Feb 192008
To be honest, this took a little longer than I thought it would. Toshiba has decided to halt production of HD-DVD players, although the company claims that it will continue to support existing products through maintenance, etc. It will take a little time for this to shake out on the larger stage—studios that had committed to HD-DVD will probably face a little uncertainty. In the end though, Sony is like every other company: it loves money. So I would not expect any more than the standard amount of groveling to be required. The Sony executives have to be feeling good, seeing as they managed to win this format war. Coming on the heels of favorable January sales numbers for the PS3, this makes for a wonderful February for them.

It will be interesting to see the effect of this development on the console wars. The presence of Blu-ray on the PS3 may have aided that format’s ultimate triumph. However, in this generation, only the PS3 is truly positioned as a multimedia center. You could get an HD-DVD player for the XBox 360, but it was an add-on. Given that Sony is a major supporter of Blu-Ray, it’s unlikely that they will produce a Blu-Ray peripheral for Microsoft’s benefit, though nothing in principle prevents MS from developing code to support 3d-party Blu-Ray peripherals. Because the PS3 is not that much more expensive than a good Blu-Ray player, it becomes a more secure 2-for-1 proposition. But that’s something the XBox never really was anyway. The PS3 might get a minor boost from people who were holding back because of a perceived potential for Blu-ray to fold, but this was probably never a significant portion of the console-buying public. And the simple fact is that unless some significant changes occur in the PS3’s game library, it won’t attract anyone who currently isn’t in the market for a console.