Consider the following: only 4 percent of movie discs sold in the U.S. are Blu-ray discs; these discs often don’t play reliably on your more-than-likely expensive player (as I found out this week); it costs a tremendous amount of money to author Blu-ray discs, ensuring that only Hollywood studio-backed movies can be released on the format; upsampling DVD players are dirt cheap now—why spend $300+ on a Blu-ray player (in this economy!) when your “good enough” DVDs now look even better?
So what’s the problem with Blu-ray in general? According to Harris, formats take off when they’re adapted by that critical mass of consumers; playing exclusively to the techie crowd simply doesn’t work. In the Official CrunchGear Chatroom, we came to the conclusion that DVD really “took off” in 2000 alongside the launch of the PS2. After that, DVD was truly a mass market format.
As a result of the Blu-ray Association’s own mismanagement (pricing players out of the reach of everyday consumers, making discs so damn expensive, thinking that the death of HD-DVD would propel Blu-ray forward) and outside factors (read: the economy) has hindered any chance of Blu-ray being adopted by consumers en masse.
The result, claims Harris, is that Blu-ray will be all but dead within one year’s time, surviving only as a techie’s plaything.