Calling Warner's decision to back Blu-ray exclusively "fatal" for the HD DVD format, leading tech research firm Gartner, Inc. is predicting an end to the format war by late 2008.
The comments from Gartner analyst Hiroyuki Shimizu first hit the web Monday in the Gartner Semiconductor DQ Monday Report, a newsletter sent out to clients and journalists.
In the report, Shimizu says that recent HD DVD player price cuts by Toshiba may extend the war through the end of the year, but that ultimately stronger studio support for Blu-ray will win the day.
"Warner's shift from producing in both formats to Blu-ray alone has left HD DVD with just Paramount and Universal as its major Hollywood supporters, both of which account for only 30% of all HD movies," wrote Shimizu.
"Gartner believes that Toshiba's price-cutting may prolong HD DVD's life a little, but the limited line-up of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format. Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over."