1) studio support. The biggest concept to keep in mind here, imo, is that studio support does not translate into video on demand
. in other words, Just because studio A is supporting format #1, that does not mean that you will automatically see your favorite studio A title released immediately, or even neccessarily sooner, on format #1. it just means that your chances of seeing it eventually look better...at this point in time
as to how studio support will influence buyers who are finally inclined to pick up one or the other HD formats on disc...I tend to believe it will not be based on what titles may be released in the future, rather what is available on the shelf as they are moving around the store with the player in their shopping cart. Fox has some very high profile titles that would generate a lot of buzz and are the 'perfect' vehicles to stimulate enthusiasm for Blu-ray. If these are on the shelves for the Christmas shopping season it will definitely help.
on the other side, HD DVD only has Universal. In general, this doesn't look like much of an advatage, however they do control the new Battlestar Galactica. I haven't seen it, but apparently this has a very strong, very rabid fan base and being shot in HD, and it hits a prime demographic for this kind of technology - so that title may be enough for some people to buy into that format.
2) PS3 factor- doubt it will affect much at all.
3) the $500 price point is a very important factor, imo. With DVDs, for the longest time I said that a $15 price point, vs a $20 and up price point, was the difference between a blind buy and "eh, I'll pass on this for now". I think alot of other people used the same price vetting- and when it comes to hardware, I see the $500 price as the equivilent of that $15.
I think people will be more inclined to try the technology out, or add it to the 'shopping cart' when they go to purchase a new large screen tv. When the price is $800 on up, I think it loses as an 'impulse' buy for most people.
4) Fox won't have titles until Sept. Disney doens't look to have titles until Bd50s are up and ready for prime time, so that looks like Fall at the earliest too. Even assuming they went full bore once they officially stepped into the ring with content, they are still inhibited by having to author any new discs as well as replicate them. On the authoring side, this should be compounded by the fact that , for instance Disney wants more interactivity. More interactivity seems to imply that authoring the disc is going to be that much bigger of a pita. which means these will take longer get right and get out.
By November and the start of the holiday shopping season, Fox and Disney will have had at the most, only 8-10 weeks to get titles on the shelves.
Sony/MGM and the others will have had a few more weeks, but most of those titles will be of limited appeal or have already been released and rereleased on DVD so often (hasn't Fifth Element already had 3 releases already including a new one just last year?) that it can't help but dilute the enthsuisam a bit.
I don't know who will will this 'war'. I've got a HD DVD player, and despite a few quirks, I am extremely pleased with it and feel the price/performance ratio is truly excellant. If nothing else I hope that it (the format) lasts long enough for me to compile a good sized collection to get several more years out of.
I had intended to pick up one or the other this fall, but the price point of the Bds just make them a non starter for me at this point. For $500 I can afford to be a little more tolerant of the quirks with this one (and I have to say- so far none of the quirks have affected playability of the movies- the movie experience has not been compromised on my player so far).
At $1K and up, any quirks or issues would be absolutely infuriating.