Friday, December 08, 2006

HD-DVD poised to win

Due to recent events, it's hard for me to have any gusto towards the 360's recent victory over the PS3 at the Apollo and in New York Times' comparison.

So rather, I'll direct my attention toward the format war. It looks as though consumers may be seeing the PS3's forced Blu-ray inclusion as a bad thing. This conclusion is based off a survey around the 'net that shows nearly a %50 more positive outlook towards HD-DVD from consumers. "Consumers are clearly not warming up to Blu-ray," says Joystiq.

Digital Trends indirectly backs this up by having an article where an author switches sides in the war. It's an excellent read because the author originally backed Blu-ray, but now suggests that Sony's marred handling of the product has etched Blu-ray's unfamiliar logo in a tombstone.

The problems with Blu-Ray have created extreme cost and execution problems for Sony and now their premier division (instead of being the profit center for Sony) is predicting they will take a $1.5B loss next year largely resulting from this decision. To put this in perspective, just think what would happen if Appleā€™s iPod group, instead of generating massive profit, suddenly dropped into massive loss. Now you can see why the Sony PlayStation division just changed out their top executives

Even more interesting is how these articles and statements come out now. At the time of this writing, HD-DVD is the winner at stats with 1 tie and the rest victories. In 4/7 stats are clear victories, where the remaining 3 are close.

I'm still not convinced that there is a clear winner. But I'm glad to see that more DRM-inflicted and Sony-backed format losing (Blu-ray uses BD+ for addition copy protection). What this format war is really doing is preventing people like me from buying movies at all. It's hard to buy DVD, knowing it's probably going to be replaced, but it's hard to pick a side in an unfinished war that most people haven't noticed is going on.

Consumers used to buy products and get something in return...why does it feel like we're servicing business more than they are servicing us?


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