Jan. 08 Editorials
Skype calling with the PSP
Blueray VS HDDVD Is the Format War Over?Jan. 2008
Warner Brothers has just announced that due to higher Blueray HD movie sales of it's blockbusters then of their HDdvd sales of the same titles, they will discontinue producing movies on the HDdvd format beginning this Spring 2008. Although Warner Brothers did have contractual agreements with Toshiba to support HDdvd, the lagging sales of the format prompted Warner Brothers to discontinue their support of HDdvd and produce Hd movies in the Blueray format exclusively.
Warner Brothers is not alone in their choice to only produce HD movies on Blueray. Movie studios such as Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Golden Meyer, and Viacom made the decision long ago to produce their HD movies exclusively on the Blueray format. This is a huge blow to Toshiba who had negotiated contracts during the Summer of 2007 with some studios to only release their movies to HDdvd. Although two studios signed on some of their directors and producers like Speilberg were exempt from the deal and were able to release on both HDdvd and Blueray.
Arm Chair Quarterback Time
What does this mean for Microsoft and their relationship to Toshiba? Microsoft was considered one of the HDDVD formats biggest supporters but many felt they actually did little to help the new format get a foothold on the marketplace. Many electronics sales of any kind are generally youth generated and if an electronic can infiltrate the youth market it will survive and thrive. Microsoft's lack of true commitment to HDDVD format by not including the HDdvd player as standard with it's introduction of the Xbox 360 video game console marketed to teens, slowed HDdvd's infiltration into the youth market. It is true that many 360 owners did not at first have HDTVs but it was only a matter of a short time before the majority did get one. To bad really, because Microsoft could have really taken the game console market over if it had just had the wisdom and foresight to act on the bigger long term picture. Now people have a choice, Xbox 360 with dvd or PS3 with Blueray. For the money and versatility many first time video game console buyers will simply choose the ps3. So Microsoft's decision may have hurt their own 360's future as well. Will Microsoft Xbox 360 go Blue?
Sony is soon to release a firmware update that will include Skype peer to peer calling using the PlayStation Portable hand held system. The update is also reported to be including the ability for the Sony PSP owners to create a skype account direct dial phone number on the PSP for a small $14.99 fee. I doubt this was Sony's intention, but will this new PSP ability make the PSP a strong competitor to Apple's Iphone.
Consider the following. The Iphone's most talked about features are the large screen, internet capabilities, music storage and playback as well as video and photo viewing. Everything the Iphone boast of, the PSP has already been able to do except the Phone calls, until now. Apple's Iphone comes with a huge price tag as well as a costly monthly contract for use. Imagine the PSP, which is already in the hands of millions of teens and adults with Skype calling ability with no monthly charges unless the user wants their own direct dial phone number and that only cost $14.00. So the PSP with a huge game library, internet browsing, video, movies, music player, and GPS abilities might take the place of the IPhone as the most wanted hand held communication device amoung teens and young adults, many of whom already have Skype accounts for their PCs. Many young adults and teens have been using Skype for years and are very familiar with the whole process making this one of the most useful upgrades to the PSP yet.