The announcement that Warner was “going blu” had to be a shock to the Toshiba nerves. But will the format really die?
Even if Universal and Paramount do eventually switch to Blu-ray Disc (the exclusive Paramount deal was rumoured to be only for a year), there is still the HD DVD optical disc format. I can’t imagine Toshiba swapping out all their new internal HD DVD drives for Blu-ray optical drives. There is certainly room for another disc format in the PC world.
Yeah, the Blu-ray format holds more capacity, 25 GB vs. the smaller 15 GB. But with double-sided and double-layered options, the HD DVD format can still compete as a valid backup disc or data transfer solution.
But in the movie world, this whole format war was just confusing the consumer. However, if HD DVD does bite the dust in home media, DVD collectors will feel like they were misled into starting their hi def movie collection in HD DVD. And all those folks who recently bought 90,000 $99 HD DVD players at Walmart must be really happy about this announcement.
If the format war is really over, what will really hurt the consumer is that prices were dropping rapidly in part due to the competition and in part due to pushing ’07 holiday sales. But if Blu-ray wins, I doubt they will be offering a $99 player any time soon. They SHOULD, but they won’t.