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  1. #1
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    Sony Optical Drives: What Sony's Latest Move Really Means



    Well, physical media is officially dead. This week, Sony announced that it is closing its last remaining optical drive manufacturing plant. Let me repeat that. Sony, the company that had more proprietary physical media sticks in the fire than Medusa had head snakes, is getting out of the physical media business. While Sony cited stiff competition as the main reason that it is jumping ship, it’s safe to say the future of burning discs is not so bright. Don’t panic just yet. You’ll still be able to get a Sony-branded Blu-ray player and the unintentionally funny sequel to Priest on Blu-ray -- they just won’t be made by Sony anymore, and it’s safe to say that Sony’s out of the custom media game.

    For those needing a little background, here’s a primer on Sony’s love/hate relationship with proprietary physical media. With almost every generation of music, home video and games, Sony has tried to make a new standard of physical media that would let it get a leg up on manufacturing the latest and greatest before anyone else could catch up so that it could license its (hopefully) popular format for added dough and to avoid piracy. Sony made great formats, so it should have worked in theory. No Sony format was more revered than Betamax, but the higher-quality video format still failed to beat VHS in the home.


    But even before Betamax, there was the U-Matic video cassette format, and Sony’s been trying to replicate the market dominance that U-Matic achieved. But since then, it's been in a long proprietary media tailspin. Sony’s MiniDisc was loved by musicians but a complete flop as a replacement for tape cassettes. Despite my love for my Criterion Blu-rays, the format is a flop from a future-proofing standpoint.


    Laptops have been outselling desktops since 2008 and have been shedding their optical discs -- and that’s a good thing. Blu-ray in a laptop was the worst idea ever. The demanding decoding of the video, combined with the power consumption of spinning a disc, meant that you couldn’t watch a single movie on a flight without running out of juice. Meanwhile, the guy next to you just finished the whole last season of Breaking Bad in HD and he was playing it on his less powerful iPad, which uses hardware decoding for power efficiency. You can $#@! all you want about quality but that’s not going charge the battery of your hefty manwich of a laptop.


    Sony’s flirtation with media has actually left it less able to compete -- Blu-ray was partly responsible for the huge initial cost and scarcity of the Playstation 3. Just look at the home media-box success of the XBox 360 -- it shipped with an infamously loud DVD player that even scratched discs. Sony has learned that, if it couldn’t beat the media player equivalent of AIDS, then it's obviously been fighting the wrong fight.


    Still, without physical media, it will be interesting to see how the next-gen game systems work to minimize download time for cloud-stored games. We’re already pushing 15 to 25GB games on PSN because they are just online versions of Blu-ray titles. There may need to be a way of streaming the first level while the rest of the game downloads as you play. Waiting on a 50GB game is going to be murder, especially considering that I just got this rad 56K-baud modem last week.
    Read more: http://www.askmen.com/entertainment/...#ixzz252D5uJGq

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    Sony might be making the right choice, I personally have stopped buying or burning physical media. Be it music or movies, but as far as video games I am not so sure. I like having the game in its physical form & as you state at 50GB what size storage space & how many games can you store on your console? Cloud storage is fine but at what cost? Eventually they will charge you for it! This is new waters we are delving in.


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    Sony has been needing to get out of the optical drive production for PC's for a long time.




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    Bring on Flash memory.

    This does leave me a little worried for the PS4, but if SONY can get someone else to print those Blu-Rays cheaper why not.

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    A bit worried about the games.

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    I wonder if Sony made more money with their successful proprietary formats than they lost with their failed ones.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MjW View Post
    I wonder if Sony made more money with their successful proprietary formats than they lost with their failed ones.


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    Well it certainly brought unnecessary R&D costs and maybe added costs to ramping up factories for those proprietary formats. Had they used SDXC format, or even their own duo pro cards for the Vita, I'm sure they could have saved millions.


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    The problem isn't that Sony has a somewhat colorful history with media formats. It's that Sony goes out of its way to create proprietary formats in an effort to stifle competition, piracy and nickel and dime the consumer. The fact is, Sony's unwillingness to adhere to a free market philosophy is what is killing its competitiveness in the media market. Proprietary technology doesn't work, period. The free market is proof of that. It's why Betamax, UMD, Mini-Disc and Laser-Disc failed.
    Last edited by Morganator; 08-31-2012 at 00:51.

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    Minidisc was great I knew a few people that had them and loved them and gues what they were amateur musicians.

    Sony has fingers in DVD and CD as well you know.

    AMD stopped fabricating processors but it didn't man they stopped deisgning them.

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    Please God tell me this isn't true. I don't want to lose the last bit of hope I had left for gaming. Once the disc is gone, so will I. I will not subject myself to download-only. $#@!. THAT. $#@!. You can DRM your mother!


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    Sony isn't going to drop Blu-Ray. They innovated this past generation and they will next generation.

    Take it to the bank and cash it.


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    Blu-ray is a great success, although the only reason I see it as a failure as Sony sold/lost/gave/whatever patents to other companys who joined the blu-ray foundation group after Sony R&D blu-ray and then LG tried suing Sony for using blu-ray players in the PS3 as they got a hold off a Patent for blu-ray.. (Bloody LG, never creates any tech but always ends up with the patents and then tries suing company's who created it) It stopped the PS3 from getting sold in eurp for about a month or so.

    Well anyways, wasn't that big of a deal.. Its a good format and we'll see it being used in next-gen consoles still. PS3 only uses a 2x blu-ray drive, which is sightly slower then the read speed of DVD9. Next-gen we'll see 4-6x drives (or something) which will be great for games (no more installing to HDD) and 100-200gig blu-ray disks
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    they are not doing this anymore because they are cutting costs I believe and that's the entire reason they are pulling out of this, is to cut the costs on things that aren't doing nearly as good as others. They are basically cleaning house imo.

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    Lmao, its because they're outsourcing them now
    Which is a shame because Sony make great drives but I guess its cheaper
    Hope they use someone good

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    Sony lost a LOT of money in the last couple of years. It's a cost cutting measure, I mean honestly when was the last time you bought a Sony disc drive/dvd burner for your computer? Has nothing to do with Physical media dying. they still have a bunch of Bluray manufacturing plants that aren't going anywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdoggy View Post
    they are not doing this anymore because they are cutting costs I believe and that's the entire reason they are pulling out of this, is to cut the costs on things that aren't doing nearly as good as others. They are basically cleaning house imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha2 View Post
    Sony lost a LOT of money in the last couple of years. It's a cost cutting measure, I mean honestly when was the last time you bought a Sony disc drive/dvd burner for your computer? Has nothing to do with Physical media dying. they still have a bunch of Bluray manufacturing plants that aren't going anywhere.
    Yep, this is exactly what's going on. Good posts.




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    I lost my 268-game Steam account because a Steam Support member named Jesse wanted me to lose it. I reported someone for harassing me, he closed my account and the other guy got off free as a bird. That's digital distribution, and I'm never going that route again unless I want confirmation that I should suicide. If Sony goes DD-only with the PS4(unlikely), I'm going back to Nintendo's still-inferior side of the pond or I'll just immerse myself in old games for the rest of my life. Still, I don't think Sony's going digital-distribution-only with the PS4, that'd just mean that the competition would win and they'd be laughed out of the market. I just hope they don't use idiotic DRM that'd make the games I pay for not-really-mine, that'd be another good reason to go with another company instead. :<

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    Physical media wont go anywhere for next gen. Download only is still going to be years away. There are is still a large part of the US that doesn't have broadband, and most areas don't have the speed to download large games in reasonable time. You guys who are worried need to understand the article better. It's to save money, and has nothing to do with how next gen games will be handled.

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    They lost money, won't manufacture anymore for cost saving.
    Not that hard to understand.

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    The answer is media cards with the game already on it or flash drives with the game on it...

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    Sony needs to pull themselves together, Blue-ray is NOT going anywheres, anytime soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techdigital View Post
    The answer is media cards with the game already on it or flash drives with the game on it...

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    It would be nice if the price of flash will actually go down/ would give it a reason to fall. I feel like it's stagnated for the last few years.


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    I think that blu-ray will stay you need a fat pipe to get 25-50gb down your line.
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    sony will save some money by doing this

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    Very misguided article. Sony may not be manufacturing drives, but to equate that to them pulling out of formats and intellectual property would be a real stretch. Someone should remind the author that Sony is also a content producer with arms in music and the movie business. As such, they will always have a vested interest in distribution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefein View Post
    Very misguided article. Sony may not be manufacturing drives, but to equate that to them pulling out of formats and intellectual property would be a real stretch. Someone should remind the author that Sony is also a content producer with arms in music and the movie business. As such, they will always have a vested interest in distribution.
    Yo got a point here. I just hope WB doesn´t absorb Sony Pictures in the future

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