The recently announced delay of the first HD-DVD devices, as well as the April's launch of the Playstation 3 gaming machine next April has led a senior Sony Pictures executive to predict that the Blu-Ray will be the doninant standard in 12 months from now.
"I think in 12 months it's all going to be clear: the combination of Blu-ray and PlayStation 3 machines is going to overwhelm any HD-DVD presence and all studios will have to support Blu-ray," said Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to website HomeMediaRetailing.com
Feingold comments were motivated after the last week's announcement that Toshiba would hold off on releasing HD DVD players until sometime next year. The Japanese consumer electronics giant, in turn, decided to postpone its launch after the three supporting studios scaled back previously grandiose fourth-quarter software release plans to focus on the existing DVD business, which is maturing.
Toshiba will begin rolling out HD DVD players in Japan in the fourth quarter, and expects to have plenty of software support from Japanese suppliers, including a significant selection of animated titles.
Toshiba claims that HD-DVD will be the most popular standard for HD video and applications, as manufacturing costs for the discs are lower than they are for Blu-Ray.
However, it is estimated that the Blu-Ray support of the Playstation 3 could add as much as $100 to the manufacturing costs of the console, a fact that would possibly affect Sony's sale plans. On the other hand, Microsoft will offer support for standard red-laser DVDs in the fisrt version of its Xbox 360 console, saying that it may add a HD-DVD drive to a future version of the console.