CeBIT 2007: Blu-ray chief predicts victory

"What we have seen in the United States is that, yes, HD DVD came to market a bit earlier and it's cheaper at the moment. And yet, the total volume of Blu-ray players equals the number of HD DVD products, which shows that price sensitivity is not there. If it were, HD DVD would be winning.

"If we talk two years form now I think it's a totally different ballgame, because we expect around 2-4 million products shipped and then price sensitivity is lower and costs will come down."

He added that when you look at the number of manufacturers making HD DVD and the number of manufacturers making Blu-ray, you cannot compare the two.

VHS vs Betamax

"The number of Blu-ray manufacturers involved is 100 times higher. And that gives you the economy of scale. And this will eventually determine the price. And it also creates competition. When there are multiple brands selling same-format players, the competition between those brands will also force prices down."

Simonis finished by promising that the BDA had learned its lessons from the VHS v Betamax war of the 1980s.

"Number one lesson we learned is that if you go to market the first thing you need is the software community behind you. The reason why VHS ultimately won the day was that the studios got behind it. Even though Betamax had better quality playback, VHS was cheaper to manufacture and that's why it was chosen. This time around Blu-ray is being chosen by the vast majority of studios, and with their support Blu-ray will win."

Simonis hinted that the BDA was preparing to launch a multi-million pound marketing campaign to coincide with the launch of the Sony PlayStation next week. He said that the media operation was designed to invoke public interest in the format and earn their trust to win them over to the Blu-ray side of the wall.