Can you say ‘Betamax’?

DreamWork's ShrekOn the back of news that both Paramount and DreamWorks have chosen HD-DVD over Blu-ray, it seems inevitable that we – as gamers – are about to suffer yet another “PS3 is a failure!” tsunami. And after things were just seemingly beginning to pick up for the beleaguered Sony, too.

Not that I’ve any interest in Sony bashing or other such twaddle–I’m still very much lusting after a PS2, maybe even a PSP if the platform continues its slow but steady blossoming of late.

No, what will be most interesting in the immediate future is what happens at other movie studios, now that one of the big companies has very publicly aligned itself behind a single high-definition format. For someone as big as Paramount to have suddenly snubbed Blu-ray, you have to wonder what other studios might now be feeling about the format wars.

Is the pressure now off for other studios to stand behind their format of choice? Do they even realistically have a choice, given the respectable demographic coverage that companies like Paramount and – to a lesser extent – DreamWorks Animaiton has? I’m sure many people will argue counter-point to this sort of thinking, no doubt with Sony Computer Entertainment leading the rebuttals. But no matter how you care to spin this, it’s not unreasonable to explore the implications of Paramount’s decision, seeing as how much of a pain in the arse it must be to coordinate releases across two similar formats.

And what of PS3? Fast-forwarding into the ridiculous, evidently the death of Blu-ray as a consumer video format would make Sony’s, “it’s the cheapest Blu-ray player out there,” patter much less meaningful and empathic. It’s certainly a bargain price for Blu-ray equipment, but we all know what the market thinks of that price tag just for a console.


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