Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences president Joseph Olin has singled out Blu-ray as yet another difference maker that may eventually lose its edge, going the way of the third party exclusive. While stating that the format still has some short-term advantages, in the long run it won’t matter.
“I look at Blu-ray being the obvious short-term differentiator, but if everything goes to digital download — and over time, it will — then the Blu-ray device no longer has the same competitive advantage, or the benefit is not as strong as the feature is,” stated Olin. The AIAS president admitted that there is a noticeable difference in visual quality with Blu-ray, but questioned whether that was enough to make the PS3 a more attractive offer.
I think that, although being a cheap Blu-ray player has helped the PS3 a little, we’ve seen that the promise of Blu-ray enhanced visuals hasn’t been enough in the past to capture the imagination of gamers. Only now, when there is actually some good software to take advantage of Blu-ray, do we see the PS3 gathering steam.
Software is where it’s at, and it’ll be down to the first and second parties to give each side the edge as we move into the future.