The PlayStation 3 is the only system currently available that can be upgraded to use all of the Blu-ray features planned for future release, leaving early adopters of other players in a no-win situation.
The future-proofed PS3, which is one of the cheapest existing Blu-ray players on the market, features inbuilt hardware and online access that enables users to upgrade the system’s Blu-ray capabilities as time goes by.
However, owners of other Blu-ray DVD players may find themselves unable to enjoy future developments in the technology because their machines are not upgradeable, reports the BBC.
The problem appears to have arisen because, unlike the HD-DVD camp, Blu-ray backers failed to devise a concrete standard relating to system requirements for the platform upon its launch. This meant that it wasn’t mandatory to include internet functionality in players which would allow users to download firmware upgrades and access newly released features.
Philips’ Frank Simonis, who is European chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association, acknowledges that it is "not an ideal situation", although he suggested that high definition playback itself, as opposed to extra features, is the most important thing to Blu-ray shoppers.
Oops. I'm on my third generation of firmware for my HD DVD player and I've had it less than six months. The discs just come to me in the mail, although I could download them and burn a disc myself if I wanted to. Or just plug an ethernet cable into the machine. Couldn't be easier.
I haven't seen the Christmas sales numbers yet, but I'll be interested to see what they look like.