The bad news keeps piling up for Sony. A company named Target Technology has claimed that it has patents on the reflective layer materials that are an integral part of the Blu-ray design. They specified silver alloys that are less expensive than gold but more corrosion resistant than pure silver. The suit was filed in Southern Indiana U.S. District Court in May.
Proponents of Blu-ray keep up a brave front, but this is just one more bump in the road. The Sony PlayStation 3 is a poster child for trying to buy market share through a loss-leader design, only to be blown away by the more modest — and less expensive — Nintendo Wii that has taken the gaming market by storm. It’s the built-in Blu-ray player that makes the PS3 so expensive. Sony has just announced a $100 price cut for their entry level Blu-ray player, but it’s still much more expensive than the competing HD DVD model. And now this patent suit promises to take another bite out of the bottom line.
The race between Blu-ray and HD DVD is still not over, but it’s clearly not an easy win for Blu-ray.