Blu-ray Buzzards Circling HD-DVD

Dennis Faas's picture

In the war of Blu-ray versus HD-DVD, the last battle appears to be just over the horizon, mere weeks after it seemed Toshiba's format was in solid shape against its competitor from Sony.

The reason this might all be at an end? No longer is Warner Brothers the only studio threatening to ditch Toshiba and HD-DVD. Just days after the studio officially announced its intention to only support Blu-ray in the future, Variety is now reporting that HD-DVD's best cards -- NBC Universal and Paramount -- are making undercurrent shifts so that they may soon change their allegiance to Sony as well. Though nothing is confirmed, such a move would indeed mark the final showdown; call it the HD-DVD Waterloo, Berlin, Alamo. (Source:

Both Gamespot and Variety report that the door is open for Universal to end its relationship with HD-DVD. That's because their exclusivity deal recently ended. Reports between the two sources conflict as to whether Paramount has ended its exclusivity deal, though if Universal were to fall, speculation is that Paramount and Dreamworks would follow shortly thereafter. (Source:

To some, the move is a big deal. Most electronics stores -- like Best Buy, Circuit City, heck, Wal-Mart -- can now focus their attention marketing just one overpriced set of hardware instead of the other. Of course, if Toshiba's high def campaign dies, with it goes the primary competition for Sony, which has not always acted with the wallet of the average consumer in mind (cough, PS3, cough). To date, Toshiba stand-alone players and the Xbox 360 add-on have presented the most cost-effective way to go HD.

To others, it's not such a big deal. HD movie sales still pale in comparison to good 'ol DVD. Heck, I recently watched Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslett in 'Quills' on VHS. Surprisingly, the movie still played. My girlfriend's 20-inch standard def JVC wasn't too concerned, and neither are those many consumers who remain glued to their ten-year-old non-HD DLP big-screens.

Sony's victory -- if we can even call it that, yet -- will be sweet for many, and will undoubtedly increase sales. However, it's up to the company to reduce those status quo $400 price tags so that the rest of us can jump aboard.

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