Blu-Ray versus HD DVD: The Battle Over the Next Generation High Definition DVD Format

by: Michael Jensen

Publication Date: March 6, 2009
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-594

Core Disciplines: International Business, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Sony and Toshiba, the developers of the high definition DVD format Blu-ray and HD DVD, respectively, were in a high profile standard war for the next generation video format. Both had formed alliances in order to drive greater and faster market acceptance. After six years of battling, however, Sony prevailed. This case explores the conflict between Sony and Toshiba and how Sony eventually won.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand the determinants to forming alliance constellations and how they can be a source of competitive advantage.
  • Understand the conflict between Sony and Toshiba and the need to form alliances to set technological standards.
  • Consider the diverging and converging interests of the various alliance partners to Sony and Toshiba.
  • Give a recommendation to Sony about going forward and evaluate what Toshiba could have done differently: What steps should Sony take to best utilize its victory? What could Toshiba have done to avoid defeat (if anything)?