A classic example of big corporate greed being bad for the consumer is the battle between the new high definition DVD formats, Blu-Ray and HD DVD. This on’e been going on for a while but with both formats now becoming more widely available, the consumer is starting to see the downsides. The consumer is being used by the corporate world, in this case specifically Sony and Toshiba, to decide who wins a monumental fight involving billions of dollars of investment in this new technology. Now that the heat is building up, and one side or the other faces losing, it’s interesting to read that Sony’s CEO wishes that it had never come to this. Naturally, his company will likely go bust if his bet on Blu-Ray and the PS3 doesn’t work out. The PS3 is on shaky ground based on the competition from the Nintendo Wii, and if the console doesn’t start selling in huge numbers in the run up to the holiday season Blu-Ray could be in trouble. Why ? Because the vast majority of Blu-Ray players are, you guessed it, built into the PS3.
It’s an interesting story, one you can read a lot more about on WikiPedia, but in the end it’s going to be a very costly investment in a dead technology and in the meantime, it’s you and I – Joe Schmoe Consumer, that will be in the middle of this massive format war.