Meet the new VHS and Betamax. It’s unclear who’s winning consumer tech’s latest format wars, the Economist explains, but both Blu-ray and HD DVD claim to be the high-def successor to the DVD. The cheaper HD DVD sells more stand-alone players, but Blu-ray sells more disks and is supported by Sony’s PlayStation 3.
Early on, Blu-ray looked poised for a knockout, with Hollywood’s biggest studios behind it, until Paramount and Dreamworks jumped ship last month, the former for a rumored $150 million. The move will make HD DVD's lower-priced players a much bigger factor. Both formats could still lose to download services, igniting a new format war over software standards. (Read more Sony stories.)