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HD-DVD destroyed by the Blu-Ray
It's been a long and bitter war (though we all assumed it would be going on for a lot, lot longer). Film companies kept changes sides, money kept changing hands at strategic intervals, and early adopters were sleeping restlessly at night, hoping their format would triumph over the other.
Finally, the HD-DVD has gone to meet the disk-shredder in the sky. Toshiba (the company actually making HD DVDs) has chosen to no longer continue with its format. The first clues were in Las Vegas, where their stand at CES was particularly small and they remained fairly quiet.
HD-DVD had plenty going for it such as the ability to up-scale DVDs and the fact that HD-DVDs and HD-DVD drive were considerably cheaper than Blu-Ray alternatives. Toshiba also had two well established and dominant film companies backing it.
What went wrong? Firstly, Blu-Ray was being distributed to all and sundry in the PS3 console. Despite initial poor sales of the PS3 console HD-DVD didn't really compete and the final nail in the format's coffin was Microsoft's choice not to build HD-DVD into the XBOX 360 - it instead offered it as an optional extra at £99 (depending on where you get it). Sony has it's own film company and never managed to exert some more of it's influence. It eventually reached the point where only one film maker was using HD-DVD exclusively! HD-DVD players may have been cheaper, but there were plenty more PS3s (and hence, Blu-Ray players). This was why Toshiba finally allowed the format to die!
Sony, to be fair, is probably owed a victory. They have lost plenty of format wars in the past, mostly notably the VHS versus Betamax war, and the Minidisc format never took off at all thanks to the USB memory stick. It was much better placed that with Betamax to win this war. I'm just waiting for a Blu-ray drive I can add to my XBOX 360...