Arguably the most significant differentiating factor for Sony's PlayStation 3 is its built-in Blu-ray player, which provides both increased storage space for games and high-definition video playback. Earlier this year, a study by The Nielsen Company indicated that the console's Blu-ray playback capability was the number one motivating factor behind potential PS3 purchases, but a new study indicates that consumers are increasingly turning to devices dedicated to the format.
As reported by Home Media Magazine, a new study by Centris indicates that while the PS3 remains the dominant Blu-ray media player at 47 percent, dedicated Blu-ray players are a close second at 45 percent. According to Centris' research, the PS3 enjoyed a two-to-one advantage over Blu-ray players up until six months ago, when dedicated devices began quickly gaining ground.
Those large gains in Blu-ray player growth are indicative of explosive adoption of the media format among US households within the past few years. Centris' research indicates that 17 percent of all US households have at least one Blu-ray Disc player, a figure that has doubled since 2008. Further, about 1.7 million US households own both a PS3 and Blu-ray player.
By comparison, DVD player adoption reportedly stands at 95 percent, and mail-order movie rental service Netflix has penetrated 15 percent of US households. Centris' research also cites figures from The NPD Group indicating that Apple-based computers have found their way into 12 percent of US homes through the end of 2009, while adoption of Microsoft's Windows-based PCs stood at 85 percent.
As for the practical application of Centris' findings, the report noted that Blu-ray disc growth requires that the format move beyond its heavy reliance on the PS3.