And this is how you win a format war: Target Bets It All on Blu-ray.
It’s not about consumer choice or minor technology advantages. It is about marketing and business development with content providers, electronics suppliers, and retailers. Microsoft hasn’t gone all out in supporting HD-DVD — leaving it out of the XBox 360 except as an add-on — even though they were among those who backed the format. Sony, on the other hand, is making sure when we see a HD disc or player, it’s Blu-ray. Blockbuster has dropped HD-DVD from its stores for now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see others follow suit.
In Europe, according to the article, HD-DVD players are outselling Blu-ray 3 to 1. Will Toshiba and Microsoft be able to take that advantage in hardware sales and convince stateside retailers there’s an advantage to working with their format? Will Europe end up getting stuck with a bunch of Betamax players, or will that market be strong enough to decide what happens in the U.S.? (Or, even more likely, will we just end up seeing a basic format difference between Europe and the U.S., much like with PAL and NTSC?)