War Ends In 18 Months, Possibly with HD DVD Upset Victory Over Blu-ray

Sales of next-gen high-def disc players won't kick into high gear for another 18 months, says a fresh report from Forrester Research, not until they reach the $200 price point. The study didn't say whose players, though. What was once an easy call—Blu-ray by Christmas 2007—has gotten murkier, and in the most recent rounds, HD DVD has been bitchslapping Blu-ray up and down the ring.

Following price drops in HD DVD players (perhaps resulting in a loss to manufacturers) and Paramount's decision to stick solely to that format, analyst J.P. Gownder writes:

"Weakened by these developments, Blu-ray needs to offer a viable hardware model at the $250 price point by Christmas 2007. The Blu-ray camp must also stave off further studio defections, and employ more aggressive promotional tactics to counter HD DVD's recent momentum."
People need a $200 player or they won't buy, in spite of the current rampant sales of high-def TVs. It's still Blu-ray's game to lose, but here's Gownder's bottom line:
"Failure to alter strategy would open up Blu-ray to a possible upset defeat at the hands of HD DVD."
[Reuters]