R.I.P. HD DVD
The war is over. That's right. The 2-year long HD DVD and Blu-Ray war is, for all intents and purposes, over. And the loser? Toshiba.
For the second time no less. And that's gotta hurt.
Warner Bros., the largest movie company with the most titles, announced on Jan. 4 it is abandoning HD DVD in favour of Sony's Blu-Ray. And this announcement came just days after Christmas shoppers spent millions of dollars on 1080p HD DVD equipment. Including my Suz who surprised me with the new player seen at left on Christmas morning.
Three years ago, when information was sketchy at best, I talked about the upcoming HD DVD/Blu-Ray battle, and related it to the BETA/VHS fiasco of the 80s. But then, I think most technodorks did too. Back in the 80s Toshiba was a Sony ally. This time around, Toshiba was one of the primary developers of Sony's rival HD format, which is very unfortunate.
Those perky folks at Toshiba were caught completely off guard by Warner's ill-timed announcement, just before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, effectively sucking the perk right out of them. In retaliation they softly threatened Warner by mentioning "contractual agreements" in their press release, here, then went running up and down the streets declaring "We're not dead!"
Meanwhile, the Sony guys were jumping up and down, popping the bubbly, and screaming "Konichiwa! Konichiwa!" or something that actually means Yay.
The end result has consumers experiencing these same mixed emotions. There are a lot of upset consumers who banked on HD, or thought their players would be safe as long as the war continued. Warner Bros. primary goal was to end the consumer confusion and get people buying Hi Def instead of waiting it out. They've certainly pleased some consumers, and dealt a harsh blow to the rest, like me, when they turned their backs on HD DVD.
On a more amusing note, this format war was so good Hollywood couldn't write it. "HD DVD: The look and sound of