Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
I personally feel that the "format war" categorization is legitimized by one thing and one thing only: consumer perception.
If consumers worry about "getting stuck with the wrong format", then there's a format war.
If they don't worry then there's no format war.
Consumers worried about "getting stuck with the wrong format" with SACD/DVD-A, Beta/VHS, and now HD DVD/BD. Those are format wars.
The didn't worry about getting stuck with the "wrong format" between CD or Cassette, Laserdisc or VHS, Cable or Satellite TV. Those are not format wars and those formats coexist (probably because they satisfy different market needs).
Of course, the background market reasons that would affect consumer fears may be the context that you're detailing in your comments. And that may be right. But the final litmus test for me is simple: are consumers worried about getting stuck with the wrong format? Yes=Format War. No=No war.
IF the Studios came out and said "Ok we'll back BOTH formate for YEARS and have no plans of leaving one behind," then consumers would purchase both and in much greater numbers than with BD "Winning."