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Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: What's Next?

50°
363w ago - This should be the final year for the high-def format war.. So, what's next?

After Warner Bros.' endorsement of Blu-ray shortly before the Consumer Electronics Show, many analysts have said Blu-ray will be the ultimate winner in its high-def disc format war against HD DVD.

But how much longer will the war go on? And, what will happen before it comes to an end -- assuming that it does?

Here's my prediction for what's likely to transpire in the high-def format war in 2008:

1.The HD DVD Surge
Toshiba said today that it will slash prices on HD DVD players and expand its marketing campaign. Clearly, the format's leading supporter is trying to show the studios and other industry players that it's still a competitive battle.

However, in part because of the negative press from CES (thanks to Warner Bros), relatively few consumers will bite on the lower prices due to fears that they will purchase a soon-to-be obsolete format.

2. Toshiba & Sony Will Begin Peace Talks
While awaiting sales results from the first quarter, Toshiba and Sony (Blu-ray's leading supporter) will begin informal negotiations for establishing a single format. With five major studios behind it (compared to HD DVD's two), Sony has the leverage here, but it wants to bring this battle...
 

HBO drops HD DVD too

550°
363w ago - HBO Video president Henry McGee announced today that HBO, too, is "following the same policy as Warner Home Video."

HBO had been had been a supporter of both formats and has released Season 6 of one of the most popular TV-DVD sellers of all time, "The Sopranos," on both Blu-ray and HD DVD.

However now it seems if you want some of your favorite shows on disc, it will have to be Blu-ray.
 

It's over, Paramount gives the final blow to HD-DVD!

50°
364w ago - Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD-DVD following Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that could sound the death knell of HD-DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end.

Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD-DVD last summer, joining General Electric's Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format.

However, Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner backing Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.

Paramount is set to have a bumper 2008 with several likely blockbusters, including the latest instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise, slated for release.

Paramount joining the Blu-ray camp would leave HD-DVD likely to suffer the same fate as Sony's now obsolete Betamax video technology, which lost out to VHS in a similar format war in the 1980s.

Warner's decision last week to throw its weight behind Blu-ray saw it join Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as backers of the Sony format.

The Warner move gives Blu-ray about 70 per cent of Hollywood's output, although the format's...
 

Warner Going Blu-ray!

50°
364w ago - It's been speculated upon and speculated upon, but today it happened: Warner Bros. declared undying allegiance to one format alone: Blu-ray. "The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," said Warner chairman Barry Meyer, suggesting that this move will end the format war.

WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT TO RELEASE ITS HIGH-DEFINITION DVD TITLES EXCLUSIVELY IN THE BLU-RAY DISC FORMAT

BEGINNING LATER THIS YEAR

Decision Made in Response to Strong Consumer Preference for Format

(January 4, 2008 - Burbank, CA) - In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

"Warner Bros.' move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," said Meyer. "The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately...
 

Joystiq hands-on: God of War: Chains of Olympus

50°
367w ago - We got a chance to try an updated version of the upcoming PSP-exclusive God of War: Chains of Olympus and walked away impressed, yet again. Somehow, the tech team at Ready at Dawn has managed to make the game look even more stunning than the demo disc version earlier this year. We can't pinpoint it exactly, but it appears the framerate has improved, as has the lighting and anti-aliasing. (Maybe it's due to the developer's access to PSP's full power?)

Of course, impressive visuals are only a small part of what makes the God of War experience so much fun. Ready at Dawn has managed to capture the feel of the PS2 originals by adapting the controls quite smartly to the PSP. We tried swimming, and found it remarkably easy to get used to. To perform Kratos' underwater dash, players must hold the L and R shoulder buttons together and release. Because it's mapped the same way the dodge move is, it feels rather intuitive.

We also got a chance to use some of Kratos' later moves. As in God of War II, Kratos will now be able to reflect enemy attacks by pressing L (block) right before an enemy strikes. We don't know if its our experience with the PS2 game, but we found returning enemy projectiles to be quite easy. Maybe the timing is more generous in this handheld iteration? Regardless, it was easy to catch projectiles...
 
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