You’ve been keeping up with The Bitbag coverage on the high-definition format wars and the end has finally come. Sorry, HD-DVD fans . . . Toshiba has thrown in the towel. Wal-Mart is truly a powerful force and it seems to have dropped the final straw on the camel’s back by announcing last Friday that they would drop sales of HD-DVD players in June. In a Q&A session, Toshiba tried to downplay the situation, by referring to it as a “so-called” format war, and announced they have no plans to continue development for the HD market in the near future. They have quickly denied the possibly of developing Blu-Ray players at this time.
Paramount and Universal have already made plans to publish in the Blu-Ray format now. Microsoft has announced that this will not really impact their strong leadership in the console market. G4TV had the soundness of mind to recognize that the war may not have been between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, but rather whether even a disc format will continue to be viable. With the decreasing cost of storage and increased rate of data transfer, downloadable HD movies seem to be the way to go. Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix and Apple have all gone this route. Hulu is still in beta, but it should become a popular portal for downloadable television episodes. It has been slow getting people on board, but downloadable content has seen a steady rise in the last year.
Speaking of Microsoft, I have no idea why Sony fanboys are rubbing this news in the face of Xbox 360 owners as if they made the wiser decision by purchasing the PlayStation 3. I have already heard people say, “I told you so.” Please. Most of you were sitting uneasily on one side of the fence, so don’t get all high and mighty. I would say a good percentage of 360 owners could have cared less about the absence of a HD player, because many of them were waiting it out anyway. I would say the 360 owners were wiser for doing so. What would have happened if Blu-Ray lost? Then, PS3 owners would have been sitting with an overpriced machine and an outdated HD player. Home has consistently been slow to follow in the footsteps of Xbox Live. If and when the downloadable hi-def movie format picks up, PS3 will be left in the dust again, but I digress.
You can read about the demise of HD-DVD as well as the events that lead up to it here.