We've certainly been critics of BD-Live in the past, but Sony reports that Blu-ray's interactive platform is catching on. Sony's servers for BD-Live content are coming up on the one million hit mark, according to a report by Video Business, and Sony VP Rich Marty is quoted saying that "consumers are engaging with this game-changing interactivity and are defining BD Live as that killer application." That's in pretty stark contrast to previous reports that industry insiders considered Blu-ray's interactive features to be mostly a let down.
While the one million mark is surprising to us, we'd bet that the majority of those visits were made by PS3 owners--rather than more mainstream standalone players--for a few reasons. First, only a fraction of standalone Blu-ray are Profile 2.0 compatible, which is necessary to access BD-Live features. Of those Profile 2.0 players, so far all of them require a wired Ethernet connection to connect to BD-Live features, while the PS3 can connect via Wi-Fi. Lastly, in our experience, even the best standalone Blu-ray players have handled online content clumsily compared to the PS3, which boasts superior processing power. For BD-Live to go mainstream it needs to work on all players, which means Blu-ray hardware makers have to improve the user experience.
While we've often found interactive Blu-ray content to be lacking, we've seen some signs of improvement. The upcoming The Dark Knight Blu-ray disc will feature a BD-Live feature that allows you to create your own picture-in-picture video commentary track and share it. We're also looking forward to seeing Office Space on Blu-ray, which according to The Digital Bits features bonus content such as, "Jump to Conclusions 2.0, Grab the Stapler, Printer Beat-Down, Last Piece of Cake, Whack-a-Drone, Post-It Pandemonium and The Apathy of Man: History Track."
What's your take? Is BD-Live set to take off in 2009? Or will it continue to be more of a gimmick than a useful feature?