Blu-ray and HD DVD’s battle to be the lone next-generation DVD format will rage on another 18 months, says a Forrester Research analyst. Consumers, wary of buying another Betamax, are waiting for the dust to settle and prices to fall. Forrester sides with Blu-ray but says the companies backing it must roll out a $250 player by Christmas or risk an “upset defeat.”
The Sony-created format had been a heavier favorite until a defection by Paramount weakened its stranglehold on top content. A new Blu-ray player now costs about $500, compared to HD DVD’s $400, but consumers typically won’t pay more than $200 for either, Forrester’s research shows. Once prices hit that range, sales should take off, a welcome development for Hollywood’s slowing DVD business.