Well-regarded market research firm Gartner is taking sides in the high-def format war, and is speaking on no uncertain terms. According to Gartner’s principal research analyst for Japan, Hiroyuki Shimizu, by the end of 2008 the Blu-ray disc format will have won the high-def format war will be over, and HD DVD’s attempts to appeal to consumers are merely "useless resistance."
"Gartner believes that Toshiba’s price-cutting may prolong HD DVD’s life a little, but the limited line-up of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format," Shimizu wrote in Gartner’s Semiconductor DQ Monday Report. "Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over."
Blu-ray currently counts five of the seven major movie distribution studios in its camp, while Paramount and Universal are the only studios exclusively backing HD DVD.
Toshiba has recently announced steep price cuts on HD DVD players—dropping prices on its HD-A3 player to $149.99 from $299.99—following Warner Brothers’ surprise announcement prior to this year’s CES show that it would cease producing both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles and begin backing Blu-ray exclusively. Toshiba’s higher-priced HD DVD player models are now priced at $199.99 and $299.99.