Sony Pictures are claiming that Blu-ray will overwhelm HD-DVD, due in part to the delay of the first HD-DVD players next year and also to the fact that PlayStation 3 is continuing to support the Blu-ray disc format.
Speaking to HomeMediaRetailing.com, Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE), made the prediction that within a year HD-DVD would have no choice but to surrender, largely thanks to the inclusion of Blu-Ray players in every PlayStation 3 console.
“I think in 12 months it's all going to be clear: the combination of Blu-ray and PlayStation 3 machines is going to overwhelm any HD-DVD presence and all studios will have to support Blu-ray,” said Feingold.
Blu-ray technology, with its greater bandwith, will be the basis of Sony's revamped PlayStation 3 console, scheduled to launch in Spring—which industry sources say is a key reason unification talks between the two next-gen camps have been futile. Sony is the key architect behind Blu-ray, while Toshiba developed HD-DVD.
Sony, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment support Blu-ray, while Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video have signed on with HD-DVD.
It would be unwise to underestimate the impact of PlayStation 3 supporting Blu-Ray. After all – when the PlayStation 2 first appeared DVD was fairly minor, and the now successful nature of the format is at least partially down to the inclusion of DVD on PS2.
Could the same scenario happen with Blu-ray and the PS3? One thing is certain: thanks to PS3, movie studios will quickly gain a sizable Blu-ray player userbase as more and more PS2 owners flock to the next-gen Sony console.
"It's clear to me that a year from now everyone will be putting out Blu-Ray, whether they've announced or not, because once there are a few million playback devices it's a revenue stream they cannot and will not ignore," said Feingold.
However, with manufacturing costs for HD-DVD discs seemingly far lower than Blu-ray, that format also boasts some strength too. Blu-ray offers higher capacity storage than HD DVD - but do we really need all of this space? Only time will tell…