Guardian: Sony’s dream of an early victory in the next-gen DVD format fight has been dashed by poor PS3 sales.
If it was a Hollywood movie it would be a remake of Alien v Predator. On one side is the giant Sony corporation, which is backing the Blu-ray high definition DVD format by building it into its PlayStation 3 games consoles.
Facing it across the global battlefield is Toshiba, backed by Microsoft and Intel, promoting the rival (and incompatible) HD DVD format.
The stakes are very high indeed for companies on both sides. Yet Sony, the pre-fight favourite – with the best-selling games console franchise in the world and the backing of seven Hollywood studios (basically all of the big ones except Universal Pictures) making their movies available on Blu-ray – is nowhere near delivering the early knockout blow it wanted.
Instead, early defections from the Blu-ray-only camp and lagging sales of PS3 consoles have blurred the picture of which format will win. Samsung broke ranks with Blu-ray last month by announcing it will make players that play both HD formats, following a similar move by LG.
In addition, most analysts acknowledge that the PC manufacturers will play a key role in the format war – and having Microsoft and Intel behind HD DVD is significant. Neither of these two Toshiba allies has shown signs of switching camps so far. (…)