A Newsweek story says:
Both sides came to Vegas ready to open fire. Toshiba announced it would ship the first HD DVD players in March, priced at just $499. By contrast, the earliest delivery date for a Blu-ray player is sometime this summer, at a price of $1,800. Sony believes it can overcome its rivals’ head start by rolling out Blu-ray in the hotly anticipated PlayStation 3, due later this year.
I have to wonder why they quote the cheap, cheap, no-frills, player price on HD-DVD and not the $800 price of the standard player? To make things more confusing, they quote the expensive price on the Blu-ray player, not the $1000 price of the cheaper player. The give the cheap price on the HD-DVD and the expensive price on the Blu-ray player. I originally figure it was a biased bit since it is an MSNBC site, which means Microsoft is involved. However, so far as I know, Newsweek has no ties to Microsoft. They also give a vague Summer date for Blu-ray when we know it will likely be May to June, making it seem like HD-DVD will have a larger head start then it will.
Once it launches, I am sure you will see plenty of ads telling consumers that the movies they want will be available on Blu-ray, and in many cases, only on Blu-ray and not HD-DVD. So I have to wonder if the lead time will mean anything.
Anyhow, back to the story. They say later:
Lately the lines between the opposing camps have started to blur as major players hedge their bets. Paramount and Warner plan to release films in both formats. Samsung and Hewlett-Packard, once committed solely to Blu-ray, have hinted they will support HD DVD, too.
Which completely ignores the fact that several studios and manufacturers are committed solely to Blu-ray and not hedging their bets. Fox isn’t hedging it’s bets, nor is Sony Pictures, MGM or Apple.
Toshiba should just bow out of the format war. Let Blu-ray win and compete where they should put all their efforts. Getting SED based TVs out and affordable. If they can get SED sets to work near the promise, then we will have a near unbeatable TV technology.
The end of the article questions if the format war will matter in the end.
I think it will for some time. It will be a while before people around the world, let alone in the US, have widespread broadband access to have content delivered over the Internet. Even then, many of us will want to own the physical disc. The only real question is if one of the holographic formats try to compete in the video market, then the format war may be moot… of course there is a format war coming up in the holographic disc arena as well, so once again nothing is new under the sun.