Originally Posted by rlsmith
A lot of good points here, I won't respond to them all.
1. Yes, I am pro-BD based on the specs. I think I also gave a very fair accounting of Sony's problems and Toshiba's successes in the article. I am very critical of Sony.
2. Certainly, events at this show could be very significant. That was my point. If, as you suggest, Disney goes neutral, that would be important.
3. Cost of manufacture is obviously converging as components become available. Going forward this will not be a factor. In fact, the Toshiba A1 was planned to debut for $999 until Toshiba wisely lowered the price.
4. Companies like Arcam and Denon will not affect the format war, their price points are too high to be of any interest to most consumers. Arcam's current upscaling DVD player (DV-29) is $3000; if they announce an HD DVD player, what would it list for? How many would they sell?
5. Where do you get your information about December disk sales? From what I am hearing, Blu-ray is on a better track than many people thought. There was a prediction that the PS3 would have no real interest as a Blu-ray player, obviously not true. Of course it is an expectation game.
Thanks for your post.
1. I've never been a fan of paper. I always base my decisions on how things affect me in the real world. HD-DVD was no surprise to me.
2. LGF will make their switch at CES, Disney is being lead poorly on this point. I think Bob will step in after CES to force the switch, but I could be wrong. It may still happen at CES.
3. Cost of manufacture has always been less expensive for HD-DVD. For one the A1 was never subsidized as many like to claim. Everyone at Toshiba has told me that was just a vicious rumor. In fact I've been told the A2 could be dropped to $349 MSRP without too much difficulty for them, and yes they'd still be making money. Which means the Chinese could likely really come out with a $299 or less player. I just don't see BD anywhere near that.
4. Yes, the Arcam FMJ line is expensive. It's also their top of the line. They have a DVD player for under $1,000. I'd expect their HD-DVD player to be around $1,200 to $1,500. That was the range they told me if they made one. I'd rather have an Arcam than a Pioneer, and it would definately be up against them. You however missed the point. If it's "far less expensive," for Arcam to make a HD-DVD than BD, then that again states the advantage that HD-DVD has.
5. Nobody with a brain thought the PS3 wouldn't be a factor. In fact every analyst picked BD to win because of the PS3. The BDA was GUARANTEED to win Christmas. They promised people it would happen. Analysts bought the theory. Meanwhile a select few said "wait, we don't know how big an impact it will be, but we agree it will be an impact." What it did was take BD sales out of the gutter. BD sales have grown substantially and it's all thanks to the PS3. However HD-DVD sales picked up with the same exact bit of steam. So HD-DVD software sales are doing EXTREMELY well. They are still outselling BD. Videoscan estimates that December sales will show that HD-DVD outsold BD 1.5:1.
For you to even hint that BD wasn't supposed to catch up that well is a joke. BD was supposed to surpass HD-DVD and leave it in the dust. It just wasn't able to do it. The PS3 numbers weren't enough, yet. That's a big deal. For one Sony and the BDA's expectations for software sales have all been wrong. For another Sony's expectations of surpassing HD-DVD sales by October was wrong. By November was wrong. By December was wrong. By January was wrong. Being wrong FIVE times to Studios is not a good sign. Meanwhile the guys trying to win you over keep on doing what they said they were going to do.
However PS3 sales are supposedly dropping. They aren't flying off shelves anymore. The frenzy has slowed dramatically. I'd say this is Sony's fault. If Sony had say 2M to release on opening day, they'd have sold them all. Yet, they didn't. So what happened was about 200,000 sold. And people saw their friends PS3 and said "you know what it isn't that great...."
This format war is over. It's going to be a tie. Disney sees that, and that is why at somepoint in 2007, Disney will be neutral.