While Blu-ray has yet to ship, ABI Research has already declared HD DVD the winner of the first round in the High Definition DVD format fight.
Toshiba's HD DVD player started shipping to US retailers this week, four months ahead of Sony's scheduled release of its Blu-ray format players. North America represents by far the most important market for the new high-definition formats, accounting for more than 60% of all HDTVs that ABI Research expects will be shipped during 2006.
What does this mean for the prospects of the rival formats? Will HD DVD's earlier entry to the market and substantially lower price tag give it the edge over Blu-ray? The answer is "yes" in the short term, but as time passes, complicating factors may shift the balance.
Studies like this make me laugh. It really isn't too hard to declare a winner when the competition hasn't even started to ship their products yet. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, ABI Research's entire press release can be found here.