Next generation DVD format war nearing deadline

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

The deadline for a compromise between Sony and Toshiba in the battle over the next generation DVD format is drawing closer as studios start planning their Christmas releases.

Sony, with their Blu-ray Disc format, has already started embedding the new technology into their next-generation gaming console, the Playstation 3. Meanwhile, Toshiba has secured deals with both NBC Universal and Paramount Pictures to use their format, HD-DVD. Many industry watchers fear that the battle of these two formats will bring some serious consequences. Some think this may repeat another VHS and Betamax format war, however others fear that because there is no clear winner, consumers will hold off until there is reassurrance that only one format will survive.

NBC Universal and Paramount Pictures have both withdrawn earlier announcements of releasing movies this year on the next generation formats. Some industry insiders say it would be unlikely that any movies would be released this year based on a unified format of the two sides as it would take a few months to adjust the technologies from both sides and come up with a single format.