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HD DVD may not gain holiday advantage

HD DVD proponents have been pushing for a holiday launch to gain an advantage on Sony, whose Blu-ray technology isn’t expected to hit the store shelves before mid-2006.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hollywood’s motion picture studios are no longer planning to use the coming holiday as a launch date for the next generation high-definition DVD. Paramount Pictures has cancelled plans for holiday releases entirely, although they have not indicated that they are abandoning HD DVD altogether.

NBC Universal will be releasing some HD DVD titles, but they have scaled their release to only a handful of titles. As of last week, no other HD DVD titles have been announced.

Toshiba, the newspaper speculated, will likely be the only company to bring a HD DVD player to market during the holiday season, and with an expected price of about $1000 and few titles, it’s highly questionable if many will be sold.

Sony, Disney, and now News Corp’s 20th Century Fox have all committed to Blu-ray, and have no plans to sell HD DVD products.

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