Analysts agree that HD DVD demise is good news for the console
Sales of the PlayStation 3 could see a rise of up to 10 per cent in the wake of Toshiba's pull-out from the next generation DVD war as a result of educated consumers who have been waiting for the format war to end.
That's according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who also told GamesIndustry.biz that as well as the short term boost, the long term effect will be even more positive.
"Longer term, I think it's a huge boon for Sony, as most retail clerks will be instructed to push Blu-ray along with sales of HD monitors at holiday, so we should see a large increase in PS3 sales year-over-year at holiday," he said.
Ed Barton and Richard Cooper, from Screen Digest, broadly agree: "With the format war over, and the end of the consumer indecision resulting from it, video consumers are likely to purchase the PS3 as the most cost effective, future proof Blu-ray player," they said.
"In the longer term lower price, higher specification set-top Blu-ray players will take on the role as best entry level Blu-ray player but not within the next 12 months. This could result in a small but significant rise in the number of PS3s bought over the next 12 months as Blu-ray players".
On the question of what Microsoft's response might be, given that the Xbox 360 supported an HD DVD peripheral but with no official plans to do the same for Blu-ray at this point, opinion was mixed.
Pachter feels that while committing the Xbox 360 to Blu-ray is an option for Microsoft, either in terms of a built-in device or as a peripheral, both are unlikely - while to compete on that basis with the PlayStation 3 the company can only look towards price cuts.
Barton and Cooper feel that the demise of HD DVD won't have a negative effect on the Xbox 360, and that Microsoft will instead see benefits in other areas.
"If anything Microsoft will appreciate more Xbox 360 owners being driven to the Live Video Store as it makes more margin on HD content supply from XBL than via the HD DVD platform".
Sony is yet to officially comment on the HD DVD situation, while Microsoft has reiterated that it doesn't believe Xbox 360 sales will be affected.
"As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry," the company said.