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Did you know that the PS3 can play Blu-ray movies? Most gamers don’t

Much of the credit for Blu-ray Discs’ rapid surge in sales beginning in 2007 is given to the launch of the PlayStation 3. Sony’s newest console brought to the market an incredible value for the high-definition home theater enthusiast.

The PlayStation 3 remains one of the market’s cheapest, but most capable Blu-ray Disc movie players – but oddly enough, that fact isn’t as well known as one may believe. In fact, research results released by NPD Group suggest that the majority of gamers, including owners of Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 consoles, are oblivious to their machine’s high-definition capabilities.

Amazingly, the report finds that only 40 percent of PlayStation 3 owners knew that the games machine was fully capable of playing Blu-ray Disc movies. And of those who knew about the Blu-ray feature, only half had used it to play a movie during the last 10 times they used the console. The remaining half who knew about the movie player capabilities do not take advantage of the feature.

While movies may not be on every gamer’s agenda, only 30 percent of Xbox 360 owners knew of the machine’s high-definition gaming output capabilities, with the number rising to 50 percent in the case of PS3 owners. This suggests that the majority of current generation gaming still takes place on standard-definition televisions.

"The industry is still in its infancy with regard to this "next-gen" and all the expanded capabilities of the systems," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier to 1UP. "Gameplay is still king, and it may take awhile for the awareness and usage of the additional features to really take hold with consumers."

Those with HDTVs may be wishing for a high-definition Wii, but given the NPD Group’s findings, it’s easy to understand why Nintendo isn’t yet interested.

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I'm Not Suprised
By Merry on 8/13/2007 11:01:49 AM , Rating: 5
I dont think many console buyers are as tech savvy as Sony and MS believe.

Also, I still reckon the uptake of HD TVS will take a while to reach a critical level where HD becomes the norm in peoples' living rooms. My reasoning behind this is that many people I know (myself included) do not intend to upgrade to HD until their current SD TV gives out, which could take some time, or HD becomes widely available in terms of broadcasting.

With this in mind I think we'll be well into this generation of consoles, or possible later, before the majority of console users actually make use of their consoles HD abilities.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By tcjake on 8/13/2007 11:13:04 AM , Rating: 5
I think the PC gaming crowd is very tech savvy, they have to be, the console crowd (huge generalization here) is not highly tech savvy because they don't have to be. Step 1. buy the console. Step 2. turn it on with game in it. Step 3. Play.

As apposed to PC's with sometimes massive video, direct X, CPU, GPU etc... issues.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By FITCamaro on 8/13/2007 11:26:22 AM , Rating: 3
Uh...most people buy their PCs. This includes the majority people who play PC games. The enthusiast crowd who build their PCs is very small.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Flunk on 8/13/2007 1:40:12 PM , Rating: 5
They just all read DailyTech

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By GlassHouse69 on 8/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: I'm Not Suprised
By ChristopherO on 8/13/2007 11:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, in fairness to MS and Sony, I'm pretty certain they already knew these facts a whole lot better than this "study". But here's the rub, in the grand scheme of things they probably don't care about SD gamers since that's not where their revenue is coming from.

If you're fully HD with a home theater you've got one of two things going for you:
a.) You’re an affluent consumer, or
b.) You have no emotional problem racking up debt.

Either way, Sony/MS make the most money off their HD customers. This isn't an absolute rule, I'm sure there are SD gamers who own 50 games or some insane number, but generally speaking your consumption rate of new product is related to income.

Put another way, that's their core market. The SD market is like "free money". They aren't planning on losing money on that market, but they are, more than likely, barely going to break even (since they assume each console needs to have a certain number of accessories and games in order to recoup the development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing costs).

SD customers provide market share, HD customers provide profit. This same rule applies to many, many other markets. In the case of MS they want to convert everyone to a paid Live account since that provides a sustained and predictable revenue stream. I'm sure Sony wants to do that just as badly, but their price-premium is just too much to ask for an additional $50 every year for the life of their console (but alas we'll probably see that in a year or two when the initial purchase price drops -- they'll release some "must have" feature and make everyone pay a yearly fee to get it).

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Rampage on 8/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: I'm Not Suprised
By omnicronx on 8/13/2007 3:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
And let me guess, you are single.. possibly living with a roomate? most people can not afford an HDTV let alone a 1080p TV. More people live on or below the poverty line than above it, and can not afford such luxuries as a 1000 dollar TV when their normal TV works just fine. especially when you usually need an HD tv package to take advantage of HD broadcasts. A poor family or individual is not going to buy an HDTV just for their console.

As for being a grad student, did you parents pay your tuition, housing while in school? because most don't, i for one owe a small amount in student loans (under 3k) but many people are in the hole 40/50g's from the get go.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Murst on 8/13/2007 3:38:23 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry man, but its quite easy to get a decent setup at home if you budget properly and have a decent job. Right now I am supporting my fiancee, son, and I spent quite a bit more on my 50" 1080P Panasonic that fits in my 4bdr house.

Your assumptions are wrong.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By omnicronx on 8/13/2007 4:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
And you make how much? do you even know what the average salary in the states is? $36,764, which for most people is not enough to support yourself, let alone others. Most people in this range of salary live paycheck to paycheck and can not afford these luxury items without going on a payment plan or borrowing money.

So to make a one dementional statement such as my assumptions are wrong, is quite stupid as you compare yourself, probably making atleast 50k as you have a house and support two people, to someone living on the edge of poverty.

You may be part of a small group of people that consider a 50inch TV as neccessity but for a family or person making 36k, there are many better things their money can be spent on.

At least my assumptions are based on something, unlike your one dementional assumptions based on your personal experiances. Just the fact of how many americans dont own an HDTV supports my theory, and until analogue shutdown in 2009, most people will not have a reason to switch either.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By BMFPitt on 8/13/2007 4:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
Just the fact of how many americans dont own an HDTV supports my theory, and until analogue shutdown in 2009, most people will not have a reason to switch either.
What will be the reason for those people to upgrade after they stop broadcasting in analog?

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By seeker353 on 8/13/2007 10:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Because their old SD TV's won't work any more without a digital to analog converter.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By BMFPitt on 8/14/2007 1:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Which will cost approximately $0 after government coupon. But let's assume that cost is nonzero, why would they (who have lived with an analog-only TV for decades and only get an OTA signal) buy an HDTV?

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Murst on 8/13/2007 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
When I stated that your assumptions were wrong, I was referring to the following:

1. You assumed that people who have a 1080p TV are single.
2. You assumed that people who have a 1080p TV live with a roommate.
3. You assumed that most people in the USA do not have money for a HDTV. Walmart sells them for under $500, and that is pretty much in range of the majority of the american public for a main TV in the house.
4. You assumed that more people in the USA live at or below poverty line than above it. In fact, that is incorrect. Only about 13% of people in the USA are at or below the level defined as poverty.

Also, please keep in mind that the median family income (which is most likely a much better measure than average) in the USA is $59k a year - basically, half of the families in the USA make more than that. I'll agree with you that although a family that makes 36k a year should not be buying an HDTV, the majority of families in the USA make much more than that.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Maetryx on 8/13/2007 6:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
There are some fine points and counterpoints in this discussion, which is nice to see and unexpected. :) According to Wikipedia, the median family income in the USA in 2005 was about $46k.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By seeker353 on 8/13/2007 10:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Median family income in 2005 was $46k, median individual income in 2005 was $25k (also according to Wikipedia). I think that the $36k was a GDP per capita figure.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Murst on 8/14/2007 10:21:09 AM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia is great for some things, but for statistics on the economy and such, I much prefer going to the government.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Murst on 8/14/2007 10:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, I realize that I just contradicted myself on the poverty statistic, but at least it was close... according to the census bureau, it is about 12.4 :). The wikipedia median family income just seems way off.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Frank M on 8/14/2007 10:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
Your proof via anecdote is wrong.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Rampage on 8/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: I'm Not Suprised
By RapsFan on 8/13/2007 4:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
You must be very proud of yourself.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Rampage on 8/13/2007 5:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you either do it yourself or wait for someone to do it for you.
Apparantly you chose the latter. I wanted to get it done, and I am proud.. its people who get things done who make this country work.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By seeker353 on 8/13/2007 10:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
This is great for you and you have every right to be proud of your accomplishments (I'm a hard working guy myself). However, making 2x more than the average individual income puts you into the "affluent customer" category of ChristopherO's post.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Yongsta on 8/13/2007 4:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm single, but no roommate. I can't afford a $3000 TV but I can afford some luxuries such as $500 32" LCD in bedroom and $1500 56" DLP in living room. Finished school with no debt because of no student loans (scholarships) and I also had a job so I guess I had an advantage there. These luxuries or expenses are once every few years, it's not like I buy new Tv's every month. I can save money for now for future expenses (mortgage on house). I'm sure things will get different once I get married but for now I'm enjoying the bachelor life.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Rampage on 8/13/2007 5:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
We're in the same boat. Its nice. Zero complications, just work and money, toys. Saving up for a house myself.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By timmiser on 8/14/2007 6:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
What's going on here?? Is this some kind of geeks seeking women board?? Guys, I think there are only 3 girls that post here.... This will not get you guys any dates!


RE: I'm Not Suprised
By ChristopherO on 8/13/2007 6:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
You completely misread my statement.

I never said that someone has "emotional problems" from acquiring debt. Just that the acquisition of debt does not cause emotional duress (i.e. you can sleep fine at night). Many people will incur huge volumes of unsecured debt and don't see anything wrong with that. Those people are typically rabid consumers (but go through cyclical spending patterns with either a significant pay-down period or bankruptcy), whereas a traditionally affluent family has fairly level and continual spending at a significant dollar level.

It is also a little disingenuous to assume you're average (or that my statement applied to anyone here). The people on this discussion don't even remotely track with the typical consumer when it comes to a love of technology.

Additionally, I said "home theater". Having an HDTV does not rank as a home theater. You're in for no less than $2,500 if you buy a fairly entry-level home theater (of respectable quality, you can get for cheaper but you start to teeter into no-name foreign stuff). Reasonable quality separate gear in a 5.1 configuration plus respectable TV, DVD, etc, is closer to $4K as a minimum entry point.

Everyone has their particular passions. Technology is prevalent here, but nationally speaking isn't as dominating a factor. By far most single people would rather sink appreciable funds into their car than electronic gear. You can find out various statistics by searching for consumer demographics and purchasing habits.

Don't take broad facts personally... Aggregates represent everyone, but no one specifically. There will always be statistical deviation where certain individuals fall outside of the model.

RE: I'm Not Suprised
By robinthakur on 8/14/2007 5:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
OK, nobody take this the wrong way, but who cares what the average salary is in the US? Either you buy a PS3 or an Xbox360 or you don't, the reasons are not especially important. The only emotional problems displayed in this thread is the preachyness of somebody who needs to tell everybody about his work ethic and his possessions and also the whinyness of somebody else claiming that a cutting edge game machine and TV should be able to be readily acquired for less than $10 each. Having said that, I respect the former more, as I have more in common with him.

I think that its best to aim high then you aren't disappointing anybody with regards to console design and support of new technology. I use all the capabilities of each of the three main consoles fully on a large HD TV and have no complaints that they're included. Sony/MS need to work on the marketing more. From the UK ads for the PS3, no mention is really made of games let alone hi-def video playback, are they surprised that regular people don't know? I'd say there's more awareness in the UK, from what the report says abcou the US. Remember also that a console has to survive (in theory) for roughly 5 year cycles, so hopefully, more users will be more tech savvy in the future.

Videogames/HDTV are a luxury, they are not basic rights. Not everybody can afford them, and if they could you most likely wouldn't want them ;) At least you can't bootleg them and buy fake PS3's and fake Xbox 360's lol.


RE: I'm Not Suprised
By Nik00117 on 8/14/2007 2:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
100% in agreement.

Look at the typical PC gamer (from my experience)

He researhed every part in his own rig
He read dozens of reviews deceding which parts to get
He then did research on price/performance
He then built this rig himself with own hands interseted in EVERY compent that went in it.

He is very intersted in HD videos and so forth because he is impressed by the technology, he is very intersted in all the bells and whistles. Its just not just about gaming, if it was just about gaming for me I wouldn't of spent over 3k on PC parts in the last year... With no job going from BD to X-mas.

Now lets look at the console game

1. He wants a system that works (AKA not XBOX 360)
2. He wants a system with titles that he wants to play
3. He wants a good price, he cannot jusifty paying 1000-1200 for a gaming machine.

So here is how you design a console
1. Make sure you got contracts with all the major gameing corps to ensure you get the best titles on your system
2. Make sure that your system is stable and WORKS! AKA low failure rate.
3. Make it affordable.

Follow those 3 rules and will you succed. Weather or not your console can handle 21 gigs of bandwitdh of 10 I don't think the avg console gamer cares about anything else.

I look at the PS3 specs, Xbox 360 specs and so forth because i'm interseted in them. The console gamer typically doesn't care. He just wants better graphics amazing gameplay and realbilty.

Give him those things with the price point and you got yourself a winning console.

As simple as that.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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