The PlayStation 4 Pro will not have a UHD Blu Ray drive, while Microsoft have included one in the Xbox One S (and will presumably include one in the upcoming Xbox Scorpio, too). This actually comes as a bit of a surprise, given Sony’s media background, and their propensity to push the latest media format with their consoles whenever they get the chance (CDs with PlayStation, DVD with PS2, and Blu Rays with PS3).
You would think this would be an issue for PS4 Pro sales going forward, with the Xbox One S’s appeal as a media machine in addition to a games console prompting people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in a games console to buy it- and certainly, the sales figures the last few months reflect that. However, Michael Pachter, well known analyst at Wedbush Securities, disagrees, stating in an exclusive interview with GamingBolt that physical media is a dying format anyway, and that its inclusion is unlikely to shift the needle of sales much.
“When was the last time you rented a DVD or Blu Ray?” Pachter laughed.” Almost no one buys DVDs – well, I shouldn’t say that, DVD sales are down by about 50% in the last couple of years – and UHD disc sales are about 5% of the total, so who cares? You’re talking about such a small slice, why would you build something in to a console that’s going to be obsolete? Now, Microsoft chose to do it, I admire them and respect them for giving us something we don;t necessarily need. But I don’t think anybody cares, I really don’t.”
I don’t think I necessarily agree with him here- retail stores, for instance, are likely to push the Xbox One S more now, in conjunction with 4K televisions, to score sales in tandem of both products. Meanwhile, anecdotally, people perceive the Xbox One S to be higher value than the PS4, simply because it includes a UHD drive- even if that is not something that they are likely to use. This war is all about perception- and the omission of a UHD Blu Ray drive is definitely hurting Sony on that front.