The format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray can cause some heated arguments from fan boys on both sides, but I think all fans of high-definition discs will get a kick out of this story. In an article by Pocket-lint, not only did Sony executive Don Eklund invite Toshiba and Microsoft to join the Blu-ray camp (ha-ha), but Vice President Rich Marty dropped this gem of a quote:
"The DVD format was good, but profitability only lasted for a couple of years before there was no money to be had in the hardware market," said Marty. "We believe consumers are smart enough to realise the benefits and pay the extra accordingly."
Note to Sony: consumers don't care that DVDs aren't profitable for hardware makers, as demonstrated by DVD being one of the biggest success stories in consumer electronics history. And if being smart is paying more, then those who shelled out $600 for an iPhone nine weeks ago, only to see it drop to $400 today, must feel like geniuses. One more quote from the Pocket-lint article:
And as for how consumers are supposed to get around the Dreamworks and Paramount shift to HD DVD? "Buy it on DVD," Marty suggested--before quickly adding that Blu-ray players have upscaling features so you can still get the most out of the picture quality.
That quote says a lot, and it's not good news for Blu-ray. As much as HD DVD and Blu-ray go back and forth, the biggest threat to both high-def formats is standard DVD, where you can get any movie you want, at a cheap price, that plays on a cheap player. HD DVD (and Blu-ray) may be the look and sound of perfect, but for most people, DVD is the look and sound of good enough.