Blu-Ray and HD-DVD War in Final Stages
"The format war is in its final phase," crows Steve Feldstein of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which, like Sony and Disney, is releasing titles exclusively on Blu-ray. "It's never been a question of if Blu-ray will pass HD DVD, but a matter of when."
But Ken Graffeo of Universal Studios Home Entertainment has hope. "You can't determine a trend over a couple of months," he said. Universal is currently the only major studio that is exclusively supporting HD-DVD. Graffeo notes that Blu-Ray is outselling because it has more titles available for it, as opposed to HD-DVD. Although that logic is a bit faulty, considering that there must be a reason for it.
On top of that, Graffeo fails to realize that this "trend" has been on-going since early in 2006 when both formats were fresh out of the gates. Even in early 2006, way before the PS3 and when both formats had a measly selection of titles, Blu-Ray was pulling in similar sales as HD-DVD.
Analysts are banking on Blu-Ray being the dominant format. In fact, Alison Casey, an analyst for London-based firm Understanding & Solutions is predicting HD-DVD's end to occur in 2008, solidifying Blu-Ray as the sole HD format. "They never wanted two formats. It confuses consumers and creates problems with them with returns," Casey told The Post. "They're looking to go to a single format as soon as possible."
Of course it is also the PS3 that has been cited as a reason for Blu-Ray's success; yesterday we reported Phil Harrison sharing the very same sentiments. Casey says that the gap will only continue to widen when Blu-Ray players drop in price.
"If you look at the top 25 selling DVDs last year, 23 were released on Blu-ray," Fox's Feldstein says. "Just two were exclusive to HD DVD."
"In four or five years, broadband speeds will have increased to the point where downloading movies and burning them to a disc becomes much more easy and appealing than going out and buying a disc for many consumers," analyst Casey says.
3/14/2007 Arnold Katayev