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Monday, February 12, 2007

Questions About High Def

Right now the top selling console, by a wide margin, is the PlayStation 2. What console do people think this demographic will get once they are ready to go High Def?

Follow up: The best selling platform is the DS. The Wii is the only next gen console which what could really be called a stellar launch (easily breaking expecations). For the next couple years - how much does High Def really matter?

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Thomas said...

Before I can go "high def," I'd have to buy a new TV. And I'd probably need to buy a new sound system, because why bother otherwise? And then I'd have to buy the game system itself.

I make a pretty good amount of money, and I just can't bring myself to do it. I sometimes wonder who these companies think they're selling to.

jvm said...

You can't get a straight answer to the second question because the market is split into two camps that (literally) see different things. I just got an HDTV and it bumped a couple of titles in my library up on the playlist: Beyond Good & Evil and God of War. Why? Because they both offer 480p resolutions on the PS2. If God of War is any indication, it looks pretty wonderful at that resolution.

Which makes me keen to get a PS3 later this year. Then I can take advantage of the 720p that my TV can do.

Last year, I didn't even know what 480p meant. Now it's helping pick which games I'd like to play next. As soon as you invest in the technology, your view shifts.

Now, I'm an odd duck, no doubt. I intend to own a PS3 and didn't want one until I had a proper TV. So I made the investment based on that. Other people have other reasons. The guy across the street from me loves his digital cable and his DVDs. Other folks care about sports in HDTV. I don't see any single compelling reason that will define consumer demand.

The difference, perhaps, will be that people who use standard TV aren't cheerleaders for their technology. People who make the leap to HDTV have difficulty thinking about standard TV as reasonable, and extol the virtues (real or exaggerated) of their choice. Enough cheerleaders and you begin to gain some momentum, and I think it's possible we'll see that happen this year. As soon as the 27" HDTVs are, say, $400 or $300 you'll see people consider them en masse.

As for the first question, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are on even footing, I think. Only 720p is going to matter for the next few years, and both can do that resolution just fine.

Josh said...

@thomas:Right - new sound system, some kind of high def feed, some kind of high def player. And all the while I have the same feeling I did when DVDs first came out - there's nothing terribly compelling to really make me want to spend the cash.

And as I've mentioned in the past, it's a major reason why the Wii is first on my list.

@jvm: I think you're dead on. And that split's percentage will shift dramatically in the next year, and wildly in the next years (imo).

With the first question, my sneaky point was precisely things like God of War. MS has essentially abandoned the Xbox. The smartest thing Sony could do is keep PS2 dev lively and do everything they can to get backwards compatibility working 100% on the PS3.

That way when people get a PS2 library while waiting to go high def, the PS3 might be more of a no-brainer. Course, this may just be because I'm still sifting through really old PS2 titles.

Winkyboy said...

For me - and mind you I have a 42" EDTV that I won - I'm perfectly happy with a large viewing screen even if it isn't HD. There's enough movies/games/whatever playable in this definition that's going to keep me MORE than happy for QUITE a long time.

It all comes down to how badly you want it + how much extra cash you want to spend.