Hollywood studios recognise the importance of PlayStation as a driver for Blu-ray Disc (BD) sales and remote control is indicator of household demand

Reports on Blu-ray’s progress – and difficulties – on the road to becoming the mass-market video format are legion.

Monica Juniel, vice president of international marketing for Warner Home Video, added an interesting statistic into the mix during her presentation at IFA 2008 in Berlin last week.

According to the former commercial banker, Sony PlayStation owners that possess remote controls for their games consoles buy more than twice as many BDs as those that don’t have them.

Perhaps not rocket science, since if you are going to be watching movies on the PS3 it’s fairly fiddly doing it with a game controller.

But with millions of PS3s sold around the globe, it’s understandable why those with an interest in the Blu-ray industry pay particular attention to how they’re used.

Games and Movies

In July, a report from the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) showed that 87 per cent of PS3 owners watched Blu-ray movies on their console.

While this is an impressive headline figure, Warner aren’t getting carried away with it.

According to Juniel owners of stand-alone Blu-ray players buy twice as many BDs as PlayStation households.
She said this undoubtedly meant there were “other opportunities” for the format.

“There are a few things that are slowing us down,” she said. “PS3 comprises the majority of the installed base, but with software buy rates significantly lagging behind those of Blu-ray set-top box owners.”

Control by Remote

Juniel said one way to drive BD movie sales was to “convert PS3 households via remote control usage” – the logic presumably being that if it’s easier to play the disc, you’re more likely to buy more of them.

No figure was given for the percentage of PS owners who had remote controls but HDTV.biz-news.com has asked for the data and will post an update as soon as its received.

She also detailed a few other barriers to purchasing Blu-ray Discs, such as hardware prices and consumer indifference.

Remove issues such as these and there might be a lot more people happily zapping their PS3s.

Do you agree? Please let us know your comments on what the real barriers are to consumers adopting Blu-ray technology.

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