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Feb 19

Blue vs. Red / HD Format War Over?

It seems the demise of HD DVD predicted by many is soon to be a reality. In an article posted at engadget, Toshiba is pulling the plug on HD DVD! Say hello to my little Playstation3 friend, Blu-Ray!

Japan’s NHK has followed up The Hollywood Reporter’s earlier indications Toshiba was ready to dump its money-losing HD DVD
business, with news that the company is prepared to cease manufacturing
software and hardware, at a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
This caps the worst week ever for red, when HD DVD was dumped by
Netflix and Wal-mart, pushed to the background by Best Buy and put on
— an apparently incredibly short — deathwatch right here.
Toshiba is mum on the subject right now, but we hear there’s plenty of
cheap players and movies in a dumpster around back of the HQ.

Although I’ve had a gut feeling that Sony and the Blu-Ray format would win this battle in the end, I really expected the battle to last at least another year. Polls were listing the formats running neck and neck up until a few months ago. Evidently the holiday shopping season initiated the death knell for the HD DVD format.

When I first heard of these two competing formats for high density data storage and HD Video delivery, I wondered if Sony could wage war and win this time. Considering the fact they lost the Betamax vs. VHS Format War which began in the 70s and ended in the 80s, I was dubious but hopeful all along. I knew back then that Beta was a superior format. Quality was visibly better but all the associated recorders/players were more expensive. So in order for the video tape format wars to conclude, the less expensive format had to gain marketshare and drive future publishing from studios to the dominant format.

Now that I know the better quality, greater storage, and more compatible (with my Playstation2 Game Library) HD format solution will win, I’m all the more likely to begin earnest planning toward the purchase of a Playstation 3. Lot’s of fun to come!

~SP

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