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Converge THIS!

Part and parcel of the console strategy for both Microsoft and Sony is a next-generation video disc into their consoles. Microsoft's using HD-DVD in the xBox, and Sony's using the competing and incompatible Blu-Ray format in the PS/3. The idea was that gamers would buy a console and play games on it and then use it as a disc player, too.

This was the case with the DVD drive on the PS/2, the predecessor to the PS/3, but it's looking like that not may be the case with the next-generation console:

"In a recent study by The Diffusion Group, analysts discovered some alarming facts about gamers and just how often they use—or know they can use—the multimedia capabilities of their consoles. Here are the numbers:

- 80% of console owners can playback DVD or Blu-ray discs.
- 30% even know about those features
- 13% use those features

Also...

- 42% of gamers with consoles hooked to broadband have streamed video through them in some fashion."

It's that last stat that's the most-interesting. We've got the audio-video firepower at our house to handle hi-def discs, yet I've never once considered getting either a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player. On the hand, I've been batting around the idea of getting an AppleTV some time in the future. Both disc formats don't offer enough benefits for me to upgrade to a Hi-Def format, but being able to download and watch a movie the same way I download and listen to music in iTunes is a very interesting idea.

“Converge THIS!”