So what are your thoughts on the matter? I've been hard on Sony for a long while about their quest to assure the success of Blu-Ray even at the cost of their game division. Now I'm considering taking the plunge myself and getting a hi-def DVD player. So what should I get? The evidence is contradictory.
Let's start with the raw numbers. 1.3 million Blu-Ray machines have been sold, versus only 150,000 HD-DVD machines. However, of those 1.3 million Blu-Rays, 1.2 million have been PS3's. So of the stand-alone boxes, the two systems are very close. You can see how close, exactly, by looking at the number of discs of each format which have been sold: Blu-Ray has the slight edge with 1.5 million units versus 1.2 million for HD-DVD. Which suggests that the PS3's are not being used very often as DVD consoles, meaning that the 1.3 million Blu-Ray player number isn't as important as it might seem.
Then there's price. On both lines, the price is falling. But Blu-Ray is still significantly more expensive. $499 seems to be about as low as they go, whereas you can find a second-gen HD-DVD player for about $220. So far, most of this seems to point towards HD-DVD.
That said, Toshiba is pulling back their expectations on sales numbers and this essay calling the fight in favor of Blu-Ray is interesting, if not dispositive. The nub of the argument is that looking at the top movies of 2007 so far, 52% of them will be exclusive to Blu-Ray, 10% will be exclusive to HD-DVD, and 37% will come to both formats. Looking at the top 100 movies of 2006, the numbers are even more in favor of Blu-Ray: 60% were exclusive to that format.
That's a big deal. But the question becomes, will the content drive the medium, or the price? I'm not sure. Ordinarily I would lean toward content, but in this case "exclusive" doesn't really mean exclusive, since you can buy the movie on regular DVD and upconvert, which I would think allows consumers to be more sensitive to price. But maybe I'm wrong.
Anyway, all of this points to waiting a while longer--unless you happen to need to buy a new DVD player now. Which I do. So, any thoughts? Do I stick with a normal upconverting player? Or take a chance on one of the other formats?
19 hours ago