the PS2's performance as a DVD player.

Ive tried making the same arguments. Since BR is all digital, there wont be any difference in picture quality.
The PS3 uses HDMI like any player would, and the cell is more than powerfull enough to make a good player.

You cant compare the PS3 to the PS2 as a player. It simply wouldnt be fair.

There are reasons why the PS2 was crap. Mainly the poor D/A converter. But since this is no longer an issue I dont see why the PS3 cant do a good job of playing BR's.

Once the machine is out we can decide how it compares to $1000+ players.
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Gents, key difference here is: at PS2 launch the DVD playback was intentionally crippled * by Sony as they didn't want the PS2 to compete with their dedicated DVD players, whereas today at PS3 launch Sony want to build marketshare for BluRay via these consoles (as they probably worked out it didn't canibalise their dedicated players too much).

* PAL PS2 could not output DVD picture over RGB (red + blue blocked so picture was green), it output composite video only (don't know if they later fixed this, never owned a PS2). NTSC PS2 had similar restrictions, but I can't recall what they were.

StooMonster
 

DanDT

Active Member
Obviously those problems won't be in PS3 since the signal will stay digital all the way through.
If Sony really wanted, they could make PS3 a much better player than most others just because it has 512MB Ram, a Cell processor and a G70-based GPU. That's more than enough power to have perfect image processing.
Not sure they will, since that woul ddetract people from buying dedicated players.

Also, word on the street is that dedicated players will have recording capabilities. That would give them demand over PS3 which won't have any recording capabilities.

Image quality will be very close, and in the end it will largely be affected by the HDTV you're watching the damn thing on, if anything.

The RGB problem with early PS2's was easily worked around with the Datel Region X disc (the one that lets you play DVDs from any region), which also enabled RGB output.
Today's PS2's have pro-scan DVD playback and are just fine as DVD players, considering the price and considering you get a great videogame console within that price.
 

richard plumb

Well-known Member
Stoo,

You say 'intentionally crippled', Sony might say disabled due to macrovision not being transmitted over RGB.

Yes, dedicated DVD players do RGB SCART, but maybe PS2 was designed earlier and it was a problem for them?
 

DanDT

Active Member
richard plumb said:
Stoo,

You say 'intentionally crippled', Sony might say disabled due to macrovision not being transmitted over RGB.

Yes, dedicated DVD players do RGB SCART, but maybe PS2 was designed earlier and it was a problem for them?
Macrovision messed up PS2's RGB signals.

Datel Region X was a widely available software that basically overrides that, letting you play DVDs from any region, and also enabled RGB output on PS2.

Seen how today's PS2's have progressive scan DVD playback, i think the whole thing has been fixed - it would be stupid to still have no RGB support but have pro-scan!! :suicide:
 

Nicky

Active Member
Interesting...it's just a guess by I don't believe Sony can afford to subsidise a meterial number of PS3s to the tune of $600+ a unit. That's just an enormous amount of money to recover from subsequent software sales. Maybe they plan to get huge economies of scale versus the dedicated players but it seems hard to believe you can build the PS3 with the game functionality for less than a comparable standalone player...Not impossible but hard to see, especially early days.

I suspect Sony are talking up how they're going to flood the market with cheap Blu-ray PS3s in order to get studio committment to Blu-ray...once the studios have committed I would guess the reality will be that either the PS3 is a woeful player (although as others have pointed out - it is hard to see why) or that the initial price is higher...Or that dedicated players don't stay at $1000 for long. Anyway, I'm pretty sure sony as posturing at the moment.
 

rigman

Well-known Member
DANDT

What is the point of a blue ray recorder when it is said that eventually everything will be transmitted using HDCP.
Will we be able to record any high def in the future on anything other than a hard drive within the receiver?
 

DanDT

Active Member
rigman said:
What is the point of a blue ray recorder when it is said that eventually everything will be transmitted using HDCP.
Will we be able to record any high def in the future on anything other than a hard drive within the receiver?
The idea is to either have a HDD inside, and transfer to BDROM, or even to record directly to BDROMs. That's the idea anyway.
 

tscotsman

Active Member
If Blu-Ray drives cost that compared to a PS3, then ill just buy a PS3 for the BR Drive. Wont even bother with the games on it as ill have the 360 for that.
 

DanDT

Active Member
tscotsman said:
If Blu-Ray drives cost that compared to a PS3, then ill just buy a PS3 for the BR Drive. Wont even bother with the games on it as ill have the 360 for that.
I guess that's your decision, but PS3 will have quite a few games that are not on X360 so you'll be tempted :devil:
This is all gonna get very expensive for us isn't it... :suicide:
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
DanDT said:
Macrovision messed up PS2's RGB signals.

Datel Region X was a widely available software that basically overrides that, letting you play DVDs from any region, and also enabled RGB output on PS2.

Seen how today's PS2's have progressive scan DVD playback, i think the whole thing has been fixed - it would be stupid to still have no RGB support but have pro-scan!! :suicide:
Yep, Sony added progressive scan DVD playback to PS2 hardware in April 2003; same time they removed the FireWire connection.

The original PS2 launched in Japan didn't even have hardware DVD decoding, it was done in software and was legendarily horrible.

Do you really think Sony didn't "accidentally" output RGB because of Macrovision when all their dedicated players did just fine, and it was a software update that fixed it? It was well documented and discussed at the time of PS2 launch that blocking RGB output was intentional.

Sony were reluctant to push DVD capabilities of PS2 as they were afraid it would canibalise sales of dedicated DVD players; through people thinking much same as tscotsman. Remember in those days DVD players weren't £20 from local supermarket, they were £500+ for cheapest players.

StooMonster
 

rigman

Well-known Member
The idea is to either have a HDD inside, and transfer to BDROM, or even to record directly to BDROMs. That's the idea anyway.
Well the whole point of HDCP is that it prevents high def material from being recorded and mass produced. I just cannot see how it could work unless the disc will only play in the player that recorded it.

Of course in reality it will not make a jot of difference to mass production by the pirates.
 

DanDT

Active Member
StooMonster said:
Yep, Sony added progressive scan DVD playback to PS2 hardware in April 2003; same time they removed the FireWire connection.

The original PS2 launched in Japan didn't even have hardware DVD decoding, it was done in software and was legendarily horrible.

Do you really think Sony didn't "accidentally" output RGB because of Macrovision when all their dedicated players did just fine, and it was a software update that fixed it? It was well documented and discussed at the time of PS2 launch that blocking RGB output was intentional.

Sony were reluctant to push DVD capabilities of PS2 as they were afraid it would canibalise sales of dedicated DVD players; through people thinking much same as tscotsman. Remember in those days DVD players weren't £20 from local supermarket, they were £500+ for cheapest players.

StooMonster
Of course i think Sony fixed it!! Never said otherwise ;)
 

Jim_Fear

Active Member
Did anyone read the thing about the DRM and games that might be implemented into the PS3, where games can only be played on the machine they were first used on? Aparently someone had found the patent Sony are trying to obtain. Also, much like the PS2 DVD player, all the PS3 is going to do is play them without any fancy business, much like the PS2 player does, nothing special really, but at least it will set the world up for Blu-Ray. As for the XBox 360, the chief designed said the XBox 360 will never use a HD-DVD drive, i'll see if i can dig the article up if anyone is interested.

Also, if the lawsuits against Sony's CD DRM come through i should imagine the game DRM would be left out.
 

DanDT

Active Member
Jim_Fear said:
Did anyone read the thing about the DRM and games that might be implemented into the PS3, where games can only be played on the machine they were first used on? Aparently someone had found the patent Sony are trying to obtain.
That was a very stupid rumour with no foundations whatsoever.

Imagine this:

You buy a PS3, it works fine for 2 years and you have 20 games for it.

After 2 years your PS3 stops working. You go to a shop and buy a new one (cause we all know that fixing those things is more expensive and more of a hassle than just buying a new one). You get home and find that all the games you had will not work with your new PS3.

What do you do? Call Sony for a software update? Buy a new library of games?

Really a stupid rumour. It also invalidates games rentals, which are a huge source of revenue for Sony and all others involved.
 

Jim_Fear

Active Member
Yeah I know its stupid, but romours always have a certain degree of fact, there is another thread in this section which also mentions this "rumour", and if Sony put rootkits into their CD's then I wouldn't put it past them to adapt it to BR and the PS3, until Sony stand up and say "it was a rumour" I will assume there is some truth to it. As loyal as I am to sony this extracts the urine
 

DanDT

Active Member
Jim_Fear said:
As loyal as I am to sony this extracts the urine
Eww...

Well i posted properly on that other thread. Hate duplicate discussions in different threads.
 

Jim_Fear

Active Member
I didn't think saying "taking the p*ss" was professional ;)

Anywho, I understand this would most likely be used for BR films and it could be added to the PS3 as part of the BR player, but for games...well, i'd be upset if they did
 

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