Thursday, April 3, 2008

Microsoft Ceases Production of Gramophone 360 Accessory

Another Casualty of the Next-Gen Media War

Bellevue, WA- The battle for media format supremacy is over and Sony’s Blu-ray technology is the winner. This news comes as a blow to consumers who backed the innovations of other competing companies, such as Microsoft.

Fierce competition between Microsoft and Sony over media format was largely due to the release of the seventh generation of home video game consoles. Microsoft’s entry being the Xbox 360 and Sony’s being the third iteration of the Playstation console, the PS3.

Sony’s bid for media format was the, now industry standard, Blu-ray format. Microsoft decided to offer two organic formats; the HD-DVD and the Gramophone 360.

“The Gramophone seemed like a no-brainer,” said Michael York, a Microsoft executive. “People love music, and this thing is amazing.”

The Gramophone was invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison. It was the first device capable of recording and playing audio data.

“We think it was just a matter of marketing,” claimed York. “We second guessed our first instinct; to release the accessory before it was adequately tested, in order to get a jump on the market.”

The Gramophone 360 was an accessory which could be connected to the Xbox 360 console. It could be used to play low fidelity music from a disc, similar to a vinyl record.
Despite its appeal, it could not compete with the high definition Blu-ray video disc. As a result, many consumers, who purchased the hardware, are stuck with an obsolete peripheral.

Sony has dominated the media format arena before with the Sony/Phillips developed Compact Disc and the revolutionary Betamax.

Undaunted by the defeat, Microsoft has hinted at plans to release a Laser disc peripheral, for their console, later this year.