Sony can't get Blu-Ray facts straight

Written by Brett Thomas

August 11, 2006 | 17:26

Tags: #phil-harrison #ps3

Companies: #blu-ray #sony

Bad things happen when you lie. Really, they do. So why is history so plagued with them? Maybe it's because it's so easy to lie. Even presidents do it - "...but I didn't inhale," was always my personal favorite. Well, now another president did it - Phil Harrison, President of Sony worldwide studios, just cannot seem to stop fibbing on the readiness of Blu-Ray.

In a discussion with Guardian Unlimited, Mr. Harrison discussed how much the Blu-Ray player (arguably the most expensive addition into a console ever) would add to the consumer home:
"We have shown more playable games than ever before, so the signs are good, and right now there are more than 100 Blu-ray movies available today, in the US. More than 100 games are in development, and all the major third-party publishers have pledged their strategic support for the platform."

Notice the bolds, as they're very important. At first, nobody thought much of this comment, until a number-conscious blogger by the name of Bill Harris did the math - to find a total of 24 titles available. Most of these are things that are questionable films in any definition, much less things that people would buy a whole new system for. Further research found that there will barely be more than 50 titles available up to a month past launch, and that assumes everything goes wonderfully (which things seldom do).

Now, an unrelated slip-up makes Blu-Ray launch seem even less worthwhile. Sony has recently confirmed that its new Blu-Ray recorders that are being released this month will not support copyrighted video playback. The chief reason that Sony is stating includes that Blu-Ray will require HDMI to play - and at this time, there are just not many televisions or monitors on the market with HDMI support.

So with so few titles available and so few sets to play them on, it seems that the inclusion of Blu-Ray is becoming more of a liability than a selling point. If you look on the Playstation official forums, a particular thread shows us that several peoples' reasons for buying the console include Blu-Ray support as one of the top features. Though hardly a scientific poll, it does illustrate that many people are looking forward to an inclusion that may not be all they hoped for.

On the upside, Phil also had the 100 games in development wrong - according to GameSpot, there are approximately 170. Of course, much like other things Blu-Ray, not much of that will be available upon release, meaning early adopters are left in the cold - particualrly compared to the Wii, which Nintendo has stated will offer about 30 games at launch.

Have you got a thought on the black eye that Blu-Ray seems to keep giving Sony? How about on Phil Harrison's latest stretch? Give us your own opinions in our forums.
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