A rambling post spurred by news that ADV has reportedly selected Blu-ray as the format for their high definiton releases.
First off, I’m gonna air my biases.
I actually don’t like Blu-ray partly because of my perception that it is just another attempt to make more money by getting customers to spend more on next-gen stuff. It’s like the manufacturers and studios are in cahoots–we make this disc DRM’ed like you want it, and you support it. I might be paranoid or just plain bitter over how they make things so expensive but I’m still entitled to my opinion. 🙂
Anyway, I am not close-minded enough not to admit that a new form of storage must be developed or take over from plain DVD. With the increasing amount of information/data that is generated each day, there is need for more capacity on storage devices. More movie extras could be put on the disc. That means more value added. (Unless if you don’t like the extras, which would suck for you.)
On the other hand, what bothers me the most is that this will only perpetuate more piracy. BDs would certainly be much costlier than plain DVDs, but whatever DRM it has would likely be hacked–I’ve seen torrents that attest to that. Although of course the bigger file size could be a deterrent to those with slower connections, there will be ones who would download it.
From another perspective, it could mean that prices might fall for DVDs. I’m saying ‘might’, because there’s actually no guarantee it will happen (or maybe not overnight?). So people would buy more DVDs, right? Or not. I fear that people will buy less DVDs because it is a format that will be gone one day–and they’ll just wait for the prices of BDs to come down. ‘Why buy movies on an old format? There will be a better version.’–that sort of thinking. With that, there will be less consumption, and guess what? The studios lose money, and then they’d cry piracy all over again.
But what has this got to do with anime?
Well, some anime has already been released in Blu-ray format. Although one thing I’m happy about is that the Philippines is in the same region grouping as Japan and the US. (A little tidbit: movies get released earlier in the Philippines than in Japan! Hooray!) However it is sad to say, that here in my country, where legit anime DVDs are hard to come by, we probably won’t be seeing hi def anime DVDs either in the years to come. Anime is an expensive hobby, almost like a luxury even, and looks to become more expensive in the long run (at least to DVD collectors). drm has a nice rant on this.
Another thing is, people might become more selective of what they buy. I mean, do you really want to buy a not-so-excellent series in hi def? Would you want to watch a crappy series with more detail? lol. But if I had the budget for it, I’d love to have Macross Frontier hehehe. Then maybe GITS, H&C, but only top-notch stuff. So how can they profit from not-so-successful anime? I see two things happening: they make less crappier ones, or they make more of those with lots of fanservice that sells. Or both. I wish for the first option.
Conclusion? I might not be collecting anything for now–not until Blu-ray solidifies its position as ‘the’ format to take over from plain DVD. And besides, I don’t even have a standalone DVD player. 😄