Blu-ray: What Format War?

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With Warner firmly in the Blu-ray corner, studio execs at CES touted all sorts of global and U.S. sales numbers to prove their point - HD DVD is dead.

Jan. 08, 2008 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

There were smiles all around at the Blu-ray Disc Association press conference at CES. And why not? With the news Warner is joining the ranks, there are now six major studios (Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony & Warner) in the Blu-ray camp. The Toshiba-backed HD DVD format is supported by Paramount, Universal and DreamWorks.

Here are the numbers thrown about at the presser: Blu-ray movies outsold HD DVD in the U.S. and world by nearly 2-to-1 in 2007; Blu-ray owns 85% of the global market in hardware sales (that includes the PS3).

“These are obviously very dramatic numbers in favor of Blu-ray,” says Andy Parsons, head of the Blu-ray Disc Association. “This (the six studios backing Blu-ray) is something we think will help make the choice much more clearer for consumers about which format is going to dominate.”

Can the future get any Blu-er? Danny Kaye, VP at Fox, expects the current number of Blu-ray players (500,000 playback devices, 3 million PS3 players) to increase to 6 million in 2008. “There’s a clearer situation in the market now, the consumer can begin to focus on Blu-ray,” says Kaye.

So what can Blu-ray lovers expect in 2008?  “As an industry we’ve been spending a lot of time looking at creating great video and audio content to tickle the early adopter, says Sony president David Bishop. “Now we’re ready for the next phase….to start to develop interactivity.”

(Check out our Photos from the CES Show Floor.)

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