Prediction: Blu-ray takes the HD optical media crown.

brbrsm.pngI think I might just have to concur with the Hollywood Reporter on this one.

Prediction: Blu-ray blows away HD DVD

2008 is the year Sony’s Howard Stringer and the Blu-ray Disc will slay HD DVD as effectively as Joseph Turok dispenses with dinosaurs. If you’re unfamiliar with that metaphor, you probably don’t have a PlayStation 3.

I think Blu-ray is going to end up claiming the Consumer HD Optical Media crown…

The Hollywood Reporter lists several very good reasons:

Every PS3 console = a Blu-ray player. That means about 2.7 million Blu-ray players compared to 750,000 HD DVD. [despite all the super-discount HD DVD player deals]ps3.gif

Blu-ray movies also outsell HD DVD movies in Europe by a 3-to-1 margin.

Paramount, DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation recently joined Universal in exclusively embracing HD DVD. But those decisions stemmed from a $150 million “incentive payment” that smacked of desperation.

Warner Bros.’ “300” sales:
Blu-ray: 66%, HD DVD: 34%

Blockbuster, testing both formats, says:
“It’s still about 70%-30% in favor of Blu-ray at our stores that offer both”

But I think, most importantly, when stand-alone Blu-ray players start fulling up shelves, the true might of Sony Electronics may simply shove Toshiba’s HD DVD to the side. This is nothing against the quality of either format. In numerous reviews of comparable disks, there has been little to differentiate one format over the other– aside from “new” and “innovative” interactive features that offer little to the moviegoing experience.

Lastly, I have to think that this is one battle that Sony wants to win more than Toshiba.
micromv.gifAfter Sony’s failed attempts at MicroMV, Digital8 and, lest we forget, Betamax, I think there’s an issue of Samurai pride that makes this a battle they need to win. Their other recent failures, like the Clie or with the lithium-ion notebook batteries, hurt the bottom line and they need a long-term morale booster for their corporate pride.

Aside from all that, we can just hope there is one successor soon because before long, someone will get movie download rental and sales done right, at the right price, and that will mean the end of having to manufacture and schlep millions upon millions of disks (and packaging) around the world for consumers to just to watch a movie- for the most part- once.



3 Responses to “Prediction: Blu-ray takes the HD optical media crown.”

  1. 1 Jon
    January 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    The HD DVD-backing studios are no longer saying they are exclusive to HD DVD. If they release titles dual-format, the war is already won. Why would someone in the market for a high def player buy a player that can play the discs from two studios when they can buy a player that can play every studio’s discs?

    P.S. Toshiba manufactured the Zune, so I think they probably have pride issues now as well ;)

  2. March 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    There’s a nice article in the Wall Street Journal about Toshiba’s decision to pull out of the format war.

    Mr. Nishida: I didn’t think we stood a chance after Warner left us because it meant HD DVD would have just 20% to 30% of software market share. One has to take calculated risks in business, but it’s also important to switch gears immediately if you think your decision was wrong. We were doing this to win, and if we weren’t going to win then we had to pull out, especially since consumers were already asking for a single standard.

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