09 May 2007

The HD Format War

CD with water on it

I've been a bit interested in the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war. When I say interested I mean I'm interested in when it is over so I can just buy the one player and not care.

Therefore I found the report that Hollywood movie studios and the ongoing battle between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats will ultimately decide which next-generation home console becomes the most successful (from GameIndustry.biz) a surprising prediction. Because, honestly, I think the current console war will determine the winner of the movie format war.

Seriously, most people I know with a HDTVs are gamers... though, I guess, half the people I know are gamers (the other half are dancers). We care about high definition format for our games and, yes, we want our movies to be high definition too but I still think it is a long time coming. My guess, for the movie war, is also Blu-Ray but then that's because every PS3 sale is a Blu-Ray player sale too. Microsoft aren't risking the same all or nothing on the XBox 360 and therefore every sale of a 360 isn't a HD-DVD player sale. Blu-ray gets more market penetration as a result of this and that slowly moves into the general consumer market.

At the same time the high definition movie scene is still very much at the early adopter stage. I've got a HDTV but the prospect of paying £25 a title instead of the, often, £5-£10 for a DVD doesn't really compel me to move into the high definition film market at the moment. I'm sure, in a few years, the market will look much the same as it did when VHS was being phased out by DVD but until that point I'm in no rush to get on the bandwagon.

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