The patents etc. are also spread around so everyone profits. Pioneer and Panasonic have played a large role in the development. And Philips is a long-time ally of Sony.
This was the big change that Sony instituted over its previous behavior: try to build a coalition of CE companies all of whom have a piece of the action.
Obviously, Toshiba did not join this, although still has rights (e.g., the PS3's Cell processor is developed by a consortium of Sony, IBM, and Toshiba, believe it or not).
Microsoft had its own proprietary interests as well. One must ask: where would HD DVD be today without Microsoft?
Overall, Sony must be commended for building a coalition that held together even some hard times.
They appear to have stayed the course at least for this CES.