In what some have termed a "death knell" for HD-DVD, Blockbuster Video has announced that it will be moving almost exclusively to Blu-ray for its high-definition titles and away from HD-DVD. 1700 stores will be Blu-ray only, while 250 stores (and online) will carry both next-gen DVD formats. (Naturally, all will still carry regular DVDs and, I guess, VHS. That still exists, right?)
The news isn't quite a death blow for HD-DVD, though it isn't good. Blockbuster's power in the market has been fading for some time. The company's market capitalization, for example, is now 35 percent less than online-only renter Netflix. Blockbuster stock trades at $4.60. Still, Blockbuster buys an awful lot of DVDs and they won't be stocking many HD-DVDs going forward. That could be a big problem for the format in this early stage in its life.
The news is particularly sad because most users tend to feel that HD-DVD is the superior format, with people going ga-ga over its heavily interactive features and exceptional bonus content.
That said, Blu-ray has, according to many reports, been chipping away at HD-DVDs early lead. Though making predictions based on early results is difficult, Blu-ray undoubtedly has the momentum right now.
Personally, I am so unthrilled with both formats that I'm happy to see someone, finally, taking a stand in the marketplace one way or another. Even if Blu-ray is technologically inferior, it will evolve and improve. But the industry is just spinning its wheels while this format war rages on, and consumers continue to be the ones who lose while things get figured out as half the buyers are essentially wasting their money.
Still, Blockbuster is just one player, and Netflix could announce tomorrow that it is only stocking HD-DVD titles, who knows? And I hope all renters and retailers make similar decisions in the near future, one way or the other. The sooner the format war is ended, no matter who wins, the better off we all are.
- yahoo.com (source)
bye bye HD DVD.
and they say HD DVD will last? let's see how long it will last then.