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Firm forecasts cash not clash for Blu-ray, HD DVD

Oh, what a lovely war

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War may be hell, but it sure can be profitable too. Consider the nearing fight between next-generation optical disc formats HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Only a few opening salvos and empty throws have been made so far, but the battle's expected to intensify this coming Christmas. But that won't stop it expanding into a $28bn market come 2010.

So calculates US-based market watcher the Santa Clara Consulting Group (SCCG). It reckons the blue-laser technology market will have grown to become a $2bn endeavour by the end of 2006. At least half of that will be accounted for by games consoles and games media.

Four years on, the market for players will be $4bn, for pre-recorded movies $3bn, for PC-oriented burners $4bn, for compatible games consoles $6bn and for games on blue-laser media a whopping $10bn.

"Currently the market seems to be preoccupied with the format battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD technologies," said SCCG managing director David Bunzel. "What is overlooked is the fact that a market is developing and the opportunity is huge."

You might argue that for a clear winner, the opportunity is even greater, but there's a possibility for the two formats to co-exist, favoured by slightly different market constituencies. SCCG's sales forecast, if it proves accurate, suggests there's room for content providers and hardware companies to back both formats and do very nicely out each. ®

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