The end of December inspires lots of look backs, best of and year in reviews. For me, the year is best book ended with a product category that began 2008 exuberantly but ushers it out on a more somber note.
After waging a two year format war, HD DVD surrendered in time for the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. And while Sony Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer refrained from doing a victory dance at the opening press conference, there was a swagger not seen at Sony in years. Fast forward and prices on Blu-ray prerecorded media are plummeting and PS3 sales are so weak Sony is cutting production of the game consoles.
Timing is everything, and Blu-ray’s win over HD DVD came a year too late. Consumers are buying standalone players but need economic incentive to do so, and the higher prices attached to PS3 have forced the platform to relinquish some of its allure. Blu-ray really is a great viewing experience and high definition video holds loads of potential. But not enough to pay a premium for.