Okay, so the death of HD DVD is here. Why? Because the only company making the players just announced they aren’t going to be making them anymore, as Toshiba announced today “it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders.”
The announcement came as Toshiba’s President and CEO, Atsutoshi Nishida, said, “We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop… While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
There are several questions now, but most of all, will Paramount and Universal stop the HD DVD releases they have planned and switch them to Blu-ray? I currently have the HD DVD copy of Beowulf sitting here and just reviewed the likes of American Gangster, but I have to wonder if all future releases will be canceled.
Paramount only recently went HD DVD exclusive when it initially decided to release films on both formats, so I am assuming they can switch back at the drop of the hat. Universal, however, has been the big backer of HD DVD and has never even uttered the word Blu-ray other than to say they weren’t releasing anything on the format. I can only assume future planned HD DVD releases will be cancelled and the company will soon announce a switch to Blu-ray, the winning format in this high-definition war.
Personally, I liked HD DVD. The new features were better than those on Blu-ray releases so far and the video quality was just as good as Blu-ray, at least to my eyes. I don’t mind that Blu-ray ultimately “won out”, but I am wondering how many folks will adopt the new format that don’t own a PS3 or a ton of extra money.
I wonder this, because I almost bought Ratatouille at Best Buy last night because I wasn’t reviewing Blu-ray titles until only recently. A quick look at the price tag told me it was going to cost me $29.99. $29.99?!??! I think my DVD copy will suit me just fine. Honestly, who is spending this kind of money on any movie? I have a hard time figuring out why people pay what they pay for Criterion releases, but most often times I can make some sense of that, but $30 for Ratatouille when you can buy the DVD for $14.99? That is just insane.
The goal now needs to be to completely stop fucking over the consumer and make them affordable and give people reason to adopt the new format. If they continue at these prices I can’t imagine the majority of people making the move.
Now if we could just solve the Iraq War… Sony? Any ideas?