Market influence analytics company Cymfony has published a new report finding that a majority of consumers are vocally supporting HD-DVD over Blu-ray, citing Sony's support for Blu-ray as a leading cause for concern.
The study, which aggregated nearly 18,000 blog posts and forum discussions amongst gamers and videophiles, found HD-DVD, currently supported with an add-on to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, had a clear edge amongst consumers, with a greater percentage of positive posts and a smaller percentage of negative posts than Blu-ray, the default next-gen media format included in Sony's PlayStation 3.
Amongst the posts and message threads Cymfony studied, the group found "2.5 times more posts discussed being impressed with the technology of HD DVD than Blu-ray," and "found 70% more posts discussing HD DVD’s advantages than discussing Blu-ray advantages," adding that though Blu-ray is often touted for its higher storage capacity, "many doubted there was any need for this capacity, either for games or movies."
Most striking among the study's findings was that it was Sony's support itself of the Blu-ray format that was discouraging consumers, citing earlier 'failed' formats such as Betamax and the MiniDisc as evidence that Blu-ray could eventually follow, and found a perceived 'arrogance' in Sony as a company for pushing the new technology.
Further, the study found that Sony’s decision to include the Blu-ray player as the sole option into its PlayStation 3 was "rejected" by its audience, who instead praised Microsoft for marketing the HD-DVD player as an optional peripheral for the Xbox 360.
Contrary to Cymfony's impression of "mainstream media focus" on the associated costs and general 'format war' resistance as leading to negative impressions, the study found instead that it was a "general dislike" for the format, and Sony's "credibility as a technology innovator" and its track record for succeeding with new formats that instead led the negatives against Blu-ray.
The full report, entitled "A Blue Christmas for Blu-ray," can be downloaded via Cymfony's site