Looking forward to the coming year, analysts at Screen Digest have given a number of predictions for 2008, saying major studio moves will likely decide the next-gen video format battle, and adding that Sony will make major strides forward with its PlayStation 3.
While both video formats currently are locked in what Screen Digest calls a stalemate, the group says that should quickly flip to a 'checkmate' in the months coming.
Said analyst Richard, "Next year we expect to see shifting alliances, and with such a delicate stalemate, it's only going to take one major player to swap sides and the market will shift seismically. We believe this will happen over the course of 2008, with major players moving to format-agnostic or format-exclusive positions."
He added, though, that "both formats must start to make an impact on the HDTV viewer next year if hi-def is to become more than just a niche market – we have seen hardware prices drop in 2007, but the battle over content in 2008 will be the year this storm breaks."
The group has also offered its more traditional gaming predictions, saying that following a decisive win for Nintendo and the Wii in 2007, "exclusive content and the launch of multi-media services" will push Sony to the fore in the coming year.
Added analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, "One of the market shifts to watch out for in 2008 will be the continued evolution of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from games consoles to multi-media hubs. Now that these multi-media services – online video, IPTV, digital terrestrial TV and PVR functionality - are now available or poised to come on line in different markets, this 'hub' strategy is emerging as a key console battleground for Microsoft and Sony."