Will Blu-ray prices come down as quickly as they did when HD DVD was around? No. Will consumers buy high definition Blu-ray discs at $29.99 and higher for new releases? No way.
Sure you have the early adopters, the one who bought players for $1200 and didn’t mind paying $35 for a disc. And, you have some who were waiting for the format war decision to be made, and are now willing to pay $399(Sony BDP-S300) for a player. But for the mass consumer, Blu-ray is still too expensive.
Here’s where HD DVD will have the last laugh. By the time Blu-ray Disc becomes affordable for the mass market, VOD, AppleTV HD, and other digital formats will make the disc format obsolete. Personally, I never the liked the disc format. The surface of the disc itself has always been so susceptible to damage. A digital format however, if stored correctly and backed up, is archival.
So was the format war good for consumers? Not in the way that it confused and delayed consumers who may have bought earlier into high definition. But it was good in that the competition between the two formats forced the prices down. For now, look for a few quick deals on Blu-ray Disc products. But in this economy, you won’t see as many high def converts as the industry would like to see.