Microsoft: Blu-ray costs holding PS3 back

As a company that doesn't offer Blu-ray, it's easy for Microsoft to take the high-def format to task. But whether it's holding the PS3 back is up for debate.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Is Blu-ray the root of Sony's troubles in the gaming space? Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft's director of product management, seems to think so.

Speaking to Edge magazine in a recent interview, Greenberg said that because "Sony bet on the physical disc" for entertainment, it's facing "associated costs" that might be holding the PlayStation 3 back.

PS3 Slim
Is Blu-ray to blame for PS3 woes? Sony

"The fact that we're able to offer a console starting at $199 is a benefit of not being burdened with that cost," Greenberg told Edge. "Being $100 cheaper is part of the reason why we're nearly twice [Sony's] installed base."

Greenberg was also quick to point out that Microsoft offers HD movies and television shows through Xbox Live.

Whether or not Blu-ray is really the reason Sony is trailing Microsoft is decidedly up for debate. Price has been a thorn in Sony's side since the release of the PlayStation 3. Due to powerful components, including but not limited to Blu-ray, the company was forced to keep the PS3's price high for a substantial period of time.

But once Sony announced the PS3 Slim and its $299 price tag in August, sales started taking off. In fact, The NPD Group reported recently that Sony tallied 30 percent year-over-year sales growth in February.

Going forward, some analysts believe Sony, not Microsoft or Nintendo, will lead this console generation. Analysts at Strategic Analytics said in a report last week that they expect the PlayStation 3 to have a longer shelf life than competing console, which should help it enjoy commercial success "five years after the Wii has been replaced."

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. But for now, isolating Blu-ray as Sony's problem might be just more posturing on Microsoft's part.