Topic: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

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Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced it will bring the original Sci-Fi Channel mini-series and complete first season of 'Battlestar Galactica' to HD DVD in one elaborate box set this holiday season.

The acclaimed cult TV series (now in its fourth and final season on the Sci-Fi Channel) will make its highly-anticipated next-gen bow on December 4.

Featuring the original 2003 mini-series, the full pilot episode and the complete first season of the show, Universal will roll out the high-def red carpet for 'Balltlestar,' in a six-disc set brimming with supplements.

In addition to audio commentary with creator Ronald D. Moore (and guests) on the complete mini-series, pilot and nine additional episodes, extras include more than a half-dozen featurettes, multiple deleted scenes, a still gallery and the "Encyclopedia Galactica," an interactive guide including ships, characters, colonies and flight training manual.

Also exclusive to the HD DVD release will be a picture-in-picture video commentary on the entire mini-series, featuring Moore, cast and crew and additional making-of footage.

Tech specs include 1080p/VC-1 transfers of the mini-series and each episode in 1.78:1 widescreen, plus Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround and Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 surround audio options.

Universal has set a suggested $99.98 for the set.

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/ … HD_DVD/859 


I've been patiently waiting all year for official confirmation of this. Heroes and now BSG on HD DVD this year.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

I think it's a desperate way of trying to push HD-DVD. 'Cmon 100 bucks for one season (even if the mini series is included) is way too much.

Don't get me wrong I love BSG, but (regular) DVD is just fine tongue

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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

It's hardly a "desperate way of trying to push HD DVD". $100 to $130 per season, is the standard going price for HD content on both HD DVD and blu-ray. Lost Season One, is coming to blu-ray later this year, and is priced even higher.

Fans of hi-def content do not seem to mind, if they did, then the prices for the content would have come down last year after popular series like The Sopranos and Smallville were released in HD. The fact that the price remains is proof that fans of hi-def content do not mind paying a little extra to have the absolute best quality for their entertainment. And when you see this stuff in your home, it's hard to blame them.

Look at it from this perspective. If you were one of the early adopters who either spent as much as $1200 on a blu-ray player or $600 for an HD DVD player, then paying a little extra cash for the content you want in HD, is a drop in the bucket.

Like myself, most of these cats have spent literally thousands of dollars on a proper home entertainment setup. My loudspeakers alone are worth over $2500, new. And have you seen how much a quality, big screen HDTV goes for these days? So paying an extra $40 for a full season of TV just to get it in HD . . . not even an issue for more people than you know, and there are plenty of people who will spend the cash without even thinking twice about it.


And then there are the savvy shoppers - the category which I fit into. If you are a savvy consumer, then you won't wind up ever paying full MSRP for anything. You didn't honestly think that just because my loudspeakers are worth $2500, that I actually paid that much money for them, did you? Take the Heroes HD DVD for example. When they come out later this month, they are MSRPed for $100 (just like the BSG set above). But if you stop at Amazon.com (see the link below), you see they have it on sale for $70, only a measly $10 more than the set costs if you were to buy the regular, standard-def DVDs. Ten dollars extra is not bad money when you consider what you are getting. But there are still other places online that carry them for even less, and sometimes for less than the MSRP of the standard-def versions.

If everyone who bought this stuff always walked into Best Buy and paid the full MSRP for it, they could never afford any of this stuff. It's like my Xbox 360 Premium, I purchased that for only $300 a year ago, brand new. And I recently got a similar deal on the PS3, which I picked up recently for only $350, brand new. I was never going to pay full price for either.

Heroes Link @ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-Season-1-H … amp;sr=1-1

As for my personal/quasi-professional feelings on the future of blu-ray and HD DVD. If you look at the numbers both platforms are selling (both hardware and movies), even at the combined numbers, neither is tracking to ever be a mainstream success; more of a niche product for hardcore home video fans who have to have the best bang for buck. Even if one of them were to announce tomorrow, that they were calling it in quits, the other remaining format does not, nor will ever, have the momentum needed to critical mass into the mainstream acceptance. Not that being a niche product for just the hardcore crowd is a bad thing, it worked out fabulously from plenty of past formats like LDs, MDs, DVDAs and SACDs. The mainstream audiance I feel, is going to stay with standard DVDs for a while longer, before eventually transitioning into digital distribution. I write about it in greater detail in my blog, if you want to spend the time reading it: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea … =297946466

For my part, I am as hardcore A/V-phile as they come. I have been this way for almost as long as I can remember. If I have anything, I have to have the best example of it, or nothing at all. So the moment both HD DVD and blu-ray were announced, I knew that I would be getting at least one. And the moment the numbers started adding up to both platforms missing the mainstream bus, I knew at that moment I was going to wind up purchasing them both. I wound up purchasing Toshiba's HD-XA2 HD DVD player a few months back for 50% off brand new. And even though I just purchased a PS3, the PS3 is not the best blu-ray player; far from it. So I am looking at picking up a proper, stand alone, hi-end blu-ray player sometime between now and the end of the year.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Tnx for the insight of you home smile I also feel the same about HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc - I should've made that more clear in my first reply wink
I were an early adopter for DVD and I don't see the point of going further - yet. Maybe I change my mind in a few years but certainly not sooner tongue

And for purchasing a season I really don't want to spent more than 2 bucks per episode to own it and definitely not more than 1 buck to watch it (digitally broadcasted) on demand.

Tnx for the link to your blog - the title is amusing, but I will read it later when I have more spare-time. Man your finger tips must be bleeding... big_smile

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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

i like my movies in ASCII, on a FDD smile

I'm not in that happy bunch of people who have a hddvd/blue-ray player so the issue it not concerning me directly. Among other things, the one I can agree with to a large extent is what Black Box wrote here:

I were an early adopter for DVD and I don't see the point of going further - yet. Maybe I change my mind in a few years but certainly not sooner

.

IMO hd/blue are formats that are "not needed but welcome". If you have the cash to make the "DVD to next-gen" transition, fine, do it. But since I don't even have a HD TV at home... you get the point.

For now, let's leave the shopping for the more wealthy ones, let them clear the way, "make the standard" etc. I'll buy my home theather stuff when the technology will be cheaper and more common ergo more accessible.

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6 (edited by unfettered one 2007-08-17 04:36:44)

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

"not needed but welcome"

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. That those four words sum it up succinctly.

Truth be told, even if you have a HDTV (and I do recommend the switch), blu-ray and HD DVD are not needed if you have a quality upscaling DVD player. Keep in mind, that most retail upscaling DVD players are complete crap and only make your DVDs look worse on a HDTV, than if you just stuck with no HDTV at all.

There aren't really that many truly, quality upscaling DVD players on the market, and most of them cost in the $1000+ range (no BS). Funny enough, three of the ten best on the market are put out by a little Chinese company called Oppo, who a few years back, opened up shop here in North America and decided to create a line of high-end DVD players, but sell them at budget prices, as a means to establish and build up a name brand for quality, in the Western Hemisphere.

To say that Oppo has succeeded in that goal among the home video otaku set, is an under statement. Every major high-end home theater magazine, forum and site, completely rave about the Oppos, easily comparing Oppo products to those from other high-end OEMs, costing thousands of dollars more than the Oppos. Like in 2005 when the original Oppo, the OPDV971H, ran away with the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity "best of" award, besting even high end DVD players costing over $3500 (like Denon's DVD-5910).

For the better part of the past year, I have been using the DV-981HD, my second Oppo and the company's current top-of-the-line model. And to say the quality of this player is choice, is an understatement. Keep in mind, that no upscaler is ever going to deliver the level of HD capable of HD DVD or blu-ray. But in all honesty, none of them have to. What the DV-981HD does offer, is upscale capability that rivals broadcast HD. No, I did not stutter, nor did I just fib. I have over 2000 DVDs and am in no hurry to repurchase them all, so when I made the upgrade to HDTV several years ago, owning a quality upscaling player was a lot more paramount to even considering a next-gen option (still is). But as I have gone through my collection, one disc at a time, and have completed my own benchmarks, on average of nine out of every ten DVDs in my collection are outputting the equivalent to broadcast HD in fidelity on my HDTV.

Keep in mind, that broadcast HD is not the same as HD DVD or blu-ray. But if you have ever watched a live HD broadcast of your favorite TV show (Lost, Heroes, CSI, Jay Leno, etc.), over your cable or satellite provider, then this is the same level of quality you can expect from most DVDs when upconverted using the Oppo. I've even done direct, side-by-side comparison with the upscaling in the Oppo, against upscaling (of standard DVDs) in high-end blu-ray players, and the Oppo still out performs them. The quality is just amazing and every time I show off my Oppo to friends, they find it the hardest thing in the world to believe that I can get that level of video fidelity out of a $200 DVD player smile

Anyway, anyone who is currently happy with DVD, but maybe you are thinking about upgrading to a HDTV anyway, either to take advantage of the increasing number of HD broadcasts, or you have a Xbox 360, and want to see how bad ass that baby really is, when she is cooking in her native HD resolution, then I cannot recommend Oppo DVD players high enough. I am currently the extremely proud owner of two of them, and when it comes to playing any of my original DVD library on a HDTV set, I do not trust no other player I own (or have ever owned) to do the job better than the Oppos.

Check out the Oppo line of superb-quality, upscaling DVD players at their website (link below), they now have budget players ranging from $150 to $230, and I can honestly say, once you see these darlings in action, they will have you swearing by Oppo too, and wondering what all the fuss about blu-ray and HD DVD is about: http://www.oppodigital.com/

Don't get me wrong. I love my HD DVD player and movies in full HD are absolutely stunning. And I'm certainly getting a blu-ray player before the year is out. But I know a good value when I see one, and there are not as many good values in the consumer electronics space than the Oppo DVD players. Your standard DVDs will never look better.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

You should work in the advertising buissness wink (or maybe you do?)

The situation which you describe with the oppos has some kind of equivalent in the Polish market.

http://www.manta.tv/poland/kategoria-10.html

The Manta dvd players (although without an upscaler yet) outperform anything scaling from a phillips to a sony. A good set by sony costs around 1000zl, while you can get a manta for 250zl.

So i get the point wink

As for buying an oppos-like player in my situation... I am rather a divx kind of person. It may be hard to believe but I never bought any dvd (excluding those which have been purchased with various kinds of magazines) and every movie I saw up till now was either in the cinema or on my PC. Despite that I plan on buying a decent home theather setup in the time to come. The thing is i'm still in college and I can't afford it. When the time comes though I'll put your advice into use wink

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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Just get a xbox 360, you a get a progressive scan dvd player (that's £250), then you can always buy the added HD-DVD drive (god knows how much for though) if you want to (which can be also used on a PC i believe). And you also get the added bonus of great games... You can then get a HDTV later, and get the whole HD thing with the HD-DVD's etc.

I still think DVD's are fine as they are at the moment, HD content looks cool, but that's about it, i'm perfectly happy watching stuff from a DVD... The whole "welcome but not need" thing is the right way of looking at it i think

yikes
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big_smile

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Just get a xbox 360, you a get a progressive scan dvd player (that's £250), then you can always buy the added HD-DVD drive (god knows how much for though) if you want to (which can be also used on a PC i believe). And you also get the added bonus of great games... You can then get a HDTV later, and get the whole HD thing with the HD-DVD's etc.

Not that I'm whinning or anything but I've always been the Playstation type smile So probably the platform of choice would be a PS3, a good Full HD TV plus some nice speakers... but provided this costs a lot it's still in the dream zone for the time being. Nevertheless, after I manage to pay off my laptop (and that's nearly done) and upgrade my PC I'll think of something.

Thanks for the tip though wink

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10 (edited by unfettered one 2007-08-17 21:30:17)

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Believe it or not, the 360 is a fantastic solution if you are in college and do not have the extra expendable cash on hand.

Check it, if you go the 360 route, spend an extra $20 and purchase the VGA cables for the system. Chances are if you are in college, you've already got a computer monitor sitting in your dorm room.  Most monitors are like little HDTVs, and the VGA adapter for the 360 will delivery superior video quality directly to your monitor.

As pointed out, the 360 handles pretty decent scaling, so your older DVDs will look acceptable in this environment. And if at some point down the road, you want to make the leap to HD DVDs, then you can with a bit extra cash.

The 360 also offers Video Marketplace (coming soon to Europe), so you can download SD and HD television shows and movies directly over the network. And best yet, the 360 serves as an network extender to your PC. With this you can stream photos, music and videos directly from your PC to your 360. This really comes in handy when you want to chose a different soundtrack for the game that you are playing, instead of the soundtrack the game came with. Just create a playlist and stream it from your PC; or plug in your iPod and stream it from that, instead.

Now on to audio. There is little point of owning some 360 games (or DVD movies for that matter), if you don't have the proper audio setup. 5.1 surround is all that, and goes a long way in enhance the overall enjoyment of your content. For a couple hundred bucks, you can pick up some fairly cheap 5.1 systems at big box retail. However, for the same amount of cash, may I offer an alternative?

I mentioned above . . . way above, my current set of loudspeakers normally retail for $2500. The loudspeakers in particular are Mirage's original award-winning Omni Series of omnipolar speakers. Most loudspeakers are front-firing speakers, which means that the audio comes out of one side of the speaker. Almost all of us have been trained from birth that these speakers sound nice, as most speakers we will ever encounter are made in this fashion. The only problem with front firing speakers, is that they reproduce unnatural sound. When you hear something, anything, the sound that reaches your ears is not 100% directed at you, like you hear from front-firing speakers. With any natural sound source, only 30% of the sound comes at you directly, the other 70% is reflected sound which reaches you a few milliseconds later. The human brain uses direct sound for identification and to calculate location, but uses reflected sound to determine spaciousness, as well as direction. If this reflected sound arrives at our ears with inadequate high frequency content then the reproduced music is identified by the brain as artificial.  And herein lies the problem with the vast majority of speakers on the market; the sound is artificial and lacks the realism of natural sound. In the 1986, Mirage created the M-1, the world's first bipolar speaker, which was closer to natural sound than previously possible. They would go on to win speaker of the decade by The Absolute Sound for this achievement. Know this, if you ever go to the movie theaters, the speakers in most are not the front-firing type of speakers you buy at Best Buy, they are all bipolar loudspeakers. When the sound studio making your movies are creating, they are using at least bipolar speakers as their reference speakers, and when you hear the audio at your local multiplex, you hear them on bipolars. Lucas' THX certification from movie theaters, requires bipolar speakers as a minimum requirement in the audio department.

However, Mirage was not satisfied with bipolar. As good as it was, it still did not achieve the complete accuracy of natural sound, and so the quest continued in developing a loudspeaker format that could. And in 1997, they did just that when they created the world's first omnipolar speakers. Omni-polars offer all the same strengths of bipolar, with none of it's weaknesses, disperses sound in a complete 360 degree radiation pattern, creating a larger sound stage, a larger sweet spot, accurately recreating natural sound dispersion and most importantly, unlike bipolar, was scalable so a similar effect could be reproduced with speakers of all sizes and price ranges (ie. the every man on a strict budget could finally afford true high-end sound, something that until omnipolar, was reserved only for the well to do).

Okay, I bring all this up, because a few years back, Mirage spawned a sister company, Spherex, with the mandate of bringing omnipolar technology in inexpensive form to the masses. In conjunction with Microsoft, they released their first product, Xbox 5.1 Digital Surround Sound System (pictured below), and right away began winning major awards for the product and was adopted my many videogame developers as their reference speakers for the games they were making. The system was originally sold for $500, which believe it or not, for the quality of product, is one helluva great price. Recently Spherex discontinued the model as they are preparing to premier their 2nd generation version. This spells really good news for people on a dire budget, but looking for excellent, professional quality sound. With the discontinuance of the set, came a price drop to move the remaining units out of inventory from retailers worldwide to make room for the next generation model. If you can find them, I have seen these retail for around $200. Yeah, you can purchase other HTBs (home theater in a box) for the same money or less, but I can guarantee you, you will not be getting the same quality audio for the money spent. When these initially went down on clearance, I picked up a triple sets (one for my home computer in my office, and the other two as a gifts) and whole-heartedly recommend these to anyone looking for a enormous sound, but with little money to spend.

http://www.hometheatermag.com/images/archivesart/105spherex.1.jpg

I have auditioned these against speaker sets costing several times as much money, and was still impressed with their quality vs the more expensive models. Let me put it this way. I think that it is very safe to say that most everyone here is familiar with the name Bose. One of these sets that I gave away, was a gift to my sister. My sister's husband had purchased Bose's Acoustimass 16, Bose's highest end HTB model which runs for $1300. My sis' husband was more than skeptical, actually condescending, when I came to set these up. But my sis stood up for me and assured him that if I usually knew my stuff when it came to just about anything with an electron running through it as an energy source (thanks sis). After doing the setup, we ran both speaker sets in a head-to-head face off. And despite the fact that the Bose was attached to a better reciever (the Spherex comes with its own as part of the set), and despite the fact the Bose had an extra speaker (the Acoustimas 16 is a 6.1 setup, while the Spherex is only a 5.1), and despite the fact the Bose Acoustimass 16 costing over one thousand dollars more, the Spherex came out hands down the better system. And I do not mean just slightly better, I mean the $200 Spherex set completely kicked the Acoustimass 16's ass. We ran both through the same source materials. First DVDs as we put in The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, Signs, and a few other choice films with excellent sound design in them. After which we switched from films to games. Got out the Xbox 360 and cued up some key moments in titles like Splinter Cell, Condemned, FEAR, Ghost Recon. Followed that up with some live television broadcasts (mostly sports). And rounded the play test up with music. Some Nora Jones, Miles Davis, Alan Parsons, Peter Frampton and even some Manheim Steamroller and Boston Pops to make sure we had all angles covered. In each and every case, the $200 Spherex's completely stomped all over the $1300 Acoustimass 16 set. Not just my opinion, but a unanimous vote by all parties at the testing. While the Acoustimass could get lower bass, it was muddy, made all the worse from the lack of any midrange sound. The Spherex on the other hand, delivered sharp, clear highs, distinct mids and solid and well defined bass. And in every category of the test, blew past the Bose, sometimes without even trying. Then came my final test as I grabbed my sound level meter and took measurements of the soundstage both speaker sets were radiating. Even when set up properly, the Acoustimass' soundstage had detectable holes in it, where areas of destructive interference created throughout the room would create pockets of muted sound from the speakers. Even the sweetspot (the area in a sound stage where the audio from all speakers is even and perfect) created by both sets there was a marked improvement on the part of the Spherex speakers. While the Spherex delivered a sweetspot that covered most of the room, the Bose only produced one that surrounded the area where we had the couch positioned. If you were sitting on the couch, then good. But if you were listening from any other position in the room, you were not going to get the full surround treatment. After all the tests, even my sister's husband, who was initially skeptical about the Spherex's, was ready to put the Boses back in the box and return them. I got the distinct feeling, that had I shown up with a full set of Mirage Omnis, he have pissed himself once he heard how remarkable they sound.

Cutting to the chase, if you are going to run with a low price solution like using your Xbox 360 as the center of your home entertainment rig (something that really is a great idea for a college student, or anyone on a serious budget), then an equally impressive and inexpensive sound system like the Spherex speakers are the perfect match. Awesome high end sound, at a very wallet friendly price. It is a combination that is very hard to beat without spending a whole lot more money. The 360s are easy enough to find, but with the Spherex's on liquidation, they may be a bit harder to locate. But are well worth the effort if you can locate a set.


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That said, the 360 is a great solution if you do not already have the HDTV, but I have made side-by-side comparisons of the upscaling capabilities between the 360 and the Oppo, and there simply is no comparison when watching them in HD. Trust me, if you have a HDTV, are even halfway serious about home video, and can spare the extra cash, get the Oppo. It's worth every penny, and also has several advantages the 360 does not, like being fully compatible with divx and xvid, the ablity to play SACDs, DVDAs and HDCDs, plus being a region-free player.

Obviously, if you are on a serious low budget, then you have to work with what you have to work with, and that is understandable. But I am serious believer of whenever possible, experiencing entertainment content in the best environment possible, as close to the way it was meant to be experienced by it's creator as possible. So whether I am listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, remastered in 5.1 audio on SACD, playing Gears of War and Resistance: Fall of Man in 5.1 Dolby at 1080p, or watching Hot Fuzz at 1080p, in Dolby TrueHD audio on the 120" digital projector, it's got to be the best; nothing less will do. And what is really surprising, is how easy and affordable it is to afford the best at a regular mans' salary, if you are willing to do the homework and put a little research into what you buy, before you buy, and not just walk into big box, high street retailers, and buy what they tell you is supposed to be the best - most of what they got, isn't even close.

And if I can find ways to go that extra distance at a discount or on a budget, then I am quick to do so. With a little homework, you can put together some really nice kit, a piece at a time, and before you realize it, have a top of the line system that always leaves your friends green with envy, yet you spent equal or less money than they did, while they were purchasing inferior equipment at the high street retailers.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Ok.

You killed me. I had to go to the kitchen, take a cigarette and smoke it, before even trying to touch the keyboard wink

First of all I would like to thank you for such a comprehensive and profound answer. Really, from the first few sentences of your post one can see that you know your stuff. Second, somehow I feel a lot (and I mean it) smaller in the sense that previously I had the false assumpion that I had some knowledge. Sufficit to say that I bookmarked what you wrote for future reference wink

As for the advice.

I googled for both the oppos and the spherex hardware and here is what I got.

Your main argument is that the equipment is a bargain and that it maxes out any high end hardware both at a certain price range and at performance. I acknowledge that without any argument. The problem is that what is accessible in the USA/Australia/X (judging by the way you reffered to the xbox marketplace being opened to Europe i presuppose you are not from "here") is not so easy to get here, where I live. In Poland (and that is sad to speak about) a manufacturer's suggested retail price is not strictly honored when it comes to hard-to-get equipment. And that's the least of the problems. I looked for the above stuff on Allegro (which is the Polish equvalent of Ebay for eastern Europe) and I did not find anything. Then, I tried ebay itself. I managed to find one oppo... but in Germany.

http://cgi.ebay.pl/Oppo-DV-981-HD-DVD-P … dZViewItem

they want 259 euro for it, which is 259*3,6zl (1e=3,6zl>Poland's currency). That gives us ~932zl, and provided that 1200zl is the lowest state controlled salary, this is a lot - even if it is a bargain when compared with the high end sets it outperforms. To make the situation worse - I managed to find the spherex speakers in one shop in Poland...mounted in a gaming chair (for 950zl). I did find them on Amazon but it's pointless to order them as I would have to pay for shipping and customs.

As for the xbox itself (but that's sort of -pardon the word- bitching on my side smile ) as I have mentioned before I'm not into xbox games. I prefere the playstation because the japaneese blend of games it provides (e.g. "We Love Katamari", jRPGs in general). I'm not a fanboy or anthing. I just make a pick in a situation in which I am made to do so (bugdet), and provided I just took away one of the most paramount arguments of buying a game console, I'll not decide to buy an xbox just for the upscaled DVD experience.

So.. for the time being, or untill I get a job, I'll just convince myself that I really don't need anything fancy. In the future though... I'll visit this thread for sure.

Once more, thanks for the insightfull post.

~m

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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

One last thing then.

Not trying to promote the 360 over the PS3. I got'em both and they are both very nice systems. But judging by your statement for the types of games that you prefer, do not sell the Xbox 360 short on the Japanese support.

The lack of support from Japan was one of the original Xbox's hugest faults, and one that Microsoft has apparently worked extensively to fix. So much so, that so far this gen, there is better Japan support for the 360 than there has been for the PS3. Not that Sony is not going to get their fair share of the Japanese goodness, this gen. But just that MS has managed to not only sign on every major 3rd party in Japan to actively produce their software for 360, but has managed to net tons of exclusives out of The Land of the Rising Sun.

Whether you are into Katamari, Ace Combat or even some of the top jRPGs, like Tri-Cresendo's Eternal Sonata or Hironobu Sakaguchi's Blue Dragon as well as his Lost Odyssey, Square Enix's Project Sylpheed or Last Remnant or even Namco Bandai's Culdcept Saga. Everything from Koei's Dynasty Warriors Gundam or Fatal Inertia, to SEGA's Virtua Fighter and Sega Rally, all the development houses from Japan are bringing over their best work and a lot of that work is coming over exclusively to the 360. And I won't even get into Capcom's support of the system. They have already delivered two exclusives to the 360 in the form of Dead Rising and Lost Planet, and have no less than half a dozen more exclusives currently in development for 360. And almost in every case, with very few exceptions, everything the Japanese devs are bringing to PS3, is also showing up on 360. I have no idea what Microsoft did or how much they had to pay, but in a few short years, they have managed to pull off one of the biggest coups in gaming history in getting 100% support for a Western game console by all of Japan. In just the list of games that I mentioned above, you'd be truly surprised at how many of them are exclusives to the 360 only. And there are a ton more where those came from.

Look, I'm not trying to tell you the 360 is better, or even sell you on the idea or one, just trying to give you a deeper insight as what is going on in the industry before you finally pluck down your money with a final decision. I have always been of the belief, that the most dangerous thing in the consumer electronics industry is the informed consumer. We have the ability to make and break whole corporations. Give a start-up a chance and put them on top of the world, and bring them down again if their head gets too full of their own importance.

You are probably still a ways off from making any purchase, and I appreciate this fact, but I also feel that because of fiscal restraints, you'll only get the shot at only one game console this gen, and the better armed with which console has the games you want most, the more you will make your spending dollar count when you finally are in a position to make a purchase.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

how do you write so much... (and now on finishing, i do see how...)

The one of the major problems i have with the PS3 (as well as never owning nor liking any sony console) is the price. £450 for a console is just pointless in my opinion. I didn't realise till the other day but it's rather big and clunky too (and yes i realise you don't carry them around but i like something sleek sitting near my tv).
Oh and another thing is that Xbox Live is easily the best online gaming (between consoles) out there at the moment.

Not that i'm turning this into 360 vs. PS3 debate thread. Far from it, i understand why people by the PS series, and why some people don't. Granted the difference between them is less with this media centre gen moving onto them, but also become large with the PS3's inclusion of a BR drive and having games that use it... I also think Microsoft have been some what smart about it though... Back ago with the betamax and vhs
it was somewhat the same situation, and the lesser format won (that being VHS)... The same could happen and HDDVD could come out on top (being, from what i have seen, the lesser, majorly due to the disc space, i think it's something like 10 times less...) but it's too early to tell. But if it doesn't and BR does it, then Microsoft could release a BR-Drive...
This is the same for the PS3 obviously (having USB)... But it would make it even larger bringing a HDDVD drive near it!

Though there is two things i will comment on that you mentioned....

Now on to audio. There is little point of owning some 360 games (or DVD movies for that matter), if you don't have the proper audio setup.

That isn't the case at all... I have (and always have) played my xbox/xbox 360 through my TV speakers, and it doesn't matter in the slightest. To compare i have played with 5.1, it's great and all that, but spending money on it i wouldn't do. I get big speakers (not more) if i was using my 360 to play music from. I don't think it's important in my opinion unless you spend lots of time playing it and have lots of money (neither which i do, hence i suppose my bias).

Check it, if you go the 360 route, spend an extra $20 and purchase the VGA cables for the system.

Be wary of this... Unless you have a largish (19"+) widescreen (especially important for 360 games) monitor. If you want to play spilt screen you may also want to go bigger really...  Also you would need speakers on the monitor or some external ones...

yikes
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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

@Unfettered one

The lack of support from Japan was one of the original Xbox's hugest faults, and one that Microsoft has apparently worked extensively to fix. So much so, that so far this gen, there is better Japan support for the 360 than there has been for the PS3. Not that Sony is not going to get their fair share of the Japanese goodness, this gen. But just that MS has managed to not only sign on every major 3rd party in Japan to actively produce their software for 360, but has managed to net tons of exclusives out of The Land of the Rising Sun.

Whether you are into Katamari, Ace Combat or even some of the top jRPGs, like Tri-Cresendo's Eternal Sonata or Hironobu Sakaguchi's Blue Dragon as well as his Lost Odyssey, Square Enix's Project Sylpheed or Last Remnant or even Namco Bandai's Culdcept Saga. Everything from Koei's Dynasty Warriors Gundam or Fatal Inertia, to SEGA's Virtua Fighter and Sega Rally, all the development houses from Japan are bringing over their best work and a lot of that work is coming over exclusively to the 360. And I won't even get into Capcom's support of the system. They have already delivered two exclusives to the 360 in the form of Dead Rising and Lost Planet, and have no less than half a dozen more exclusives currently in development for 360. And almost in every case, with very few exceptions, everything the Japanese devs are bringing to PS3, is also showing up on 360. I have no idea what Microsoft did or how much they had to pay, but in a few short years, they have managed to pull off one of the biggest coups in gaming history in getting 100% support for a Western game console by all of Japan. In just the list of games that I mentioned above, you'd be truly surprised at how many of them are exclusives to the 360 only. And there are a ton more where those came from.

I am aware of the stunt that the guys at microsoft managed to pull off. It is impressive indeed. Nonetheless, saying that games will be released (or that one has japan's support) does not mean that they will. For the sake of the argument let's assume that they will and that the typical xbox target gamer will be delivered with the genre of games we are talking about. In my case I have to think far into the future if I want to invest in hardware that is to be my gaming system for the next few years. What I am concerned about is the fact that a typical Japaneese gamer does not find a title such as GRAW2 of GoW ...well... fun. The same goes for the European/American gamer about Japaneese games. 3/4 of the gaming community treated We love catamari as a fun nuissance and not a real game. The majority of the gaming community outside Japan still considers Fifa (or anything by EA sports for that matter) as groundbraking. The same majority has never heard of ISS Evo (which makes Fifa look like the first ISS [or soccer] on C64 smile )? What I'm driving at is the fact that xbox's typical gamer definition is "An American/European gamer", while the Playstation's is "A Japaneese gamer+the rest". Kutaragi never intended to make the PS a bigger success on the Old Continent/America than in Japan. Europe and America are only an addition. All that will not change this gen - xbox's games will still be biased towards "our" (but not "mine") gametypes, despite Japan's support, and the PS' games will stay "Japaneese".
Another thing is that delivering, let's call them, jGames to a potential European/American gamer via the xbox will not generate (that's only my assumption) enough profit to make the xbox a target platform for jGames in the future. The tastes are just too different (not to an extent to exclude porting jGames from, let's say, PS3 to Xbox but also not to make them xbox exclusives). And I do not want a system that is not a jGames target system, even despite the conversions of a vast plethora of strictly jGame titles.

Having said that I want to emphasise that I'm also not anti-xbox. I think that the thing that matters are the games, not the gaming platforms. That's why I (viritually, for now) choose the PS.

Look, I'm not trying to tell you the 360 is better, or even sell you on the idea or one, just trying to give you a deeper insight as what is going on in the industry before you finally pluck down your money with a final decision. I have always been of the belief, that the most dangerous thing in the consumer electronics industry is the informed consumer. We have the ability to make and break whole corporations. Give a start-up a chance and put them on top of the world, and bring them down again if their head gets too full of their own importance.

I've been gaming since the late C64/early Amiga days, so I have my fair share of insight wink (but your's, and anyone elses for that matter, is always welcome).
btw And I absolutely agree.

@Halo2

I didn't realise till the other day but it's rather big and clunky too (and yes i realise you don't carry them around but i like something sleek sitting near my tv).

We call it the breadbasket in Poland ;D

Oh and another thing is that Xbox Live is easily the best online gaming (between consoles) out there at the moment.

Let's give PS Home a chance. The idea seems nice.

Not that i'm turning this into 360 vs. PS3 debate thread. Far from it, i understand why people by the PS series, and why some people don't. Granted the difference between them is less with this media centre gen moving onto them, but also become large with the PS3's inclusion of a BR drive and having games that use it... I also think Microsoft have been some what smart about it though... Back ago with the betamax and vhs
it was somewhat the same situation, and the lesser format won (that being VHS)... The same could happen and HDDVD could come out on top (being, from what i have seen, the lesser, majorly due to the disc space, i think it's something like 10 times less...) but it's too early to tell. But if it doesn't and BR does it, then Microsoft could release a BR-Drive...
This is the same for the PS3 obviously (having USB)... But it would make it even larger bringing a HDDVD drive near it!

True. We'll see.

I remember the betamax. I don't remmeber the "battle" though as I was a rather young person then.



=-=-=-=

Ok. Too much thinking in English for the hour smile This is exhausting wink

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Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Nonetheless, saying that games will be released (or that one has japan's support) does not mean that they will. For the sake of the argument let's assume that they will and that the typical xbox target gamer will be delivered with the genre of games we are talking about. In my case I have to think far into the future if I want to invest in hardware that is to be my gaming system for the next few years. What I am concerned about is the fact that a typical Japaneese gamer does not find a title such as GRAW2 of GoW ...well... fun. The same goes for the European/American gamer about Japaneese games. 3/4 of the gaming community treated We love catamari as a fun nuissance and not a real game. The majority of the gaming community outside Japan still considers Fifa (or anything by EA sports for that matter) as groundbraking. The same majority has never heard of ISS Evo (which makes Fifa look like the first ISS [or soccer] on C64 smile )? What I'm driving at is the fact that xbox's typical gamer definition is "An American/European gamer", while the Playstation's is "A Japaneese gamer+the rest". Kutaragi never intended to make the PS a bigger success on the Old Continent/America than in Japan. Europe and America are only an addition. All that will not change this gen - xbox's games will still be biased towards "our" (but not "mine") gametypes, despite Japan's support, and the PS' games will stay "Japaneese".
Another thing is that delivering, let's call them, jGames to a potential European/American gamer via the xbox will not generate (that's only my assumption) enough profit to make the xbox a target platform for jGames in the future. The tastes are just too different (not to an extent to exclude porting jGames from, let's say, PS3 to Xbox but also not to make them xbox exclusives). And I do not want a system that is not a jGames target system, even despite the conversions of a vast plethora of strictly jGame titles.

If you were speaking strictly about the original Xbox, your observation would be 100% spot-on. Fortunately, we are not talking about Xbox, but are talking about Xbox 360. The Japanese games are already there, they have been there since last year, and they are selling in the millions of copies to Xbox 360 owners. Without getting into a dissertation about economics, but when games sell into hundreds of thousands and into millions of copies, it does not take a rocket scientist to decide whether a company is going to continue to support the platform that they sold a million copies of a game on - especially when said company is earning between $15 and $25 per copy sold.

Fact of the matter is, Japanese games from multiple Japanese studios are already selling more than enough copies to make these games a success. And while true, maybe the Japanese do not care for Halo or Ghost Recon, but if you have been keeping track of the gaming scene in Japan, the Japanese gamer does not care for Playstation 3 either. Japan has become all Nintendo territory, with both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii outselling every console by a factor of 10 to 1. If anything, maybe the console you need to be picking up is the Wii and not the PS3, as with Japanese game makers making far more money on Wii, they are bound to continue to support it more than they are supporting PS3. As was evidenced earlier this year when Square Enix decided to make Dragon Quest, their most popular Japanese franchise, a Nintendo exclusive with multiple Dragon Quest games in production for both the Wii and the DS.

You are missing the obviousness of the reality that is in front of you. Japanese developers are caring less and less about supporting PS3 and more and more about supporting Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

It is a very simple lesson in economics:

1 - PS3 has the highest price tag which means the fewest people will buy it.

2 - PS3 has far and away, the lowest install base, which means Japanese developers cannot make as much money on it. 

3 - Wii, Xbox 360 and DS are selling like hotcakes

4 - An estimated 50% of all Xbox 360 owners, used to be PS2 owners and still crave the Japanese flavor games that PS2 owners love so much

And maybe none of that would not be so bad, were it not for the fact that the Japanese gaming audience has shrunk by almost 50% of the last decade.

Or the fact that the cost to develop one game is now in the $10 to $30 million range per game . . . not to mention an additional $10 to $30 million to market the game. In today's market, to make and market a video game is an endeavor that costs no less than $20 million and as high as $60 million. That is a tremendously huge investment and has forced every developer and publisher in Japan to have to really rethink the business or risk dying off.

Whether they wish to or not, Japanese game makers are forced to start thinking of their products as international productions. The cost to make games and the shrinking size of the Japanese audience makes it impossible to only make games for a Japanese audience. So now Japanese game makers have to look out the window at which consoles are selling the most GLOBALLY, and put their games on these consoles. It will be these consoles that get all the games, and it will be these consoles that get all the exclusives from the Japanese game makers. And like it or not, GLOBALLY, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii are outselling the PS3 4 to 1, each.

So you wind up with what you have today. Japanese game makers are not talking about putting Japanese games on Xbox 360, they are already doing it, so much so, that the Xbox 360 has more Japanese games actually on the shelf and more Japanese games scheduled to be released, than the PS3. And as I already pointed out, these games are selling millions of copies to the Xbox crowd.

Do you think that Capcom who has sold over a million copies of Dead Rising and another million copies of Lost Planet, is suddenly going to say that they no longer want to support the Xbox 360? Of course not. As a result, they have stopped making games like Devil May Cry and Resident Evil exclusively to Playstation, and are not only bringing them to Xbox 360, but are actively developing no less than six more games exclusive to Xbox 360.

Do you think that Namco, who sold more than twice as many copies of Ridge Racer on Xbox 360 than it did on PS3, are suddenly going to say they are no longer going to bring games to Xbox 360? Of course they are not. Instead they have hand delivered Beautiful Katamari, Ace Combat 6, Culdecept Saga and Eternal Sonata EXCLUSIVELY to the Xbox 360.

Do you think that once From Software sold over 300,000 copies of Enchanted Arms and another 500,000 of Chromehounds on the Xbox 360, that they are suddenly going to stop supporting the system? Not even. They have since gone on to commit to bringing all of their games to the Xbox 360, including the recently released Armored Core 4, their flagship title, which sold four times as many copies on Xbox 360 as it did on PS3.

Look man. Japanese support is on the Xbox 360 and it is here to stay. It ain't no fictional something made up of lists of games that are not coming out on the system. Quite the opposite, it is an increasingly long list of games that are coming out to Xbox 360 from Japanese developers that are selling tons of copies and making Japanese game publishers lots of money.

If there is one thing in the world that I have learned about success, is that it tends to breed success. If a company makes a game on a system and that games sells phenomenally well, that company is going to continue to makes games for that system. And as of this writing, every major Japanese publishing studio, has already made tons of money selling their games on the Xbox 360; so much so, that most are making far more money on 360 than they are on PS3. If you were a businessman, an executive of Company X, and you were charged with making the most money for the least effort for your company, do you mean to tell me that you would turn your back on that type of success? Of course you would not. You'd do everything in your power to replicate that success over and over and over again. And this is why Japanese support for the Xbox 360 is not going away, and is only getting started.

Just keep this in mind. There are currently almost double the number of exclusive games from Japan for the Xbox 360 than for the PS3.

To me, that says everything.

Re: 'Battlestar Galactica' Blasts Off on HD DVD

Whoa friend, hold your horses wink

And while true, maybe the Japanese do not care for Halo or Ghost Recon, but if you have been keeping track of the gaming scene in Japan, the Japanese gamer does not care for Playstation 3 either.
Japan has become all Nintendo territory, with both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii outselling every console by a factor of 10 to 1. If anything, maybe the console you need to be picking up is the Wii and not the PS3, as with Japanese game makers making far more money on Wii, they are bound to continue to support it more than they are supporting PS3. As was evidenced earlier this year when Square Enix decided to make Dragon Quest, their most popular Japanese franchise, a Nintendo exclusive with multiple Dragon Quest games in production for both the Wii and the DS.

In Japan, the PS3 has a solid second place having achieved better selling results than the xbox360 managed to achieve in two years. So if Japan is all soo hyped about the xbox would you be so nice and explain me how can this be? Moreover you seem to be forgetting that the xbox360 had nearly a two year head start and if we crunched the numbers (after Wikipedia, let's assume that it's reliable) there are "11.8 million [xboxes] as of July 18, 2007" worldwide, while there are 4.28 million PS3s accordingly, DESPITE the high price...and the PS3 had it's launch on November 11, 2006.
Ergo, the situation (looking through the prism of jGames) looks better for the xbox but still it is not as optimistic as you claim, granted what we have said above about the target gamers of each system.

You are missing the obviousness of the reality that is in front of you. Japanese developers are caring less and less about supporting PS3 and more and more about supporting Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

This is a bold statemet. Let's not get carried away ok? The one thing we may deem true as a solid and undeniable fact is that the PS3 is loosing it's exclusives...nothing more. And this is still not eough evidence to say that developers are turing their backs on the system that is a few months old.

1 - PS3 has the highest price tag which means the fewest people will buy it.

2 - PS3 has far and away, the lowest install base, which means Japanese developers cannot make as much money on it. 

3 - Wii, Xbox 360 and DS are selling like hotcakes

4 - An estimated 50% of all Xbox 360 owners, used to be PS2 owners and still crave the Japanese flavor games that PS2 owners love so much

ad 1: true, but let's give it a little bit more time.
ad 2: partially true. Why? You forgot to include "as for now".
ad 3: "As for now". The games determine the platforms. Let the situation stew for a year or two - then we'll say.
ad 4: And this information comes from where ? You work at Famitsu ? smile

And maybe none of that would not be so bad, were it not for the fact that the Japanese gaming audience has shrunk by almost 50% of the last decade.

hm ?

Or the fact that the cost to develop one game is now in the $10 to $30 million range per game . . . not to mention an additional $10 to $30 million to market the game. In today's market, to make and market a video game is an endeavor that costs no less than $20 million and as high as $60 million. That is a tremendously huge investment and has forced every developer and publisher in Japan to have to really rethink the business or risk dying off.

You are speaking more about SplinterCell than Um Jammer Lammy (if you know what I'm driving at). Of course you're right and it's obvious that more audiences will have to be involved to make the game profitable but the difference between the xbox and the PS3 is that on the xbox a niche of games like "Kula world" is non existant, while people demand those kind of titles from the PS series (although KW was Swedish if I recall correctly). These titles do not have to cost millions and while they will find potential buyers on the PS they will not sell at all on the Xbox.

So you wind up with what you have today. Japanese game makers are not talking about putting Japanese games on Xbox 360, they are already doing it, so much so, that the Xbox 360 has more Japanese games actually on the shelf and more Japanese games scheduled to be released, than the PS3. And as I already pointed out, these games are selling millions of copies to the Xbox crowd.

Two year head start ? It's like bragging that a car bought two years ago was tanked more times than a car that is a few months old.. And let's leave believing in schedules for all the optimistic outh there.

Do you think that Capcom who has sold over a million copies of Dead Rising and another million copies of Lost Planet, is suddenly going to say that they no longer want to support the Xbox 360? Of course not. As a result, they have stopped making games like Devil May Cry and Resident Evil exclusively to Playstation, and are not only bringing them to Xbox 360, but are actively developing no less than six more games exclusive to Xbox 360.

Sbdy smart once said that "exclusives are made to be broken". Let's leave it at that. You know your stuff and proving that is pointless.
Next thing, tell me. Is Lost Planet really "of jBlend" ? No. As for the Biohazard series it's been ported to PC/GC/GBA/etc wayy back and it's still considered as PS title. Even you, saying "have stopped making games like Devil May Cry and Resident Evil exclusively to Playstation", deem it as so. As for now, the fact that Xbox will get a port, or an exclusive release, doesn't really mean nothing. Porting DMC only proves it's so.

Do you think that Namco, who sold more than twice as many copies of Ridge Racer on Xbox 360 than it did on PS3, are suddenly going to say they are no longer going to bring games to Xbox 360? Of course they are not. Instead they have hand delivered Beautiful Katamari, Ace Combat 6, Culdecept Saga and Eternal Sonata EXCLUSIVELY to the Xbox 360.

Do you think that once From Software sold over 300,000 copies of Enchanted Arms and another 500,000 of Chromehounds on the Xbox 360, that they are suddenly going to stop supporting the system? Not even. They have since gone on to commit to bringing all of their games to the Xbox 360, including the recently released Armored Core 4, their flagship title, which sold four times as many copies on Xbox 360 as it did on PS3.

I'm not saying they'll stop. I'm saying this gen is too early to say that a console has won Japan.

If there is one thing in the world that I have learned about success, is that it tends to breed success. If a company makes a game on a system and that games sells phenomenally well, that company is going to continue to makes games for that system. And as of this writing, every major Japanese publishing studio, has already made tons of money selling their games on the Xbox 360; so much so, that most are making far more money on 360 than they are on PS3. If you were a businessman, an executive of Company X, and you were charged with making the most money for the least effort for your company, do you mean to tell me that you would turn your back on that type of success? Of course you would not. You'd do everything in your power to replicate that success over and over and over again. And this is why Japanese support for the Xbox 360 is not going away, and is only getting started.

It's hard to argue with that. I'm saying let's wait untill the head start fades away. Tneh we'll be able to make statements, not just statement-like assumptions.

Just keep this in mind. There are currently almost double the number of exclusive games from Japan for the Xbox 360 than for the PS3.

To me, that says everything.

Currently.

smile

~m

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