Chicago (IL) – The end of the HD DVD format may have come faster than many of us would have expected. And despite the outcome of the format war has long been unclear, there have been several reports that correctly predicted the winner as early as July 2005. Join us as we are looking back in time to recap how the defeat of HD DVD developed.
Following the announcement of Toshiba to pull the plug on HD DVD, we felt that it was time to have a closer look at our reports since the beginning of the format war to provide an overview of the events that led up to Sony’s success and Toshiba’s loss. On the following pages, we are listing all important HD format war articles, ranging from the very beginnings in November 2003 to the shutdown of HD DVD today.
The list allows you to recall the role of publishers, hardware companies, the Playstation 3 as well as Microsoft, which may have played a significant role in the downfall of HD DVD, due to its decision not to offer an HD DVD drive integrated in its Xbox 360. Even if we here have dealt with HD DVD and Blu-ray almost on a daily basis for some time, we were surprised to find some instances that predicted Blu-ray as the winner of the format war early on:
In July 2005, a survey claimed that consumers preferred Blu-ray over HD DVD. Following the launch of high-def players, some speculated that enthusiast users gave HD DVD the edge and sales numbers for 2006 appeared to be in a stalemate. In March of 2007, a European Sony executive told journalists that HD DVD would be “dead within one year”. Walking through high-def sales data in 2007 provides an impression how the lead of Blu-ray began to build up and hurt HD DVD.
Another surprising outcome of this format war is that the adult film industry had very little to do with the fall of HD DVD. The format still had the support from most studios that were releasing movies in high-def. The critical component of Blu-ray’s success appears to have been the Playstation 3, which not only put millions of Blu-ray players into the market, but also convinced gamers to purchase lots of Blu-ray movies.
However, the end of HD DVD came very quick and its fate was decided by a few serious blows. In early 2008, Warner Bros. said it would abandon HD DVD. Soon, several retailers, most importantly Best Buy, began focusing on HD DVD and online rental company Netflix said it would be dropping HD DVD as well. Toshiba’s only reaction was the reduction of HD DVD player prices, which, from today’s view, only accelerated the format’s departure.
2003 and 2004: Supporter groups are formed, first specifications and the name "Playstation 3" surfaces
Year Month Day Category Article Source 2003 Nov 17 Next-Gen DVD Split By Two Competing Standards Techweb 2004 Feb 26 DVD Forum approves HD-DVD format DVD Forum May 19 13 firms to form Blu-ray mega-group The Inquirer June 9 HD DVD ROM physical spec v1.0 approved DVD Forum July 15 Sony to test-produce Blu-ray discs in US Forbes July 26 Microsoft says Longhorn to be HD DVD compatible Reuters Aug 5 Sony adopts Blu-Ray for PS3 Spong Sept 1 HD DVD, HD DVD ROM logos approved DVD Forum 22 PlayStation 3 will use Blu-Ray discs games industry Oct 5 Group formed to promote Blu-ray Disc format EE Times 21 NEC, Toshiba add HD-DVD to PCs in 2005 Digit Mag Nov 11 Sharp unveils first Blu-ray disc recorder PC World 29 Universal Pictures backs HD DVD
24 HP confirms plans for Blu-ray The Register 29 Toshiba claims Hollywood endorsement for HD DVD The Inquirer Dec 1 HD DVD Recordable logo approved DVD Forum 3 Blu-ray read-only format to be finalized early 2005 Mac Central 9 Disney to support Blu-ray Disc format EE Times 20 Toshiba launches HD DVD consortium The Register
Read on the next page: 2005 - Bondage talks between HD DVD and Blu-ray and a surprising survey that correctly predicted the outcome of the format war
2005: Bondage talks between HD DVD and Blu-ray and a surprising survey that correctly predicts the outcome of the format war
Year Month Day Category Article Source 2005 Feb 23 HD DVD inclusion of AACS approved DVD Forum Mar 10 Apple joins Blu-ray board of directors
Apr 13 Sony 'open' to Blu-ray Disc/HD DVD bonding talks The Register May 10 HD DVD backwards compatibility confirmed DVD Forum 26 Toshiba hints at HD DVD/Blu-ray marriage PC Pro June 27 First big HD DVD event: DVD Forum: HD DVD Japan 2005 DVD Forum July 14 Consumers choose Blu-Ray over HD-DVD games industry Aug 1 Microsoft mulling HD-DVD in future Xbox 360 revisions games industry 2 Fox movie studio backs Sony's Blu-ray PC Mag Blu-ray secures Universal Music backing The Register 23 Sony expects Blu-Ray victory within 12 months games
14 Toshiba to delay HD DVD player 28 Gates dismisses next-gen DVD formats games industry 21 Xbox 360 will not use HD DVD, says Microsoft Japan official games industry Dec 15 Toshiba delays HD DVD launch vnunet 18 HP backs HD DVD Red Herring 27
Read on the next page: 2006 - HD DVD and Blu-ray hit the market: HD is believed to get an early lead
2006: HD DVD and Blu-ray hit the market: HD is believed to get an early lead
Year Month Day Category Article Source 2006 Jan 4 Microsoft: Blu-ray Xbox 360 add-on possible Game Spot 21 Approval of HD DVD-VR DVD Forum 27 HD DVD-R for DL approved DVD Forum 25 Microsoft execs slam Sony Blu-ray strategy games industry June 20 First Blu-ray titles arrive TGD 21 Samsung launches Blu-ray player TGD July 11 Chinese HD DVD approved DVD Forum 13 Microsoft to offer Xbox 360 with built-in HD-DVD drive Digi Times Oct 10 U.S. media manufacturers support HD DVD Digi Times Nov 2 Sony launches Playstation 3 TGD Dec 6
Read on the next page: 2007 - Sony's PS3 becomes the decisive weapon in the format war and Sony says in March 2007 that the HD DVD will be dead within one year
2007: Sony's PS3 becomes the decisive weapon in the format war and Sony says in March 2007 that the HD DVD will be dead within one year
Year Month Day Category Article Source 2007 Jan 5 2x HD DVD-RW Rev2 approved, HD DVD 1.1 approved DVD Forum March 6 HD DVD dead in one year? TGD 21 Blu-ray Casino Royale hits 100,000 mark TGD April 11 HD DVD 1.1 features outlined DVD Forum 28 Triple Layer Twin HD DVD approved DVD Forum 17 Xbox to get an integrated HD DVD drive? Smart House Nov 1 BD gaining upper hand over HD DVD in PC-use drives Digi Times 29
Read on the next page: 2008 - Blu-ray goes after a quick kill
2008: Blu-ray goes after a quick kill
Year Month Day Category Article Source 2008 Jan 4 Netflix drops HD DVD TGD 11 HD DVD: Time to quit? TGD 13