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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ars Technica: Should PS3 Have Had Optional Blu-Ray?

Ars Technica takes a wide overview of the coming holiday console war (digg it) between the 360 and the PlayStation 3 and ponders whether the Blu-Ray drive was completely necessary. In the op/ed, Ken Fisher examines some pretty key points and includes the fact that while BD discs are much, much larger than the 360's DVD9 format, cross-platform titles will be constrained to the DVD9 format anyway. Plus, DVD9 is the equivalent of about 10 CD's ... or still above most modern PC game installs.

The underlying issue, I think, will be how Sony takes advantage of all this space. Nobody can deny the role that the PlayStation's disc-based media had in the console's popularity - it allowed games to have pre-rendered cinematics and backgrounds the most other hardware simply couldn't touch at the time. Consider when the problems N64 games got with ports simply on this bandwidth issue alone. While a game for the 360 might easily fit on a DVD9 disc ... the same game for the PS3 may have higher res textures, better sound files and a full length feature movie.

The counter-argument to that is ... who will be willing to produce a full length movie in addition to a complete game just for another console? The PlayStation 3's real capacity limit might not the amount of storage it has on a hard drive or high definition disc ... but rather the production throughput of the teams delivering the games.

Perhaps, though, what Sony has in mind is that when you buy the next James Bond movie ... you also get the game licensed for the movie as well.

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