Defining High Defintion's Destiny this Holiday Season

Dennis Faas's picture

There are some conflicting reports this Christmas on which high definition movie format is best to put your buck behind. After Toshiba's HD-DVD dominated most of 2006, 2007 has belonged to Sony's Blu-ray, which efficiently locked up most movie studios. Unfortunately for Sony, at least one major studio switch has changed the momentum heading into 2008.

Back in the spring of this year, it looked fairly certain that Blu-ray was going to bump HD-DVD off the road en route to a stunning next-gen victory. With its hardware tucked under the hood of every Sony PlayStation 3 and Blockbuster announcing it would only carry Blu-ray movies, Sony's stuff looked hot. However, neither Sony nor its Blu-ray player could finish the job, and the last half of 2007 featured a resurrection of HD-DVD through an exclusive deal with Paramount and Blockbuster's decision to also carry HD-DVD flicks in some stores.

Unlike the first half of 2007, some very good movies are headed to HD-DVD this holiday season, including 'The Bourne Ultimatum', 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix', and 'Knocked Up'. According to some reports, they're also outselling Blu-ray movies, ending a long-time Sony winning streak. (Source:

Despite all the excitement in the HD-DVD camp over the resurfacing of their chances, other reports maintain that it's all just delaying the inevitable. Hollywood Reporter argues that 2008 will again be dominated by Blu-Ray, especially as the PlayStation 3 begins to grow in popularity. The console has been mired in a third-place rut behind competition from Nintendo and Microsoft since it first launched in November of 2006. With more games headed to the PS3 in the coming year, it's almost certain the Blu-ray-packing system will start to move from store shelves to home entertainment centers. (Source:

By comparison, Microsoft's support for HD-DVD is limited to an optional add-on drive, usually priced at $129.

This reporter will have to disagree with Hollywood Reporter. Given the new support for HD-DVD from Paramount (in addition to Universal), Toshiba's format will only grow in popularity during 2008. That won't help Sony's chances of a knockout punch, and a last-place console is unlikely to change the results any day soon.

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