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Game Over for HD-DVD as Warner Sides With Blu-Ray

by David Mercer | 1月 05, 2008

On the plane back from last year's CES (Jan 07) I was chatting with a technology journalist who was drooling over the prospect of writing endless articles on the juicy HD disc war. I promised him that by the time of the next CES it would be more or less over. He was none too pleased at the prospect of having to find another technology battle to fill the column inches. And the media has indeed revelled in the to-ing and fro-ing of the disc wars over the past 12 months, implying for the most part that things are too close to call. I'm afraid more than a few analyst firms have also been caught up in the "will it/won't it" debate until very recently as well, suggesting that the battle will go on for a long time to come. They shall remain nameless. Warner's announcement today that it will drop support of HD-DVD and support Blu-ray Disc exclusively confirms the Strategy Analytics prediction (see previous multiple blog entries) that BD was going to win. The game is surely over when Warner, the studio that gave the original DVD its lifeline, in partnership with Toshiba, HD-DVD's major supporter, jumps ship so spectacularly. Hyperbole is all too frequently manifested in our industry, but the Warner decision surely comes close to qualifying for the "historic" category. It puts any further CES announcements in the shade and confirms our long-held belief that BD will win the HD video disc battle. The stunning endorsement of Warner that "consumers have clearly chosen blu-ray" is about a big a black eye for a consumer technology as I can ever remember. Paramount's and Dreamwork's lawyers will be checking the fine print as we speak to find a way out of their exclusive HD-DVD deals. Microsoft is expected to make announcements about a new Xbox 360 SKU at CES (maybe, maybe not HD-DVD). Toshiba will do its best to put a positive spin on its dying technology. But nothing can save it now, at least as a video publishing medium. Let's move on. A new story awaits for 2008. Add to Technorati Favorites
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