The war is all but over. One side has capitulated, and is withdrawing from the field of battle. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m talking about the next genertaion DVD format.
After suffering a series of crippling blows to it’s efforts, Toshiba has announced it’s dropping the HD-DVD format. Not only is it dropping it, but is going to be buying back existing stock from retailers. This is not just a blow to Toshiba (the master minds of HD-DVD), but to it’s partners as well: Paramount, Universal, Sanyo, and Microsoft. All had invested a good deal of capital into the HD-DVD format, and in a few cases had banked on it being the next common format (especially for PC’s and lap tops).
Two links for reading:
I’m happy I that I did not invest in an HD-DVD player or an X-Box 360. Of course, I never intended to ever buy an X-Box in any form. So my purchase of a PS3 is looking smarter than before. Since purchasing it last November, I have added 10 Blu-Ray movies to my collection, and for new movies am looking mainly at Blu-Ray as my prefered format. In reality, I had planned on getting a PS3 anyway (Final Fantasy addict here!), so the Blu-Ray was a bonus, much like the PS2’s DVD capability was. In both the case of the PS2 and PS3, they were my first foray into the next generation format.
But more than that, I’m quite pleased to see Microsoft (or Micro$oft, MicroSux, or Micro-Borg) get a bit of a come uppance. I’m also snickering madly at all those X-Box partisans who were touting the HD-DVD player for it. Muhahahahaha!!! Suckers!
I do feel a bit sorry for all those who plunked down the cash for an HD-DVD player (but not the X-Box add on!). But as has been said repeatedly on the news and in articles, this was much like the Beta vs VHS fight of the 1980’s. Back then, Sony lost out with Betmax. This time they stomped the competition with Blu-Ray.
IMO, the Blu-Ray format is slightly better than the HD-DVD format. Blu-Ray players tend to be more stable, and less sensitive, and the discs have a greater storage capacity. The downside, at least until now, was the cost factor. But even with players at $100-200 less than a Blu-Ray player, HD-DVD could not catch on. Of course the distinct lack of a marketing effort didn’t help either. And then there’s who partnered with Toshiba on this. Sanyo, Paramount, and Universal were good partners. Paramount and Universal had the movie libraries to get an “in” with consumers, and Sanyo had the manufacturing and distribution assets to help out. But Microsoft? Not so good.
To alot of people (myself included), being associated withMicrosoft is a bad thing. Microsoft is not exactly known for “high quality products,” as evidence by the numerous buggy Window’s releases, and all sorts of compatibility and development issues. Plus, Microsoft has a reputtation of wanting to be a monopoly, and stiffle competition. They want to be your one and only source for all things computer (at least in the home and small business market). So when they signed on to HD-DVD, it actually hurt Toshiba’s efforts.
But for consumers at large, this surrender by Toshiba is a good thing. Actually it didn’t matter who won, as long as one came out on top. Now, when consumers go to get a nextgen player, there won’t be competing formats, just competing manufacturers. It will reduce the costs of companies who put out DVD’s in converting to a new format, and streamline the production and distribution of the new discs.