PS3 vs. 360 vs. Wii vs. Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD

I wrote about Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD a while back, and to a lesser extent I also discussed PS3 vs. 360.  After taking a break from various google searches for the past week (cold turkey would be a better description), I decided to spend some quality time this afternoon to come up with this post.

I may be in the minority here, but if I get a PS3 one of the primary reasons will be for the Blu-Ray player; I really want more bang for my HDTV buck.  If I am going to spend $500+ for a Blu-Ray (or HD-DVD) player, I may as well get a game system thrown in for good measure.  I am not spending a lot of time with my PS2, but I have a huge PS2 and PSX library, so backwards compatibility is a plus.  It sounds like the new firmware upgrade does some sort of upconversion on PS2 and PSX titles, so that could be a nice little perk.  Where it stands right now, if I squander $599 for a PS3 system, I am buying it for 40% Blu-Ray format, 30% PS3 games, 20% backwards game compatibility, and 10% who knows what else.

I keep looking at the 360, but it just does not seem to be in the cards (at least for the immediate future).  Maybe Forza 2 will put me over the edge, but the ad-on HD-DVD player does nothing to excite me.  In general, ad-on accessories are not supported, so I may as well purchase a dedicated HD-DVD player if I want to go with this format.

All news articles, sales data, blogs, and various news sites indicate that the Wii is still selling like hotcakes.  In fact, I read earlier today that some industry analysts are predicting shortages for the rest of the year.  I never see any Wii systems in any stores I frequent, and I am not going to go the bundle route.  I assume I will get a Wii at some point, but I am not in a hurry (even if the kids are ready now).

I still have no idea about HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray; which format will ultimately win?  If I go with a PS3 then I am betting on the Blu-Ray horse, but is the format really going to be viable in 3 years (or 5 or 10)?  My assumption is that DVDs are going to be around for a long time, but I am not yet convinced that Blu-Ray (or HD-DVD) is the wave of the future.  So for now I am (still) not throwing any money in either direction, but I have been pricing upconverting DVD players, which may be a cheaper (and better alternative) solution for the next couple of years.

In short, a lot of writing about not making a purchase.

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