In response to this article, claiming that the DVD format war may soon be over, I highly doubt it. In the article:
The high-definition DVD format war, which has slowed consumer acceptance of the new players, may soon be over.
They go on further to state that hybrid players coming from Warner Brothers and LG will bridge the gap between Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Well, it's just not going to happen. There's several reasons.
First of all, what is one of the most determining factors of a format war? In other words, what is it that makes it a war? Well, I'd say probaby the biggest determining factor is price. If price wasn't an issue, people would probably buy both a Blu-ray and an HD DVD player. Well, guess what. They're not at all cheap. The thing about hybrid players is that if they're going to play both formats, their prices are going to be really high. And in a few years, the less popular brand won't even be needed in your player. You've just wasted a whole bunch of money on a format that you don't even end up playing.
Secondly, I think that Blu-ray is going to win. Definitely not right away, but eventually. Here's why: I can think of 3 major computer manufacturers backing Blu-ray: Microsoft, Apple and Dell. These represent a HUGE amount of the computer market, and with the speed of advancement in the computer industry, consumers want all the storage they can get. Toshiba, sure they're a fairly large force computer industry, but it's unlikely that they can compete against Microsoft, Apple and Dell. Also, although prices of Blu-ray players are way too high right now, analysts predict that prices will drop significantly in the next few years.
Thirdly, a lot of people aren't even aware of the new formats out there. A few are still getting used to DVDs. Now there's 2 new formats out there. So although the chances of an uneducated person buying a Blu-ray or HD DVD player are low, just think what the chances are of them buying a hybrid plyayer promising to play 2 formats they've never even heard of. The chances of a purchase are slim to none.
And lastly, there will simply not be enough players to end a format war such as this. All the major brands such as Sony, Toshiba, Dell, Apple and Microsoft have taken their side. Some, such as Sony, have invested a lot of money in the format they're backing. So if there's a couple of smaller-brand manufacturers making some hybrid players, how is it going to become popular? Almost every popular device bought and owned in the American household has been cloned, which is needed usually.
So although a hybrid player sounds like a great idea, it's unlikely it can compete against even the losing format in this war as there will simply be not enough manufacturers to make them, keeping the price steep on these players. Look back on the format war between Betamax and VHS. Even though it would have been theroretically possible, I sure can't remember any hybrid players back then.