Believe it or not, it's almost the holiday shopping season. For me, the most exciting part is surrounding myself with some next-gen console love. But which one?
Yes, I know this is a well-tred conversation so I'm not about to rehash the fanboi arguments on why one system is going to kick another's butt. I've pretty much decided that I'm going to buy a Wii. The question that remains is: should I get a PS3?
I like doing my homework and being thorough is a necessity at this price range. So far, I've pretty much addressed all the game related issues. Of the issues remaining is a particularly sticky one: the high def DVD player. The next-gen console war has found itself smack in the middle of the next-gen DVD player war. There is the Blu-ray side and the HD DVD side and as you may know, Sony is in the Blu-ray camp and so every PS3 comes equipped with a Blu-ray player. If rumors are true, it accounts for at least $150 of the price.
So built into any purchase of a PS3 is a bet that Blu-ray will ultimately prevail. If it turns out to be the losing format, well then, you still got yourself a nice game console. Anyway, I'm not going to go into technology comparison fight. That's not my territory to talk about. No, that's not me.
When trying to figure out which format will win, I look at marketing. Yup, let's critique the heck out of their online marketing campaigns. Here's the sites:
Now let's actually look at the sites. The home page images are below, Blu-ray first.Can you believe the difference? It's like the lunch lady vs. [insert objectified female celebrity here]. Blu-ray is in serious trouble if the technology is in any way related to the marketing efforts. With such big names behind the format, you'd think they could come up with something a little better. That's strike 2.
Now let's look at search. I Googled both names and here are the results:
The good news is that for both formats, the main site shows up on top of the natural search results. The interesting story is in the paid search results. When you Google Blu-ray, the third paid placement is from HD-DVD and there is no Blu-ray paid placement anywhere to be found. That's right, HD-DVD is trying to conquest the Blu-ray keyword. When you Google HD-DVD, the first placement is HD-DVD and there is again no Blu-ray paid placement to be found. It appears that HD-DVD is way ahead of the search game. Strike 3!
So far, I haven't been very impressed with the Blu-ray campaign (if you can call it that). They just don't have anything worth checking out. On the other hand, I'm totally impressed with the HD-DVD campaign so far. They catch me perfectly on search and serve up a pretty slick looking site. (I ran into some banners a while back but wasn't able to find any for this post. If you guys run into some, take a screenie for me.)
Quite frankly, this makes me a bit nervous about my PS3 purchase. Granted, a marketing campaign is only one element in whether or not the Blu-ray format will take hold but if this is indicative of the lobbying group getting their act together, it's bad news. And bad news for Blu-ray means more bad news for PS3.