Peace in Our Time (Kinda sorta..)

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:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8UT8QQO0&show_article=1&catnum=0

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/02/19/toshiba.hdd/index.html

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.

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5 thoughts on “Peace in Our Time (Kinda sorta..)

  1. I got an Xbox 360 over the holidays, but I didn’t get it for the HD DVD player. I actually was planning on getting the PS3 for, in part, the blu-Ray DVD player it has. However, the PS3 didn’t play my PS2 games (unless I wanted to shell out more for the expensive units that do play PS2 games), so the Xbox 360 won out.

    That aside, I was surprised that the end to the “blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD” saga came this soon. I figured it would rage on for another couple of years or so, and truth be told, I had no idea who would win out. I didn’t care who won, so long as someone won where I could finally buy the winner’s DVD player. I didn’t want to be a “Betamax” buyer, buying a product that would be useless after a short period of time. There are DVD players out there that support both blu-Ray and HD-DVD, but they were too expensive for my taste.

  2. Well, we got the 80GB, backwards compatible PS3. Yeah it was $100 more than the 40GB, but between the ability to play PS2 games, the extra USB ports, and the memory card slots, it was worth it IMO. We had the cash on hand, so it wasn’t a hit to the wallet.

    I never considered an X-Box360. On top of the usual Microsoft (lack of) Quality Control, there just aren’t any X-Box exclusive games that I have to have. I can’t stand Halo, so what else is there for the X-Box I can’t get on another system? ‘Nuff of that..

    I’m seriously enjoying the Blu-Ray movies though. It’s really worth it for newer movies heavy with special effects. Even slightly “older” movies like The 5th Element, really shine on Blu-Ray on a HDTV.

  3. Having worked in the Video Game Retail industry, X-Box 360 is a lousy product. They run hot, overheat breakdown fast. HD-DVD died because people had to pay $200 for the HD-DVD add on with the 360. Also keep in mind the average age of 360 players are the 16-25 year old (and nearly all Male) range, otherwords people who rely on other people to buy them the equipment, games and movies.

    I have a PS3 (60gb) and have had once since March 2007 (nearly a year now) and have not had a single problem with it. The system plays blue-ray, standard DVD, ps2 games and of course ps3 games with ease. I can barely remember any crashes with the system (they were all with Oblivion). Blue-ray simply won because people didn’t have to do anything but plug their ps3 in to watch blue-ray, no add ons, no seperate boxes cluttering already full media centers and since most 360 owners live in fear of the ‘red rings of death’ most of them are probley afraid to watch any movies on them anyway.

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