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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 3, 2006 at 2:17 PM

HD-DVD seems to be picking up steam

It looks like the momentum on the Blu-ray/HD-DVD debate is swinging to the side of HD-DVD. That’s the next-gen high-definition video format backed by Microsoft, among others. Microsoft is going to sell an HD-DVD player as an accessory to the Xbox 360 later this year. Blu-ray is chiefly Sony’s baby, and a player will be included in every PlayStation 3, which is partly why the console’s price is sky high.

It’s fascinating to watch this issue play out. We’re heading into yet another format war, and anyone who remembers Betamax might think twice before betting on one system or the other. Yes, it’s a technology race, but perhaps more than that it’s a marketing and promotional race. Still, I have yet to see any real push from either side convincing us that we absolutely can’t live without Blu-ray or HD-DVD, even though Sony reportedly said it’s planning a “slew of promotion” for Blu-ray. Maybe these formats need to spend a year or two in the early-adopter category.

Last month, the first Blu-ray player and compatible movies went on sale. Here’s some of the latest buzz on the topic:

HD-DVD clearly outshines Blu-ray

Blu-ray Is Doomed to Lose DVD Format War

Early experiences with Blu-ray disappointing

Samsung’s new Blu-ray DVD player is nifty, pricey

Blu-ray bows to small sales, little fanfare

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