Misery’s Company: 2008 Edition
miserys-company-2008-edition

So the “next-gen” DVD format war is over and Sony’s Blu-Ray has won over Toshiba’s HD-DVD. I won’t bother linking to any specific article on this because frankly, if you haven’t already come across this particular bit of news online you aren’t really trying. You’d think they’d discovered a cure for stupidity with the amount of coverage this story has received. (Just spend 5 minutes reading the forums on Gamespot however and it becomes quite clear that stupidity is still running rampant.)

Anyway…

Although I consider myself to be a “gadget guy”, I find myself not really caring two snits about this. I don’t yet have a big screen HDTV, although I’m “in the market” for one. And I don’t yet feel compelled to replace my existing DVD collection with hi-def DVDs (and pay more for the privilege of doing so).

Nonetheless, this does impact the current console system landscape and PS3 fanboys are already claiming some sort of victory over the 360. As with the whole console war itself, this asinine reasoning just serves to irritate me, but that wasn’t going to stop me from making a comic about it. It’s been a while since our old friend the Dreamcast had a drinking buddy.

For PS3 owners, it probably comes as a great relief that their system will play the next generation of DVDs — whenever that sort of thing actually begins to matter to most people. Imagine how overpriced (and obsolete as a “media system”) the PS3 would have looked if HD-DVD had won. Sure, there’d still be the benefit of having higher capacity discs, but that hardly guarantees better games. And it’s supposed to be about the games, right?

I’d love to have been in those boardroom meetings and conference calls when Sony threw everything they had at the major studios to get them to side with them. Building Blu-Ray into the PS3 was a bold, risky move considering how new and uncertain the hi-def DVD market was. Of course, had Sony not done so it would have shown a lack of confidence in their own technology, so they really had no choice but to build it in. So props to Sony for having big, Blu balls!

As someone without a vested interest in either side of this “war”, I’m just glad there’s now a single standard to choose from once I’m ready to jump to hi-def DVD content. To those of you who bought the HD-DVD add-on drive for the 360, you can’t win ’em all. Just be thankful it wasn’t a $400+ losing bet.

-JBE


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