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Toshiba Paid Off To Drop HD-DVD?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the murky-dealings-of-international-business dept.

Sony 229

TripleP writes "Was Toshiba paid-off to concede the HD battle? There are some signs that may point to this as a direct result of the ended format war. Reuters has reported that Sony has agreed to sell its Cell and RSX fabrication plants in Japan to Toshiba. The WSJ is reporting that is is a joint venture in the form of 60% Toshiba,%20 Sony and %20 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc."

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229 comments

Who cares (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526660)

Who really cares. At least the war is over. I was tired of the format war. Neither format really had a real reason to choose one over the other. They were both pretty evenly matched. I just hope that they don't try to kill off DVD now. I'm perfectly happy with DVD, and don't feel like spending more money just to watch movies.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526688)

Blu-ray has higher storage and (I think) slightly more DRM, while HD-DVD has no region codes. I'm sure a lot of people won't be affected by region codes, but those of us who get international stuff would have prefered HD-DVD.

Re:Who cares (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526716)

Actually, the latest 3 layer HD-DVD had 51 GB, which is just ahead of BluRay. I'm not sure if any players ever supported 3-layer, but from what I know, they actually had it working. Both formats had pluses and minuses. I don't think either player had a really compelling reason to buy one over the other.

Re:Who cares (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526812)

A few years back someone demonstrated a 200GB BluRay disc. It had many many layers (after some googling, it looks like it has 8 layers), so just like you I don't know if it was supported by all players, but it existed.

This is why I've always favored BluRay. From my limited understanding of the subject, I can see that it is a little bit more modern of a technology, so it has higher potential.

Re:Who cares (4, Informative)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526856)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Ongoing_development [wikipedia.org]

That's a good explanation or the capabilities of the two formats.

Re:Who cares (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527156)

By the way the additional DRM was optional, and has only recently been implemented.

Re:Who cares (3, Informative)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526820)

No players supported the format. No discs where ever made - it was all on paper, so you could say that since there actually has been made BD100 discs, HD DVD was only ~50% of the size

Also, the 3rd layer couldn't be used for anything else than data storage. It had no value as a multimedia layer.

Re:Who cares (-1, Troll)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526850)

What else can you store on a disc other than data? Multimedia is stored as data. Everything is data. I'm not sure if you just didn't explain yourself right, but I'm not sure how any of the layers could be used for anything other than storing data.

Re:Who cares (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526970)

Maybe reading from the third layer would have been too slow to be of use for multimedia applications?

Re:Who cares (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526942)

Both formats had their plusses and minuses. HD-DVD is cheaper to implement, but doesn't have the ultimate bit rate that is the final determination of the picture quality ceiling.

I really am glad the format war is over. Now I can start looking at the technology and maybe open up my wallet for some hardware without worrying about the format war. Manufacturers will now focus on the one technology, and getting costs down.

Re:Who cares (1)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527186)

The bit rate cap is NOT the last word on pq. The wonderful about hd was going past the old, tired and poor mpeg2 to wonderful, newer codecs like VC-1 that shine really well with relatively low bitrates, and do not see much improvement if you use really high bitrates. I'm surprised that this bogus argument about bigger being better are still mentioned to this day when nobody has seen any discernable difference between identical releases of a movie between bd and hd. Both formats supported bit rates that were high enough for what they were doing, the rest is just the law of diminishing returns.

And who cares if hd-dvds were cheaper to manufacture? The prices on retail are determined more by the supply-demand curve than they are by the initial production cost.

Re:Who cares (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527364)

Keep in mind that BD was developed to allow such high bitrates because it was originally only supposed to contain MPEG-2 data. Once the HD DVD forum announced that they were also supporting AVC and VC1 as optional codecs, the BD forum added support for those in a quick "Me Too" moment. Had it not been for HD DVD, BD would only support MPEG-2.

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527350)

HD-DVD is cheaper to implement
Not exactly. The players cost about the same amount - the expensive part is the blue laser which is used in both. Toshiba had been heavily subsidising their players to counter the PS 3, but it looks like that will be ending soon. More to the point, you could convert a DVD factory to manufacture HD-DVDs more cheaply than converting it to BD. This isn't a huge advantage, however, since the market for DVDs is still huge (and growing) so no one has DVD plants that they want to convert. New plants cost a similar amount for both formats.

BY the same token (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527356)

I remember reading back in early 2006 that they had 6-layer Blu-ray working in the lab, with 200GB on a disc. I'll try and dig up the article.

Re:Who cares (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527646)

I always wondered whether the HD DVD people (it'd have been them rather than Sony, given HD DVD was "next generation DVD" from the DVD Forum, whereas to some extent Blu-ray was Sony et al looking for an application for blue-laser technology) could have saved a lot of time and money by continuing to use red lasers and designing a six layer red-layer DVD. The drives would then have cost about the same as existing DVD drives, and only the rest of the hardware (an HD DVD or Blu-ray player is pretty much an entire PC, somewhat more powerful than a Wii, complete with flash storage) would have cost a little more.

My guess though is that adding layers, while cheap on the hardware side, does make disk duplication significantly more expensive and complex. Which gets back to the point about three layer HD DVDs. Nobody ever implemented it or shipped a three layer HD DVD, and I suspect it wasn't seen as an optimal solution for publishers to begin with. Despite the lower cost per layer of HD DVD duplication compared to Blu-ray, prices ended up being similar because many Blu-ray discs were single layer, as 25G was more than enough space, whereas virtually all HD DVDs were dual layer.

Re:Who cares (5, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526748)

BD requires AACS and ROM-Mark, IIRC. BD players won't play home burned disks, only commercially pressed ones, due to the Rom-Mark and AACS requirements. BD has region codes. BD lacks (still) many of the features already present in HD DVD. BD also costs about twice as much, even before the firesales. And last but not least, BD has BD+, essentially a back-door into your player that can brick it if some content provider's BD+ code decides your player doesn't match up with their expectations.

To be fair, BD also had more space. (Yes, had, the proposed 51GB triple layer HD DVDs evened that score as well, even though BD could have layered one more on top of that, but that's a never ending game of one-upmanship.

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526824)

BD requires AACS and ROM-Mark, IIRC. BD players won't play home burned disks, only commercially pressed ones, due to the Rom-Mark and AACS requirements.

Even more reason to wait a few years before going to Blu-Ray. Wait a few years and we will have our players with 'debug' menus that were accidently left it :)

The only place I am tempted to use Blu-Ray is for my home computer, since the extra storage makes for a great back up solution.

Re:Who cares (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527568)

Even more reason to wait a few years before going to Blu-Ray. Wait a few years and we will have our players with 'debug' menus that were accidently left it :)

So I can wait for my grandmother to say "Why can't I watch your movie at Ethyl's house? Can you come and fix it?" I think I will pass...

Re:Who cares (1)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527636)

The only place I am tempted to use Blu-Ray is for my home computer, since the extra storage makes for a great back up solution.
Why? 500GB harddrives can be had for $100, and a SATA/PATA->USB connector and HDD power cable kit for $25. That will purchase you about 4 Blu-ray dual layers, assuming you invested in the burner. So, 200B for $125 and you get to write those discs once, or 500GB for $125 and you get to write as much as you want. Oh, and you can take that harddrive+usb dongle to your friend's any day and he can get data off it. Good luck doing that with your bluray.

Re:Who cares (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526962)

The space is meaningless. What would they fill it with? Sure, boxed sets of multiple movies would require fewer disks. Who cares.

The other things are things I care about, though, and essentially means I'll stay away from buying any BluRay disks until all the security measures have been properly broken.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527052)

The space is not meaningless. The Transformers HD-DVD ran out of space for a lossless audio track and was released without one.

Re:Who cares (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527072)

There was about 6 or 7 GB of free space on the Transformers disc. They could easily have fit a lossless audio track on there if they wanted to.

Re:Who cares (1)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527252)

That was a stupid call, they should have just made it two discs for the main feature. That reminds me of the early dvd release of Titanic (and it's not alone in receiving this disservice)-- instead of splitting the main feature onto two discs the studio decides to use a non-anamorphic transfer to save space. Oh for shame!

Re:Who cares (1)

warcow105 (1173105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527618)

You are joking right? Time has proven over and over again that that is a stupid statement...I sure remember thinking that no one could possibly need a hard drive larger than 10mb back when it first came out. Or that a CD would be the end-all for transferring data, I mean 650mb was huge. Even standard dvds when they came out...who could possibly need more space. The fact is hddvd in its most common form is only 60% the capacity of blu in its most common form...lets future proof ourselves a little and take the larger capacity disc. mike

Re:Who cares (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526784)

Was HD-DVD really planned to stay region free? I read that region coding was being discussed, at least.

Anyway, the Java-based scripting language is certainly a good thing for Blu-Ray, and I imagine there'll be a full featured open source HD-player a lot sooner because of it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Who cares (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527212)

You can't combine open source and DRM. DRM relies on a secret. Once it's open source, and you can change the code, DRM is useless.

Re:Who cares (2, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527554)

There will never be an open source Blu-ray player legal for use in the US (though "legal" open source DVD and HD DVD players are of questionable usefulness given there were no HD DVDs shipped without DRM, and the vast majority of DVDs were shipped with DRM.) Blu-ray makes AACS mandatory on pressed blue-laser media, so the DMCA effectively prohibits it.

I cannot fathom why DRM is mandatory, I know some Blu-ray partisans have even gone into a state of denial about it when I've brought it up before, but that's what the situation is.

Our best hope, ironically, is Microsoft throwing their weight around a little. They have a lot of reasons to be pissed about the end results of the HD war. Vista was screwed up mostly because of the secure path initiative, probably the biggest thing to be fucked up as a result of Microsoft trying to get Hollywood on-side. If they were to omit secure path in Windows 7, the AACS LA would either have to liberalize the AACS license, or else see virtually everyone play Blu-ray discs using unauthorized players.

Re:Who cares (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526908)

There are multiregion blu ray players available as well. Still expensive as the original models need hardware modding, but available nonotheless. Besides, it's just a matter of time that some chinese manufacturer starts selling a model with a hidden menu that allow switching regions.

Re:Who cares (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527516)

Region codes are effectively affecting everybody since they also are a way to keep prices up and limit the availability of movies to the types they "think" is the right for the given market.

I wonder if not the region coding could be considered an unduly limitation of freedom of speech?

Re:Who cares (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527688)

True, but Blu-Ray's regions are more encompassing than those of DVDs. Americans can't play discs from Europe, but they can play discs from Japan.

Also, Wikipedia's BD article [wikipedia.org] says that about 2/3 of all released BD titles are region-free, so there's a slim chance the regions might not even be used in the long run.

Re:Who cares (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526722)

I imagine people who bought the HD-DVD players are none too pleased. I wonder if they would have any recourse in a situation where the manufacturer was paid to pull out.

Re:Who cares (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526736)

They knew it was risk when they bought the player. Even without buyout, it was inevitable that one of the formats would lose out.

Re:Who cares (1)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527322)

Well I do own an hd-dvd player, and I like watching hd-dvds, but I AM pleased to see the war end. I want to see mass hd adoption everywhere. I want to see tons of blu-ray titles in every video store, I want to see compressed cable channels replaced with high bandwidth hd channels. Ending the format war wins a battle in a greater war-- hd adoption.

Re:Who cares (0, Flamebait)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526776)

Neither format really had a real reason to choose one over the other.
Oh, I dunno - sounds like Warner had about 400 million reasons that blu-ray was better... And, at least on paper, It's a better format, more capacity and faster....

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526804)

It's also more expensive, and doesn't really result in higher quality video or sound though. So to the end user, they get the same experience, but it costs more.

Re:Who cares (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527384)

Don't have to buy it :).

Just like I'm not buying Vista.

Re:Who cares (0, Flamebait)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527544)

sounds a lot like betamax. br is sony's revenge for the betamax vs vhs debacle. Seems rather foolish that suddenly sony, the company with a long history of shady and excessive 'drm'ing of media suddenly wins by bribing and everyone just rolls on over.

Re:Who cares (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526800)

Who cares indeed. While it sometimes rises to the level of a religious issue on slashdot, this deal shows that to Sony and Toshiba, it's just business. They'll fight on one front while wheeling and dealing on another, whatever makes money.

Re:Who cares (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526976)

I just hope that they don't try to kill off DVD now. I'm perfectly happy with DVD

I don't miss this "war". Clearly, both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD both hold much less than a regular size hard disk you can buy for $100, and that kind of money buys very few Blu-Ray recordable disks. That only means there should be an even better recordable disk technology to come and the war might have existed only long enough to deter people from throwing their money at a technology that is going the way of the 8-track.

DVD is much more affordable, especially when you make a bad burn. By the time Blu-Ray attains even 1/4 of this affordability, a better offline medium is likely to appear.

Economically, it's more affordable to watch movies on DVDs and store data on external hard drives. Any nonvolatile storage new tech should rival this combination to make sense to the consumer.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527022)

Honestly, I'm *NOT* glad the format war is over. I was hoping for the emergence of a 3rd standard (perhaps based on Matroska format [wikipedia.org] ) that was open and adaptable to use by one's own programs rather than severely locked-down and patent/licensing-encumbered. If one of the formats becomes entrenched, as it looks like Blu-ray will be, it's bad news for everyone but Sony and the movie studios.

Re:Who cares (0, Flamebait)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527046)

Who really cares. At least the war is over.

No its not. If you want and analogy to real life I would say the BlueRay and HDVD war was only the Spanish civil war between Fascist and the Republicans. The real World War is pending between physical media and streaming/downloads. I'll let everyone decide who plays the part Axis, Allies, and Soviets are on their own.

Keep in mind that downloads is not simply torrent pirates but also includes corporations who would rather have their customers use their "On Demand" feature to download HD quality titles rather than buy a disc.

Re:Who cares (1, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527244)

Streaming has an uphill struggle simply because the infrastructure isn't there. And not just the last mile, the entire internet isn't set up for it.

eg. I was just watching a programme on Hulu. I have an 8mb connection with a good ISP (can sustain about 7.1mb 24/7.. I pay for the privilege though) and still, given the really low resolution the hulu uses, every few minutes the programme would begin stuttering as it couldn't keep up. Their HD stuff is just unusable.

99% of consumers are on cheap ISPs that have low sustainable bandwidth, 'fair use' caps, shaping, etc.. they'd have zero chance. That isn't going to change - in fact it's getting worse, as ISPs drop prices they're overselling their bandwidth more and more.

For streaming even to be viable for the general population you'd have to be talking about sustaining about 8=12mb to every household at the same prices that the average consumer pays now. Which would in turn require massive ugrades to the infrastructure. The maths don't work - who's going to pay for this?

What's happening is there's a building crisis. Apple in the US and the BBC in the US are increasing the ISPs costs at no cost to themselves. The bandwidth isn't there for these services to become too popular - and neither Apple nor the BBC are paying for it.. at some point it'll hit critical mass - either the ISPs will start throttling video services, or they'll split the accounts allowing video download on only higher priced tariffs (much like the mobile phone companies have done from the start), or worst case they'll cut them off altogether.

That's without even considering HD.. the end users simply don't have the ability to download 20gb+ of HD data and won't for years (the apple thing is so compromised it only gets to be called HD on a technicality).

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527370)

"And not just the last mile, the entire internet isn't set up for it."

The internet is up for it. It's only the last mile that matters. There is more than enough regular bandwidth to serve all the popular movies and music (and approaching all the digitally encoded movies and music...) if you posit multicast and ISP caching.

Re:Who cares (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527400)

The BBC iPlayer works fine here, and my ISP is upgrading their infrastructure so I'll be going from a 4Mbit to a 10Mbit connection in the next couple of months, with the more expensive plan staying at 20Mbit. The backbones are being upgraded at a similar rate.

Sure, the iPlayer quality isn't great - it's watchable, but nowhere near DVD quality. On the other hand, it is very convenient. I can watch any BBC program broadcast in the last week whenever I want. They'll probably increase the quality soon (it doesn't come close to saturating my existing connection, let alone my new one).

Re:Who cares (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527638)

Apple in the US and the BBC in the US are increasing the ISPs costs at no cost to themselves.

If Apple can get an OC-3 with unlimited bandwidth at no cost, I want one too!

at some point it'll hit critical mass - either the ISPs will start throttling video services, or they'll split the accounts allowing video download on only higher priced tariffs (much like the mobile phone companies have done from the start), or worst case they'll cut them off altogether.

You mean like Comcast, which Congress is looking at and the FCC is considering investigating? And this is for the geek protocol, bit torrent. Wait till the mess with momma's shows!

Re: Who cares (Who knows?) (1)

A1rmanCha1rman (885378) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527194)

Who knows, posterity may yet find a use for the abandoned HD-DVD format, much like the broadcast TV industry adopted the BetaMax format for use in advanced video editing, leveraging those qualities that failed to impress the market in its struggle with VHS. Having lost the war, HD-DVD may well win a few battles that may justify and pay back some of its R&D, marketing and distribution costs.

Re: Who cares (Who knows?) (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527540)

Beta was kept for broadcvast TV because it had superior resolution to VHS, therefore there was a benefit of standardizing in that industry on Beta. Actually if you look at the cameras news reporters use they are all still Beta.

HD-DVD does not have any benefits over Blu-Ray. Therefore the likeliness that it will find a niche market in the same manner that Beta did is remote.

Re:Who cares (1)

Szester (1244840) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527236)

i agree. for those of us who dont have a 72 inch tv a blu ray isnt necessary

HD DVD could still come back (1, Funny)

thanksforthecrabs (1037698) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527262)

If the Church of Scientology bought bout the format and produced those groovy Xenu speeches on them. Imagine -- a free HD flick with each E-reading.

Who cares? Those who bought HD DVD care (1)

markdowling (448297) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527484)

If Sony et al had any class they would be spending their cash on buying back HD-DVD players and media (bought at early adopter prices) in exchange for discounts on BR players, not paying off other manufacturers or content makers. I'm not advocating full refund - those buyers were taking a chance after all - but say the $ difference between a BR player and a current upconverting DVD player.

[Doesn't matter to me - I've been holding out for a winner]

PS3 = Still Sucks (1, Flamebait)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526694)

What's sad is that the only reason most people get the PS3 is because it's a cheap blu-ray player, the development kits are a nightmare for the PS3, which is why you see significant delays in title releases for other platforms such as UT3 and GTAIV...these two titles have been done for months on the 360 but can't be released for it because Sony cries and whines that their version must be released first otherwise the other platform versions will cause a decline in PS3 sales. Get over it Sony, the PS3 has lost...it's now just a cheap blu-ray player and nothing else.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526752)

With the format war over, that may just be enough to make the PS3 really attractive. It worked for the PS2.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (3, Funny)

Nick Fury (624480) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526910)

THIS IS SLASHDOT MAN!!!! Your title should be PS3 == Still Sucks. GAH!!

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526938)

Unless he was trying to imply that it was previously assigned the value 'PS3 = Sucks' and now is being changed to 'PS3 = Still Sucks'. And if he was going to be == he would need to be comparing something, otherwise it would be a worthless piece of code...maybe something like

(PS3 == 'Still Sucks') ? Sony.VideoGameDepartment.Management.doWhateverYouNeedToMakeThePS3PopularVsOtherTitles(XBox360, Wii, PS2) : System PS4 = Sony.VideoGameDepartment.Management.congradulateYourselvesAndStartWorkOnMessingEverythingYouveAchievedUp(Playstation, PS1, PS2, PS3);

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527556)

Dude.... waaaay to much time on that one.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527090)

Difference: The PS2 played PS1 games. PS3 does NOT play PS2 games. Therefore, do not want. I'll save a few hundred and buy a stand-alone blu-ray, IF I bother at all.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527306)

Dude, what planet are you from. I pretty much only play PS2 games on my ps3 since I am still trying to work through my backlog of games.

There is only 1 version that doesn't play ps2 games. Get your facts straight.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (2, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527240)

The PS3 was attractive before (wifi, free networking, browser, bluetooth support, swapable HDD, AVC/H264 playback, DIvx etc. etc. etc.). It is a great console and a great multimedia player. Being one of the best players of the defacto HD video format certainly can't hurt it any.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526902)

People said the dev kits for the PS2 were a nightmare too, and well...

More likely, it's just some junior programmer getting his panties in a knot because he has to learn something new.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527324)

People said the dev kits for the PS2 were a nightmare too, and well...

More likely, it's just some junior programmer getting his panties in a knot because he has to learn something new.
More likely, you don't know what you're talking about. The PS3 has 7 cores and less than awe inspiring memory bandwidth. Developing for multiple cores gets geometrically more difficult for every core or two you add, particularly when you have a memory bottleneck to keep track of. Developing for the PS3 is not just a matter of "learn[ing] something new". It piles on a whole lot of juggling onto an already difficult process. The complaints about the PS2 were with its irregular SDK. The underlying hardware was a bog-standard single core MIPS addressing two banks of 256MB RAM. No comparison.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527460)

More likely, you don't know what you're talking about. The PS3 has 7 cores and less than awe inspiring memory bandwidth. Developing for multiple cores gets geometrically more difficult for every core or two you add, particularly when you have a memory bottleneck to keep track of.
Either you write your application so it can utilize a multithreaded environment or you don't. It doesn't get harder the more cores you have.

Re:PS3 = Still Sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527116)

That's not what I've been hearing. Two of my friends just upgraded their 360s to PS3s and aren't looking back, they say it's a night and day difference. From built-in wireless, built-in BD player, the excellent home media player, better graphics, better controllers, etc. The only thing the PS3 had lacking was a good selection of games, which is not the case anymore.

Maybe you can go pick yourself up another 360 or two for when yours breaks. I hear you can get them really cheap now.

Surprised? (3, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526698)

This was known or rumored already for weeks and weeks, even prior to the WB announcement IIRC.

Along with the $120M paid to Fox at the last minute to get them to stick with BD, and the reputed $400-500M WB received, I'm not shocked at all.

Sony bought the win in the format war, and that alone would be enough of a reason to not buy into the inflated BD format. (Inflated as in cost)

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526796)

I find it remarkable that people honestly believe a company like Sony can hide payments of over a half billion dollars fromt heir financial statements to shareholders.

Sony won. Get the fuck over it.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526918)

A lot of the buyout is rumoured to be in manufacturing discounts since Sony owns one of the largest BD manufacturing plants. Basically, every time Warner's puts in a big disc order, Sony knocks a chunk off the manufacturing price. It's pretty easy to hide a few hundred million when you have all sorts of ways to fudge the accounting.

Re:Surprised? (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527168)

They sell something worth $11.38 billion for 10.75 billion, but never booked it at 11.38 billion in the first place.

Sony shows $10.75 billion in cashflow, no appreciable decrease in assets, and covers it with profits from its new hi-def disc monopoly.

90% of its shareholders are fund, anyway, whose managers won't care as long as their funds still sell, and since SNE is only going to be 0.8% of any one fund, the effect of the graft is a tiny splash buried in the roaring surf of the market.

Sony bought your future. Get the fuck over it.

Re: This is old news! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526870)

This move is part of setting up a new joint venture between Toshiba and Sony that will be in effect next fiscal year (from 1. april 2008). They allready operate a similar joint venture today, where Toshiba owns 51% and Sony 49%. But since the current joint venture deal expires this fiscal year (31. march 2008), its just a continuation.

So this has nothing to do with the lost HD DVD battle. It was actually announced back in october of last year :

  http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206800618 [eetimes.com]

Re:Surprised? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526978)

I'm not saying Sony didn't money hat studios, but do you have evidence they actually did? The last /. story alleging $400m payoff didn't present any evidence at all. It was just speculation of a bidding war, which if true meant both sides were at it.. And even if they did pay off studios how is this any different at all from what Toshiba / Microsoft already did for Paramount & Dreamworks? The doctrine of unclean hands etc.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527690)

Then your IT geek card is in doubt, as 1s of googling brings up:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08012/848675-96.stm/ [post-gazette.com]
http://times.busytrade.com/1153/4/Toshiba_Cuts_Prices_and_Increases_Marketing_for_HD_DVD.html/ [busytrade.com]
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080220.RBLURAY20/TPStory/?query=Toshiba/ [theglobeandmail.com]
http://gizmodo.com/344680/the-real-reason-warner-went-blu+ray/ [gizmodo.com]

I don't think the payouts nor the amounts are in doubt.

What is in doubt is whether BD will actually succeed. It's price tag makes downloads look inviting.

Re:Surprised? (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527162)

If you want to understand anything, just follow the money. Bribery and graft are how the world works.

money flow (2, Interesting)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526706)

Toshiba was "paid off" by Toshiba deciding to buy a risky venture for $835 Million... what?

in other words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526714)

Were they paid to make the same decision that any businessman in the world would have made? Well, maybe the Sony guys picked up the check for the sukiyaki this time, but that's about it.

Re:in other words (1)

gruntled (107194) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526928)

Except that paying your only competitor to stop competing, and paying that competitor's "suppliers" (movie studios) to stop making critical assets for that competitive product (pre-recorded movies on HD-DVD) is a clear violation of antitrust laws in the United States and Europe (maybe Japan too, but I know nothing about that). This is going to be hilarious. Sony, of course, being a Japanese company, can ignore US antitrust law. As long as they're willing to stop doing business in the United States. I'm literally laughing out loud....

Re:in other words (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527140)

Oh get over yourself. Toshiba were already in a firesale in January. They knew that it was over the day Warner made their decision.

When Walmart (followed by everyone else) dropped HDDVD suddenly Toshiba couldn't sell their players any more... why the hell would they keep making something when only a few specialist shops would stock them? Toshiba ended it for one reason and one reason only - because their shareholders would have gone nuclear if they didn't.

Consolation Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526788)

Just like losing presidential hopefuls with some backing often end up as a VP on the ticket.

Standards should be set by engineers, not PHBs! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22526844)

The problem with the world is we've let the wrong people set the standards. Business should build to standards, not build standards to produce psuedo profits.

What going around these days is crap, and it's come right back at us!

Re:Standards should be set by engineers, not PHBs! (3, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527012)

BD isn't a *standard* the way you describe it. Just as CDs are not a *standard*. They are simply a defacto media format for distributing commercial data. Anyone can use them or not for distributing data but there are plenty of alternatives.

Until there is a societal need to have 30GB of data sent out to everyone in a nation or state... on a physical disk media, there simply is no need for a *standard* such as this. It's purely convenience and entertainment. Yes there is a lot of money to be made but no one's life or standard of living is at stake.

Re:Standards should be set by engineers, not PHBs! (2, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527084)

So where do standards come from if it isn't new products developed by businesses?

Re:Standards should be set by engineers, not PHBs! (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527338)

The purpose of business is to make money. Sony does this very well. They just don't make any of my money.

The first rootkit got me thinking about a boycott. The second rootkit made it solid. The format war just made sure that any trust I might have ever had for Sony is gone. I will not ever buy Blu-Ray DRM tech, and I will not every buy Sony. And I will damn sure never buy hardware that needs to phone home for permission to play. (A Toshiba Blu-Ray drive in my Linux box possibly...) If consumer predatory business fails to make money, it will stop immediately.

Re:Standards should be set by engineers, not PHBs! (2, Funny)

IceFox (18179) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527450)

So KDE or Gnome? We sure know how to choose standards alright.

Someone must be really pissed off ... (5, Insightful)

MattGS (898687) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526912)

... that HD-DVD is dead. With all those articles claiming "shady business practices" that led to Blu-Ray winning the format war. I don't care. At least it's over. Yes, I would definitely have prefered no region codes but the end of the format war is a victory for the consumer in any case. And yes, I know that having multiple options to choose from basically means more freedom for the consumer - but what good is this freedom if you had to buy multiple players in the end just to be sure that you would have been able to watch your favourite movie? There would always have been "exclusives" for Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. I, for one, am glad that this is over.

So now please just stop those "Blu-Ray only won because they cheated" articles. If Microsoft *really* wanted to push HD-DVD over downloads what do you think they would have done? They would have shoved it down our throats as well. And our rectums just to be sure. That's just how these things go. It's a dirty business. Liars, thieves, backstabbers, greedy bastards. We all know that. Now let's just be glad that *they* paid for the war and not us.

Well at least not all of us. I am very sorry for those who bought HD-DVD players and feel cheated but come on, early adopters should damn well know the risk. Especially since it was obvious that sooner or later one format would bite the dust.

Disclaimer: I might not be totally neutral since I've wanted to buy a PS3 for quite some time now and Blu-Ray winning was the final reason for me to go for it. But if the format war would have continued I would have waited a while longer I guess.

Re:Someone must be really pissed off ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527026)

How is less usable media, and vertical monopoly lock-in a victory for consumers?

Re:Someone must be really pissed off ... (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527150)

Now let's just be glad that *they* paid for the war and not us.

Oh yes, of course.

No way that the customer will end up paying, no siree.

Re:Someone must be really pissed off ... (1)

MattGS (898687) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527290)

They did pay for the war. Whether the consumer ends up paying for the outcome is another matter. Of course they'll try to screw us over. They're Big Business. It's their job.

But you don't have to buy a Blu-Ray player. In that case you won't be paying for anything. Although if you do you can be pretty sure that your favourite movie will be released on a Blu-Ray disc and not exclusively as another format that's incompatible with your player.

So apart from still getting screwed over one way or another, as a consumer the end of the format war gives me consolation. Now I now what I get when I decide to pay for it. At least I'm more sure than before the war ended and half of the movies would be released on HD-DVD and the other on Blu-Ray.

What a waste... (1)

iwein (561027) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526926)

to drop a perfectly fine TV!

Apologies for a somewhat offtopic post... (4, Funny)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#22526986)

But what, for the $(DEITY)'s sake, is going on with this damn "it's"!? It's the THIRD TIME in the past 24 hours and hell knows which in the past few weeks that the editors can't spot such a basic, common mistake. I'm not a native English speaker - not even a near-native - and I can see them, hunderds of slashdotters see them, they look just silly, if not discrediting, yet they are still there. Maybe the submission system should highlight every "it's" in red for the editors reviewing the stories, just in case it's a mistake, or something like that?

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22527218)

-1 (Pedantic)

Oh, and you must be new here if you expect the editors to actual edit or even proofread :)

Incredibly stupid headline (2, Interesting)

wronzki (989396) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527124)

Sony supposedly paid off Toshiba by making Toshiba pay $835 million for production facilities that Sony would still be able to use (as part of the joint venture)? I sure hope Sony never tries to pay me off for anything. Oh, and the deal was made in October (just the price was made public now). And TFA (yes, I read it) never even suggested there was a tie between this and the death of HD-DVD. It mentioned it to provide some context for the companies' current positions but never implied that there was a link.

If this is true, Toshiba should be sued... (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527200)

Frankly, I agree with the concept that class-action lawsuits only make the lawyers rich, but it does often change a company's behavior for the better. If Toshiba was paid off and left its HD-DVD customers in the dark, they should be sued so some of those early adopters get some remuneration.

Here's a hypothetical example... Let's say HD-DVD won the format war, and Sony gave up and started including HD-DVD drives with their PS3s. To add, it's confirmed that Toshiba paid off Sony. Sony says all new games would be released in HD-DVD format only and those who bought PS3s containing Blu-Ray drives were SOL. So, what's the difference? PS3-BluRay owners would definitely sue.

On the surface, I think this is a form of collusion, eerily similar to the rumor that Microsoft approached Netscape to split the market and not develop their browser for Win95 [wikipedia.org] . Only, it looks like this may have actually happened. I call anti-trust violation here--"You stop selling HD-DVD, leaving Blu-Ray as the only game in town, and we'll give you a fat manufacturing contract..."

Re:If this is true, Toshiba should be sued... (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527612)

People buying either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray before a few weeks ago knew eventually one format would be dead. If it turns out to be the format they bought then tough for them. If they didn't want to be stuck with a useless piece of hardware(for future movies anyways) they should have just waited until the format war was over.

Re:If this is true, Toshiba should be sued... (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527664)

"I call anti-trust violation here"

I am not sure, but I think the ant-trust violation you would be refering to is based on US law.

Although at has been several years since I've been out of the US, I also think that there are other countries in the world, in this case Japan. Since this has already happened in the possibly ficticious country of Japan and nobody went to jail, this action has probably been deemed legal in Japan.

I apologize to anyone, real or imagined that lives in the real or imagined country of Japan.

UPDATE:

I just saw a picture of a globe on TV and although I still cannot confirm the existence of Japan, it did appear that there are other countries in the world in addition to the USA.

Dvd isnt going anywhere anytime soon (5, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527334)

Reasons for DVD staying around for a long time...

1) There are 500 million dvd players versus maybe 12-15 million blu-ray of which 10 million are ps3
2) For most people for the time being, DVD is "cheap and good enough"
3) Cheapest blu-ray $250, cheapest dvd player $18

Re:Dvd isnt going anywhere anytime soon (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527468)

Reasons for DVD staying around for a long time...

1) There are 500 million dvd players versus maybe 12-15 million blu-ray of which 10 million are ps3
2) For most people for the time being, DVD is "cheap and good enough"
3) Cheapest blu-ray $250, cheapest dvd player $18

4) Since many "High Def" movies are just upscaled DVD video, a upscaling player does the same thing for a lot less. Blu-Ray just doesn't look that much better than a good software algorithm. (Other than a very few exceptions)

This is old news (2, Informative)

rickward (25813) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527344)

The agreement to sell the plants to Toshiba was made back in Oct/Nov 2007. It was one of the things that IMHO prolonged the format war, because it really looked like Sony was giving up on their flagship platform and taking greenmail. I remember distinctly thinking that maybe I should bite the bullet and get an HD DVD player because of that.

A bit of economics (1)

Nodamnnicknamesavial (1095665) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527412)

Even from a purely financial standpoint, Blu-Ray makes no sense.

For the cost of a PS3 or a standalone blu-ray drive, you can purchase and build a very nice HTPC instead, stick a 1 TB harddrive in it, and get all your 720p/1080p content in matroska containers... When the 1TB fills up, delete something, downscale it, or just add another bigger drive. Acquiring legal download content is probably (haven't checked just now) also cheaper than buying blu-ray discs.

So what's the point?

Unless you have rediculously low bandwidth, very high morals (lack of legal online HD outlets), or simply a complete lack of tech savvy (in which case you wouldn't be reading this in all probability), download direct to player is THE way to go which makes any physical format a mere curiousity in the very near future.

That said - the PS3 will probably be the last physical media player I will own - and I only own it because it was free.

Re:A bit of economics (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527538)

Unless you have rediculously low bandwidth, very high morals (lack of legal online HD outlets), or simply a complete lack of tech savvy (in which case you wouldn't be reading this in all probability), download direct to player is THE way to go which makes any physical format a mere curiousity in the very near future.

My morals have taken a beating from the amoral media industry lately. That, combined with being called a Pirate for the last 5 years for using bit torrent to develop FOSS has me about ready to give in and join the tide. (To steal shit, I mean. I can't buy in to DRM, because I still have some principals!) And Comcast says I am already a dirty rotten Pirate, and I don't have any vast Video/Music collection to show for it!

Re:A bit of economics (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527632)

For people here that's not that hard but how can you expect anyone who's not a nerd to even contemplate doing what you suggest.

Toshiba Playstation Clone (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527564)

Oh, please let Toshiba return the favor by selling a PC with Cell and RSX to compete with Sony's Playstation, without the Sony Hypervisor lockout (and with RAM expandible beyond 512MB).

If it's got both Blu-Ray and Firewire, then the revenge will be complete. And I will support it in every way.

Toshiba and Sony on Cell from the start (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 5 years ago | (#22527652)

First off, Toshiba was the third main company in on the Cell from the start (first two being Sony and IBM) - if I recall, the processor fabrication plants were Toshiba's to begin with (Sony contracted IBM to design it and Toshiba producing the Cell). Anybody that thinks this is some kind of payoff must have been too young to read the news 3 or 4 years ago when the Cell was first announced...

Blu-Ray won - get over the fact that you spent thousands to be an early adopter only to see your choice not make it...
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