PS3 News: Blu-Ray and HD-DVD War in Final Stages - PS3 News

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Blu-Ray and HD-DVD War in Final Stages

  Could this be the final nail in the proverbial coffin for HD-DVD? The NY Post published an article stating that Blu-Ray is expected to take over the lagging medium anytime now. The Post cited the same info we reported weeks ago of Blu-Ray sales being three times that of HD-DVD.

   "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

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