Peer Review: Blu-ray & HD DVD get cheaper, are still not worth the trouble

The HD DVD and Blu-ray format war has been going on for an exhaustingly long time. We've been hoping for a definitive resolution (go Blu-ray!) since both formats debuted more than a year ago. There have been several developments lately that led to more speculation about both sides' chances at success. This week, for example, Sony announced that it will sell a $400 PlayStation 3 with built in Blu-ray player in the US in time for the holidays. On HD-DVD side of the fence, there are rumors that the XBOX 360 will soon come with an integrated HD-DVD player and that Wal-Mart may begin to carry a sub-$200 HD-DVD player by Toshiba. And there has been word that while studios like Sony, Fox, and Universal stand by one format or another in the United States, consumers can sometimes by titles in the competing format overseas.

It's no wonder that the Internet has been alive with chatter about the dueling formats this week. While there are journalists who predict the success of one format over another, there is growing consensus that this "war" will be longer and more vicious than anyone had previously predicted. Have you chosen a side? Some more thoughts from around the web after the jump.

The war isn't what matters: it's getting people to abandon the DVD in the first place
"DVD is a victim of its own success. It's a good technology. Next-gen isn't redefining, it's more tweaking of the technology. Content owners think it's a bigger leap, but consumers look at [a next-generation disc], and it's a disc, and it's not worth $600 [for the player]". , Yankee Group Research Analyst, to CNet News

On Toshiba's sub-$1000 laptop with HD-DVD/DVD-RW drive: Meh. Could help?
"Battery drain is still a high-def movie disc issue, and laptop screens really don't do the 1080p content justice, but this isn't likely to hurt HD DVD adoption...Think these HD DVD drives in the lappies are subsidized?", Gizmodo

HD-DVD's new "U-Shop" gives that format an edge
"Me thinks HD DVD might kick Blu-ray to the curb. That being said, allow me to preface this by saying that the so-called format war… will undoubtedly drag on for at least another year." , Crunchgear

Dual-format players are not the solution
"Amazingly, a couple of companies (Samsung and LG) have rolled out dual-format players, which, to my mind, only feeds the dysfunction… This high-def battle will end badly." , PC Magazine

A third competitor? Don't forget the HD-VMD
"What makes the VMD format attractive is its price point, which can be achieved through the use of production techniques currently employed to create standard definition DVDs.", at Coolest Gadgets

A fourth competitor? Downloads
"The format war between Sony's Blu-Ray and Toshiba's HD DVD has been a self-defeating mess, confusing consumers and slowing acceptance of DVDs boasting high-definition picture quality… [research firm SNL Kagan predicts] that sales growth in physical formats for home video will peter out by 2015 amid growing consumer interest in on-demand services.",

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