Research firm Gartner expects Blu-ray will win the battle against HD DVD by the end of this year:
Price cuts by Toshiba on its HD DVD players in the U.S. earlier this month may prove to be "useless resistance" in the battle against the rival Blu-ray Disc optical disc format, according to Gartner.
The market research company expects Blu-ray Disc to win the battle against HD DVD (high definition digital video disc) in the consumer market by the end of 2008, becoming the next generation replacement for DVDs.
Toshiba's price cuts came after a major Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., announced it would shift from producing in both formats to just Blu-ray alone, expanding the disc format's advantage in the number of movies and other content. Five of the seven major Hollywood studios now back Blu-ray Disc exclusively, while the HD DVD camp has just two, Paramount and Universal.
"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. 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, wrote analyst Hiroyuki Shimizu in Gartner's Semiconductor DQ Monday Report.
Toshiba announced price cuts on its HD DVD players in the U.S. Jan. 15, just weeks after losing Warner Bros. The company will cut the price of its HD-A3 player in half, to US$149.99 from $299.99, while its higher end models, the HD-A30 and HD-A35 are now listed for $199.99 and $299.99, respectively.