Today was supposed to be a fun day, a day where I moderated a discussion between HD DVD and Blu-ray, where the bullshit would be kept to a minimum as both parties insta-fact checked each other's propaganda in real time. Delicious sounding, isn't it? Well after a few months of getting them to commit, Blu-ray canceled, citing wishes not to upset their current momentum. It's true, they're selling a lot of discs, but when it comes to exploring which format is more consumer friendly, Blu's cancellation isn't much of a vote of confidence in its own tech. The only reason I can think of is that Blu-ray would not be able to defend the conclusions we made in our "State of Blu-ray" piece, basically saying that there are only two major manufacturers of Blu-ray players that meet even the meager "standard" Blu-ray profile, and Sony and Pioneer aren't among them. And since studio supported evened up when Paramount went exclusively HD DVD, Blu-ray lost its main selling point.
Even though the BD consortium turned down the invite to discuss their format and fact check HD DVD's claims, Blu-ray has addressed this issue of tiered feature rollout once before. In their words: "Even DVD had hiccups with the format at first." True, true. But it seems like a format consortium is supposed to avoid and clean up consumer-burning hiccups, not plan for them. It just would have been cool to have video of both sides telling the other to STFU as they fact checked each other till the truth emerged. Until then, standard DVD continues to kick the crap out of both newcomers, so maybe the loss of this debate wasn't such a big deal for the average person. Until our next feature on the HD format war, just be careful what you buy.