There are a number of things in this world that make me feel old. Now, granted, I’m only twenty four, but that’s almost halfway to thirty. Now, before I get too far into an existential crisis, I’m going to take the next exit here and get back on track. You see, when I was kid, movies were on VHS. These big, blocky bricks that you put into a larger and even less attractive brick machine. You couldn’t skip scenes, in fact if you wanted to watch it from the beginning, you had to rewind through the entire film!
I know I’m sounding like someone with major first world problems right now, but the fact of the matter is that technology has made things far more convenient. Not to mention the fact that those VHS tapes had incredibly low resolution compared to today’s standards. They didn’t even run at standard definition. It was more like sub-par definition. Okay, now I just sound like an elitist, and that’s the last thing I want to sound like.
After all this, the world was introduced to the glory of the DVD. This usher in a new age of glorious clear pictures and the ability to start and stop the movie whenever you wanted without having to fast forward or rewind. This format is still widely used, but the new heir to the throne is the format known as Blu-Ray discs. When the PS3 released, Blu-Rays were just beginning to show up. In fact, they had competition in the form of HD-DVD’s. Although competition is a strong word, it was more like they had an ant crawling on them and they waited a while to smash it. Yeah, it was that bad.
So nowadays, Blu-Rays are everywhere, and for good reason. The PS3 adopted the format for both movies and games and we all know how that turned out (awesome). Now the PS4 and Xbox One are coming out, both of which are equipped with Blu-Ray drives. So does this mean you can continue enjoying your massive collection of Blu-Ray movies? Short answer is yes, long answer is yes, but you have to work for it. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
How hard can it be to play my movies?
Not very hard, but it is going to take a bit of compromise on your end. I know we all hate being online, because the government is always watching and hackers are just waiting for you to get on so they can steal your bank information and snatch the four dollars you have in your account. Oh wait, that’s me. Anyway, the PS4 is not going to be able to play DVD’s and Blu-Rays the second it comes out of the no doubt shiny box it will be brought home in. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Sony is releasing a small (300MB) update on the console’s launch to enable Blu-Ray and DVD playback, in addition to other features that I will explain in a future article. Point is, you’ll want to get the old Wi-Fi password out or have an ethernet cable ready to hook your PS4 up to the internets. On most internet connections, this update will take less than twenty minutes so you’ll have some time to make a sandwich or read my upcoming new owners survival guide while you wait. Shameless plug? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely, in fact I’ll probably do it again during this article.
What is Blu-Ray?
We’ve all seen the sleek blue cases on display in various stores, but do we really know what Blu-Ray is, and more importantly how it will change the way you view movies? The format has been widely used for some time now, but it’s important to know what it does and why you should be watching all of your movies this way. Here are the three major benefits of Blu-Ray movies:
1. Crystal Clear Picture: Blu-Ray movies run at a resolution of 1080p. For some of us that number may just seem like a one, zero, eight, and another zero followed by the letter P and nothing more. To put it in perspective, the maximum resolution of DVD’s without any upscaling was 480p, so a much lower number. This means that Blu-Ray movies offer better color, more crisp images, and true to life detail.
2. Massive Storage: In one of my previous articles about installing Hard Drives in the PS4 (did it again!) I mentioned that Killzone: Shadow Fall was pushing fifty gigabytes of space. That’s a massive game, and impossible to fit on a single DVD disc. Blu-Ray was designed to have multiple layers in order to provide a long term format. Utilizing multiple layers, a single Blu-Ray disc can hold up to two hundred gigabytes of space with each layer holding twenty five gigabytes.
3. More Durable Design: Blu-Rays have a scratch resistant layer, making them thicker and more durable than the average DVD. It is still possible to damage them, but it requires far more neglect and misuse than a DVD disc would.
A Simple Update, and you’re Done!
So there you have it. PS4 will play all of your Blu-Ray and DVD movies after you’ve installed a day one update that will probably take less time than it takes you to get out of bed in the morning. A small roadblock, but one that is about as detrimental as a single pebble being thrown at a brick wall.
Do you purchase your movies on Blu-Ray? Does a day one update bother you? Tell us in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 11/01/2013