...the oncoming Format War that is.
Got you going there, didn't I?
Anyways, the oncoming format war is going to be fought between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, and alot of companies have already picked sides (the smarter ones have agreed to back up both technologies).
"The Blu-ray format is backed by big consumer electronics firms such as Sony Corp , Philips and Dell as well as most Hollywood studios. But the HD DVD format, whose proponents are led by Toshiba, looks set to reach the market faster and offer cheaper players." http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060309/tc_nm/bluray_hddvd_dc;_
Here's how I understand it, in a nutshell: Blu-Ray is technically better. It seems Blu-Ray is capable of holding more information (I believe the numbers are like 40 gigs), while HD-DVD holds only 30gig. Blu-Ray is also able to read the information faster, giving you a better read time.
However, and I'm not positive on this, but Blu-Ray CAN NOT play older dvds; only Blu-Ray discs. HD-DVD can.
According to some articles I've read, a Blu-Ray player will cost upwards of $500-$1000 (in a year or so). An HD-DVD player will cost maybe $300-$500 (in a year or so).
Here's where it gets really tricky. Currently, the most popular video game console on the market is the Playstation 2. Why did it become so popular? Primarily, it was the first video game console to come equipped with a dvd player, which was a relatively new format at the time (99/00). So alot of people bought the PS2 not only for games but for a relatively cheap DVD player at the time (I believe a standalone unit was selling for maybe $500-$750...I bought my dvd player Black Friday '01 for maybe $350, and it's still going strong).
Now we have the just released Xbox 360 and coming in the fall the PS3. The 360 has a standard dvd player installed, with a HD-DVD attachment player coming soon. Microsoft is kinda hoping that very few people will actually buy a HD-DVD attachment; it will only be used for movies, and a standalone is much, much superior to any "multi in a box" system.
However, the PS3 will ONLY feature a Blu-Ray player. Which is probably the primary reason the system will end up costing $500-$600 for the first year or two it is released. Quite alot of money for something that doesn't require a monitor, gas, or candle lit dinners.
So once again, it almost seems like the video game industry is gonna decide the fate of the movie and video industry. Will millions of people buy the PS3? Will they accept Blu-Ray as the next format? Or will the public say "Screw you Sony" and buy 360's? Or...and this is more likely...buy the PS3 but only play games on it, and except movies to be on the cheaper and backwards compatible HD-DVD format?
Let me ask you this- Do you really want to rebuy or reburn all those dvds you have sitting around? Do you want to have to buy a new copy of every movie you own just so it can play on your Blu-Ray player? Or will you choose to buy a HD-DVD player so you can enjoy those old but classic movies, as well as home videos, that you have on DVD, but don't want to buy High Def versions of?
I know what side I'm taking. Sony has already lost once before with the Beta cassettes. It's only a matter of time before they lose again.
Make mine HD-DVD.