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

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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."

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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]

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DISCUSSION

If the price doesn't drop to match or beat HD-DVD, BR is in deep trouble. Mom and Pop don't care about formats— if they even care about High Def at all. They want the lower price. The early adopters already have chosen their format of preference, now the general population will determine the winner— and it will be based on price.