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Sony Fanboy FUD

Filed under: Electronics — Jared @ 2:32 pm

Much has been made recently of the Playstation 3’s (in)ability to scale HD content. I’ll just point you of ArsTechnica’s coverage of both its Gaming and BluRay scaling issues. The issue is as follows (from what I have read):

The PS3 seems to have no ability to up-or-downscale the content it outputs within HD resolutions. For games produced in 720p (apparently many of the launch titles), this means it will not upscale to 1080i if that is what your TV supports, it will instead downscale to 480p. If you play a BluRay title shot in 1080i or p, the player will output it either at 1080i/p or 480p. Newer TV’s can handle this: they will take in whatever resolution you feed them, and scale it to the TV output. Older TV’s aren’t so lucky. MANY TV’s will only take in EITHER 720p or 1080i, as is the case with mine. In fact, when I was TV shopping at the beginning of the year, I was unable to find an affordable TV of large size that would take both in. Mine happens to do 1080i, which would leave me out in the cold for playing games.

The reaction from Sony Fanboys on this has been amazing. The thing to keep in mind: I chose to buy the TV I bought at the beginning of ’06, knowing that if I hooked up an Xbox, Xbox360, HD cable box, or up-converting DVD player, I would be able to tell it to output at 1080i and it would scale anything that wasn’t. And I’ll tell you honestly: both 720p and 1080i cable are beautiful, and I doubt you could tell me which is which. I decided that rather than buy a 42″ screen with all of the fancy inputs (which I wouldn’t need, because the various boxes I would plug in would have scalers, because they all do) or buy a slightly more limited 52″ screen for the same money, or the fancy 52″ for $500 more. 52″ was the right size for my living room, so I bought the cheaper 52″ and it looks beautiful. But now I won’t even have the OPTION of buying a PS3 without risking that it looks like crap. The reaction of the fanboys has been something like the quote below (off of the Ars discussion forums for the PS3 review, emphasis mine):

Sony has no reason to care, because it’s not Sony’s fault that some TV doesn’t support 720p. It’s the TV manufacturer’s fault, as I’ve said time and time again. If you bought an LCD for your PC that didn’t do scaling and complained when you couldn’t run it in anything other than 1280×1024, would it be the video card manufacturer’s fault? Really it’s funny that most people aren’t having this issue. There are basically two scenarios where somebody doesn’t have a TV that supports 720p: 1) you bought a TV without enough research or 2) you were an early adopter, and if you could afford an HDTV then, you can easily afford a replacement.

This is a level of either ignorance or arrogance that I find unimaginable. First, Sony has every reason to care: they are in the business of selling consoles. MOST of the HDTV’s sold early on, and many of those sold till recently, either do 720p or 1080i, and mass-market CE devices such as DVD players and Xboxes seem to get it right: in order to appeal to the widest audience, you strap in one of those little scalers so that your device works with EVERYTHING. Second, to suggest that ANYONE have to replace their $1k+ HDTV sets to accomadate Sony is crazy, and ignores the way the real world works: The TV’s were here first, and the CE devices need to adapt to the situation in the marketplace to which they are trying to sell. It is my understanding that the vast majority of CRT RPTV’s will be affected by this; I know mine is, and I bet most of my friends that have HDTV’s will be too. Third, Sony is not on its own in the market, they compete with Microsoft and Nintendo. The Xbox360 has a scaler in it, and will output whatever you tell it to (AFAIK). This is the standard behaviour.

I think I feel better now. But I really want this to stop – Sony has made a very bad play here. Maybe there really aren’t that many of us affected by this, but I will tell you one thing: There is 0% chance I will buy a PS3 unless this is resolved. Before, there was at least a small chance I would buy one in the next few years.

Xbox and Wii ho!


1 Comment »

  1. Sony has obviously made a huge error here, but from everything else they have done with the launch of their system this is no surprise. I have to say sony’s motto for the PS3 must be “Fuck it!” cause that seems to be their answer to most of the issues with the console.

    Comment by Scott C. — 06/11/24 @ 12:31 pm

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