Update: A few minutes after we published this, Warner Bros announced that six of its Nov. 16 3D Blu-ray releases will not be bundled with hardware. That’s a small step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go before all 3D Blu-rays are non-exclusive.
A whopping 25 3D Blu-ray discs are destined for retail store shelves between now and Christmas, according to Blu-ray.com.
Great news, right?
Not so much.
Only a few of those releases will be available for individual sale. In order to get the rest, you must purchase a bundle that includes some sort of 3D hardware, like a Blu-ray player.
So if you’re one of those early-adopters with a home theater already equipped with an LG CF3D 3D projector, or 3D TV, and a Blu-ray player, you might have to buy yet another Blu-ray player or 3D display in order to watch popular 3D Blu-ray releases like “How To Train Your Dragon” or “Alice in Wonderland”.
And that, in our humble opinion, is no good.
The problem with 3D bundles
Now don’t get us wrong. 3D “bundles” that feature a 3D-compatible player, display, glasses and content are great for customers who want an all-in-one solution. But to make these bundles the only way you can get your hands on popular 3D movies and content is totally unfair.
Right now, there are only a handful of 3D Blu-ray discs on the market, and only a few of those are actual full-length films. The rest are short features, some only seven minutes long.
Multiple sources (and common sense) say the lack of 3D content is holding back the adoption of 3D for home theater.
So why not flood the stores with 3D Blu-rays?
It’s the old “chicken and the egg” dilemma.
Which comes first, the content or the 3D display?
Movie houses say there are not enough 3D-equipped home theaters to justify the release of 3D Blu-rays without a bundle.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., said it will take another year or two before enough homes have 3D-compatible TVs or projectors for it to make sense to release some individual 3D Blu-ray movies, according to Yahoo news.
If Mr. Katzenberg were here now, we’d give him an earful on his faulty logic.
Almost 40 million households worldwide own a PlayStation 3 and come Sept. 21, 2010, a software update will enable those millions of PS3s to play 3D Blu-ray discs. Factor that in with the folks who also own a 3D-ready TV or projector, and you have a modest market for 3D Blu-ray movies.
We believe exclusively packaging them with 3D hardware is bad business, and we’re not alone. In an ongoing poll on Blu-ray.com, responders overwhelmingly agree that exclusive bundles are stalling the adoption of 3D at home.
What do you think? Are you holding off on purchasing a 3D-ready display because of the lack of 3D content? Are you an early adopter annoyed by these exclusive bundles?
Leave your comments below and let us know what you think.
PlayStation controller care of MNgilen