Gartner: It’s Almost Over For HD DVD

It's Almost Over For HD DVDIt may not be over until the fat lady sings, but there’s a large woman standing on the stage and the band are already rocking to the Blu-ray theme tune.

Despite desperate price cuts by Toshiba on its HD DVD players in the U.S., research firm Gartner are going all Seven Of Nine and describing their resistance as futile, predicting Blu-ray’s dominance to be complete by the end of 2008 in the consumer market.

Toshiba’s price cuts came after Warner Bros delivered a devastating kick to the HD DVD goolies, declaring that it would shift from producing in both formats to just Blu-ray alone, making five of the seven major Hollywood studios exclusive Blu-ray producers.

This leaves poor old HD DVD (high definition digital video disc) with just two Hollywood chums, Paramount and Universal.

It's Almost Over For HD DVD“Gartner believes that Toshiba’s price-cutting may prolong HD DVD’s life a little, but the limited line-up of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format,” commented analyst Hiroyuki Shimizu in Gartner’s Semiconductor DQ Monday Report.

“Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over”, he added, as vast reservoirs of tears caused the lifeboats to be despatched in HD DVD-land.

Toshiba took the pruning shears to its US prices in mid January, slashing the price of the HD-A3 player in half (down to US$149.99), while its higher- end models also saw price tags tumble.

Like a punch drunk boxer, Toshiba pledged to keep up the fight against Blu-ray at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, despite numerous media reports and industry insiders declaring Blu-ray the winner by a KO.


6 thoughts on “Gartner: It’s Almost Over For HD DVD”

  1. Viral marketing brought to you by the letters B and D and by the company Sony. Enjoy.

    When will online journalism get a backbone and try and stand out from the PR guys and point out the consumer is getting the brunt end of this deal?

  2. digriz..What are you talking about?

    It’s not PR. It’s not about “pressure”. It’s about cold, brutal truth.

    Get over it. You bought a piece of tech which is going to be redundant. Many other people have done this over the years.

    The price of progress.

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  4. Chuck, in a few years this ‘war’ will be studied in Uni’s the world over in media classes as a perfect example of viral marketing meticulously timed with donations from sonys deep pockets. If you are happy with your product im happy for you. My HD player upgrades my DVDs which is why i bought it and the HD discs are a bonus (and it won’t be redundant until the machine packs up).

    But the practices of the firms that are spreading the propaganda and covering damage limitation with fanboy platitudes will bring you a product you’ll soon regret owning. Look deeply into this subject from neither camp and some decent research will show you a campaign that has worked almost flawlessly. (go to youtube for example, or the last posters comment which relates to at least 3 photoshopped boxing match pictures doing the rounds right now) I’m more annoyed at the herd like mentality of so called industry insider who have allowed the wool to be pulled over their eyes and still consider themselves journalists. Advertising is one thing but allowing your view of things to be shaped by anothers will is weak minded at best. But what do i care?

  5. I’ll also add that i have a sony bravia screen which is fantastic. And that if you check ebay, bluray discs are being sold for a pittance by comparison.

  6. @dirgriz – You’re absolutely right. We’ve been very aware of effort – PR & otherwise – that Sony/Blu-ray have put behind the desire for the success of the format.

    We hope that we’ve reported the battle in a balanced way – showing when Blu-ray looked like it was in trouble too (which at times it has).

    There’s no denying that HD-DVD was outclassed in PR terms. Having sat in many HD-DVD & Blu-ray presentations (we started covering Blu-ray back in 2003!), the contrast between the two are marked. Blu-ray far more showbiz and Hollywood (which many people like).

    We all know that formats survive by content, and the Blu-ray camp does appear to pulled the hollywood studios over to them – with many rumours flying of substantial financial inducements (as you’ve said). Interestingly European studios appear to have gone for HD-DVD.

    History reversing itself?
    Clearly Sony lost the Betamax war and, we assume, learnt a lot of lessons from that, including never losing a battle like that again.

    Legend has it that p0rn swung those format wars by putting their stuff out on VHS. We live in different times now, where p0rn is widely distributed online (giving instant, and more importantly near-anonymous access), but given the cheaper production costs of HD-DVD, I wonder if p0rn could have a large influence in format take up again?

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