Sure IF the pricing of Blu-ray players becomes competitive IMMEDIATELY (not within a year's time)
Why immediately? Sony has lots of money and the BD camp has more movies to move. What's the rush? As long as more content is available on one format, people will likely gravitate to that format. We already see prices of BD players dropping - Amazon has the Samsung player for $579. So if the prices for the formats' players are reasonably close, the decision will come down to content.and IF there are no defections of Blu-ray exclusive studios to a neutral stance, and IF Universal switches to a neutral stance, then things could look dubious for HD DVD.
If Universal starts selling BD, you can kiss HD-DVD goodbye. There would be no compelling reason to buy HD-DVD format players or discs.
If market shares remain constant, studios will stand pat. The last thing they want to do is increase costs by introducing a second format. If the trend is clear in one direction, the suppliers to both camps may stop production of the losing format.Furthermore the neutrality of a studio doesn't mean there is no reason for an owner of an HD DVD player to continue to buy HD DVDs (especially if they are cheaper to manufacture and author than Blu-ray)...
Absolutely.nor does it mean that folks won't continue to buy more reasonably priced HD DVD players during the time Blu-ray is attempting to become price competitive.
Absolutely. Beta VCRs continued to sell quite well despite the clear signs that VHS sales were going to supercede those of Beta.Getting back to your premise that Blu-ray players will take a year to become price competitive, suppose for the sake of argument you're right. What's going to happen in the meantime? HD DVD players are going to continue to outsell Blu-ray players.
Now I believe that it will take less than a year. Sony et al recognize that the Toshiba camp's only strength at this point is hardware pricing. They will force prices down and bleed red ink while they do it. As I mentioned above, as soon as the pricing difference goes down a bit more and people recognize that the BD camp can provide more content, the sales shift to BD will accelerate.Then what's going to happen? The demand for HD DVDs will continue to increase. What's going to happen as formerly Blu-ray exclusive studios view this unfulfilled demand? There are going to be defections to neutrality because that's were the mass market will be.
I hope you're right, but I'd bet the farm against it. I think that Toshiba et al have seen the maximum market share that they're ever going to achieve. You're betting that hardware prices will be the determining factor. I'm saying that this one "ace in the hand" for Toshiba will be gone shortly.For your scenario to play out Blu-ray players must become price competitive
Yes.AND PROFITABLE immediately
No. Do you think Epson and Canon make money on inkjet printers?The strategy of offering subsidized Blu-ray gaming consoles in a futile attempt to buoy disc demand can't go on indefinitely. The Board of Directors and shareholders usually frown on giving money away indefinitely. Eventually a profit has to be made.
Do you think Sony will give the gaming market to Microsoft and Nintendo? I don't. They'll likely introduce lower priced consoles without the extras. As I said, Epson and Canon couldn't care less about the prices of inkjet printers. They make oodles of money on the supplies.It is because Sony is bleeding red ink on PS3s that their strategy requires the more difficult task of quickly creating an exclusive Blu-ray market. To do that requires the virtually impossible task of crushing the competition almost at once.
As I said before, there's no rush. Sony has made many stupid decisions over the years, yet they take pride in their ability to introduce new formats (most of which fail miserably - elcaset, beta, SACD, memory stick, etc.). IMO, Sony will stick this one out, simply because they see themselves as the eventual winner. If they start to recognize a battle similar to the SACD vs. DVD-A one, with no winner being declared, the smartest thing to do would be to try another raprochement with Toshiba. However, knowing Sony and its stupdi arrogance, I'd bet the farm against this happening too.In contrast, as long as Toshiba (with the help of Microsoft and their content providers) continues to build demand while breaking even, or making a small profit, they stand a very good chance of "winning" in the long haul by merely surviving in a neutral market.
The only way they can build demand is to get some of the BD-only suppliers to start selling HD-DVD software. Microsoft can't help Toshiba by supplying them with movies, but they theoretically can put pressure on the studios. As for "winning in the long haul by merely surviving in a neutral market", tell that to SACD and DVD-A suppliers. Neither one has really survived - they just haven't admitted defeat.
P.S. I'd love to revisit this topic with you in 12 months!