Analyst opinion over Warner Bros. Blu-ray exclusivity divided, PS3 price cuts still expected

Blu-ray - Image 1Whether Warner Bros’ decision to go exclusive to Blu-ray can turn the tides for the Sony PlayStation 3 or not, there’s one thing that’s certain – analysts always have something to say, and they have their own sets of predictions. Find out what top analysts think about Warner Bros. support at the full article.

Warner Bros. - Image 1Now that Warner Bros. is officially going to back up Sony‘s Blu-ray with movies exclusive to the format, analysts have tweaked their views and predictions on how the PlayStation 3 will fare as a multimedia platform. Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter and a few others are positive about Sony’s future, but some are still putting their money on games as console movers.

Pachter, popular among gamers because of his strong presence in the industry, believes Warner Bros.’ support is substantial but we won’t see any major changes soon. “You can’t enjoy the full experience unless you have a 1080p TV, and we are still below 10 percent penetration,” he told GameDaily in an interview. He continued, “I think as overall HDTV penetration crosses 50 percent of households (probably late this year), Blu-ray will become more relevant, and PS3 will have an advantage.”

Mickey Hickey from Janco Partners, on the other hand, said his group expects the PS3 to benefit from “an eventual consumer and retail awakening of Blu-ray as the winning high definition format.” If Blu-ray succeeds, Hickey sees an acceleration of PS3 sales as the true value of the console is unlocked.

“Increased PS3 sales and subsequent installed base growth will motivate 3rd party game developers as the market opportunity for them increases, which should lead to better relative software offerings,” Hickey added, and went on to say Warner’s backing will help Sony’s platform, third parties, and the video game industry as a whole.

Another well-known analyst, Lazard Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian, is confident that “Blu-ray has clearly gained momentum and the upper hand” after Warner Bros.’ decision. “Consumers also must decide that they need a Blu-ray player, which seems more and more likely as prices decline… as the next-gen games continue to improve, and hardware prices reach more reasonable levels, I think we will see a better uptake of the PS3,” he continued.

He didn’t disregard the fact that “simple and more intuitive experiences” on Nintendo’s platforms won the favor of many gamers early in this console cycle, but Sebastian seems positive about PS3 price cuts.

DFC Intelligence’s David Cole, however, still believes it’s the games that count. He told GameDaily:

I don’t think Blu-ray alone is enough to get people to commit to a game platform. However, if consumers are trying to decide between a game platform and they feel both are fairly equal in terms of games, then I think Blu-ray could be the swinging factor for the PS3.

Nevertheless, the key factor is games. I don’t think Blu-ray would ever be a swinging factor as big as say a game like Halo 3. The biggest boost for PS3 sales will most likely be 1) lower price; 2) more exclusive game software and only after that Blu-ray.

Via GameDaily

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