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Retailers nervous over DVD format war

Top U.S. electronics retailers attending the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas expressed their nervousness about the prospects of a format war over the next generation DVD format.

Representatives from some of the major retailers said they are worried that customers may choose not to purchase a new DVD player, opting to wait until either the Blu-ray or HD DVD wins the format war.

Sony backs Blu-ray while HD DVD’s key sponsor is Toshiba. Despite intense industry pressure, two technology camps have failed to compromise on a single, unified format.

Because products based on both formats are coming soon, Reuters noted that retailers will soon have to make decisions on what to stock in their stores. Toshiba and Thomson each announced plans to sell in the next few months HD DVD players priced at around $500. Blu-ray players are expected to start at about $1000.

Hollywood movie studios are releasing films on the new formats, some exclusively on either HD DVD or Blu-ray.

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