Blu-ray, HD-DVD Player Market Freeze Until Early 2007?

According to published reports, a shortage of blue laser diodes at various optical disc drive (ODD) manufacturing plants is not likely to markedly ease in coming months, which could result in delaying the anticipated head-on competition between Blu-ray and HD-DVD drives beyond the holiday shopping season, to early 2007.

DigiTimes, based in Taiwan, reports this week that while several major vendors have already announced ramp up schedules for both incompatible next-gen DVD formats, only Pioneer and Plextor now have the ability to maintain actual shipments. How this could affect Blu-ray drives to be built within PlayStation 3 due out this fall is not known, or the possible effects on HD DVD players and titles.

In the article, Michael Gong, general manager of Lite-On IT's optical disc unit said, "demand visibility" for both formats' drives remains "impressive," but the availability of new models "may be postponed due to the shortage of blue laser diodes."