Las Vegas (NV) - Despite a nearly unprecedented level of anticipation, there really wasn't much to take away from today's Blu-ray press conference at CES, but a couple of the interactivity features seem promising.
The press conference actually started out in mild chaos, after countless people who pre-registered to guarantee a spot were not on the list. Turnout ended up being quite manageable, though, so I'm pretty sure everyone was able to get in.
Once the event started, it turned in to one of the stuffiest, uneventful press conferences of the year. There were representatives from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and of course, Warner Bros. Kind of surprisingly, there were no guys from the hardware side, which led to the panel being unable to answer any Blu-ray hardware questions.
Almost all of the things mentioned were regurgitations of statistics and milestones that have long since been old news. Disney, Fox, and Lionsgate all had nothing new to announce. And Warner Bros, despite being the biggest newsmaker in high-def over the past week, didn't discuss any of its future plans from a software standpoint. The Warner executive on hand did, however, answer a question about the move, and said definitively that Sony did not offer financial incentives to come over to the Blu world. In summary, there were no announcements regarding future movies or future hardware devices.
The only real news came from Sony Pictures, talking about the interactive features it is working on, and even most of these have already been demoed and discussed in previous shows. A new ecosystem called "BD Live" is in the works and will function essentially the same way as HD DVD's Web-enabled service. Additionally, Sony said it is committed to delivering more interactive features not seen on HD DVD, including online multiplayer gaming, downloadable ringtones, and being able to register Blu-ray Discs directly from the disc.
Additionally, users will be able to pop in a Blu-ray movie on their PS3 and then watch it on a PSP over Wi-Fi anywhere in the world, a feature that Sony today announced is slated to be available by the end of 2008.