Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The New Industry Standard

It is decidedly so. The two year battle between Sony's Blu-Ray and Toshiba's HD-DVD is over with the former coming out victorious. The future is Blu-Ray for everything high-definition and extra capacity. I predicted this would happen last year despite Sony's unfortunate history with failing to control industry formats during the 1980s Sony BetaMax vs. the JVC-developed VHS war to the Sony MiniDisc that no one seemed to invest in. I knew that Sony would lock up this market for a few reasons: In 2006, when Blu-Ray and HD-DVD each entered the market, I saw both writable discs side-by-side on display in a local electronics store. On a practical level, it was Blu-Ray that offered more storage capacity. On an aesthetic level, it was Blu-Ray again that had the better design, packaging and logo. Fast-forward some months later and Sony launched PlayStation 3 - a next-generation game console that gave its users faster computer processing speeds, allowing higher definition graphics and sound. As well as including a wireless game controller for the first time, the PS3 also came with a built-in Blu-Ray player. This allowed Sony to have the edge in the market with 10.5 million Blu-Ray players in homes already before the sale of their stand-alone Blu-Ray players. By contrast, Toshiba has only sold one million HD-DVD players. Just after the following companies agreed to only sell titles in the Blu-Ray format, the final nail in the coffin of HD-DVD had been hammered:

Matsushita (Panasonic)
Warner Bros
Walt Disney
20th Century Fox

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