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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Format War is On

HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray.

Microsoft and Intel besides a few others versur Sony and most of the Hollywood studios.

Xbox 360 versus PlayStation 3.

Last week the Microsoft-backed underdog, HD-DVD, landed a few blows on its rival Blu-ray, which had looked the favourite, backed by Sony and most of the Hollywood studios. First Microsoft announced it would offer an HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360. Then Toshiba America said it would ship its first two HD-DVD players in March at $499 and $799. By contrast, the first Blu-ray player, a Pioneer Elite model, is expected this summer at $1 800, along with a Samsung player at about $1 000.

HD-DVD suddenly looks within the reach of most HDTV owners, and Blu-ray doesn't.

There's more.

Blu-ray drives are expensive, and Merrill Lynch Japan has projected this will lead to Sony losing ¥30-billion in the first year of the PS3's release. And if Microsoft cuts the price of its Xbox 360 console when the PS3 appears, this could bring "an additional loss of ¥80-billion in its second year and ¥50-billion in its third year," according to Gamespot.

The battle to decide the next-generation disc is about technological breakthroughs and consumer benefits, of course. But it's also about vast money streams from sales of players, PCs, consoles and phones, the content that makes them useful, plus all the royalties and patent fees. Companies are going to fight for those, even if consumers suffer.The difference here, though, is that we can ignore the fight -- and stick with our DVDs. That won't hurt Bill Gates. But it will hurt Sony.

Read the complete article here

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