It seems a little scary that a huge movie studio(Sony MGM) also controls the medium for distribution. I imagine the large BD members have a lot of control. Perhaps the real contention is not Sony vs everyone else, but the large studios vs the smaller ones.
The flip side of this is that Sony and the other studios want to sell more discs and resell people the Blu-Ray versions of what the consumer has on DVD. Sony trying to build a monopoly around BD isn't going to help much to that end. The other part of this which is good for consumers is that there are now other mediums for distribution such as downloadable services such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Imagine if the only way to get movies to people was BD and you were a small studio. You would have no leverage.
I agree with Aki that someone else may license HD DVD. Data storage is somewhat separate from movie watching so HD DVD may live on as a data format especially if it is cheaper to manufacture and license.
Sony has a poor track record establishing and maintaining standards. Examples that come to mind are Betamax, Mini-Disc, and the way they handled the portable digital music player market.
It seems that Sony's problem with standards is a desire to take the market by its nose and yank in the direction Sony wants everyone to go. This is also sometimes combined with somewhat unreasonable prices, and -- worse yet -- an imposition of their own perspectives on what consumers may do with their products.
Some might recall that Sony was the brand for portable music players back in the day, and lost this market to Creative, Apple and others. The digital Walkman -- an almost guaranteed franchise -- was wasted at the altar of arcane content protection schemes. Later on they wised up a little, but it was too little too late. This was unfortunate for both Sony and consumers, as the underlying capabilities of the players were not matched by others until many years later.
It'll be interesting to see how Sony responds to this apparent success for their BD product. I'm hoping that Sony won't go wild with licensing fees and doomed-to-fail monopoly building. If BD disk online prices jump from the current $15-$20 range to $25 or more over the next few months, and if PC-based BD drives go back above $400, then I'd bet that it's only a matter of time for BD to be replaced by a competitive standard. Perhaps by someone licensing HD DVD from Toshiba... LiteON? Samsung?
I agree with Kevin. It was only a matter of time! Aside from the fact that I'm an avid PS3 fan, I do think Blu-Ray is the superior technology... The issue Toshiba will have to face now is, do they want to support Blu-Ray? They've already stated that they will continue to market the recordable HD DVD Discs.
It's about time! I thought Sony would take the prize from the beginning. Early Playstation support, more disc storage, and a larger role in the movie business made Sony a stronger competitor. Blueray might be a little more expensive, but time will fix that...
Quite frankly, I don't care who won, as long as someone actually won. The format war was bad for everyone, manufacturers from both camps and of course consumers. I, like many, refused to make a purchase until the war was over. Both formats are good - but having both formats was bad.