Blu-ray: 3 Reasons the Winner is an Also-Ran
Will Apple release Blu-Ray-equipped iMacs for the holidays? Maybe-and it probably makes sense, since it's been a while since iMacs got meaningful new features other than ongoing refinement of their industrial design. But to abuse a famous Steve Jobs quote, Blu-Ray still feels like a bag of boring to me. It's one of the few high-profile examples of gadgetry I have no impulse to invest in.
It's Not Truly Part of the Digital World. These days, I'm less interested in getting better image quality, and more interested in doing stuff with content-sending it via wireless networking to multiple screens in my house, sticking it on my iPhone, storing it in the cloud. Blu-Ray doesn't help with any of that. In fact, it's designed specifically to prevent me from doing it.
The Content isn't There. At least not for me. I admit that I'm not representative of the Average American Consumer here, but I'll never buy any blockbuster movie on Blu-Ray. I like obscure animation and box sets that aren't going to sell by the million. For now, they come out on DVD, not Blu-Ray. That'll change. Eventually. Probably. But if I bought a Blu-Ray player today, I'd mostly use it to watch DVDs.
It's a Stopgap. Like the 2.88MB floppy disk, Blu-Ray is ultimately an impressive (and pricey) improvement on a technology that's going to go away. By 2012, it's going to look almost as retro as VHS. Okay, it might take a year or two more than that. But no more.
I'm not saying that Blu-Ray will never show up in my living room or inside a computer I own. (Hey, I was a late adopter of DVD, too.) But I'd say the odds are less than fifty percent that I'll ever get it-at least as a conscious decision which I'm excited about. (The day will presumably come when all computers that sport optical drives have DVD.)