Without the PS3, Blu-ray struggles mightily for acceptance

PS3 may be keeping it above water

Just how important is Blu-Ray to the average consumer? Not very important at all, a new study found Friday, and the PS3 may very well be what's keeping it above water.

In fact, PS3 owners, on average, are buying many more Blu-ray movies, per person, than people with dedicated Blu-ray players.

"While you might think gamers purchase fewer movie discs than others, we didn't see any significant evidence of that in our results," said ABI principle analyst Steve Wilson. "PS3 console shipments will go a long way to help bring down manufacturing costs and drive down Blu-ray player prices."

An ABI survey of 1,000 people found that over 50% have "no plans" to purchase a Blu-ray player. A further 23% said they are likely to buy a Blu-ray player, but not until at least 2009.

The survey found that consumers are still more than happy with standard definition DVDs, mostly because they entail not having to buy a new HDTV. The difference in quality between standard and high definition was also a wash with consumers: 50% said HD was "much better" than standard def, but 40% said it was only "somewhat better."

And don't expect a price cut on players anytime soon. ABI predicted that players will remain above US$300 until 2009. That still makes the PS3 your best bet for a cheap Blu-Ray player. That is, if you even care about HD enough to justify the price point. Most people, apparently, couldn't care less.

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