...and just as importantly related to BD movie playback: who will win the elections?
btw: do you realize at all, that BD is NOT a Sony format?
Sony was just one of the major players supporting it by integrating playback capabilities into the PS3 and thus helping it to achieve a strong market penetration.
As Ian said HD DVD players are sold at the same premium prices with BD players in Europe so price was not a deciding factor, the real market economy and technology was.
People buying these players are early adopters:
1, rich, buying any new toy
2, people who are technology aware, and for them the difference in storage capacity meant more than to the average consumer who will buy into it once it will be cheaper - which will happen NOW that HD DVD is killed off for good.
3, people with a PS3 or Xbox 360. For the 360 you had to buy an additional player which did cost roughly the same for the bargain price you would get a standalone player for in the US. Europe gets shafted as always, so no love for HD DVD on 360. PS3 has BD built-in. Which one do you think one would go for...? Even if you just play games, curiosity kicks in, you will buy a few movies.
Microsoft clearly backed HD DVD to generate fragmentation in the market, and to become a saviour through its own digital download distribution.
This is a major blow for Microsoft, although they won a one year headstart for their download service by sacrificing some hardware cost - which is nothing compared to the expected revenue generated from DLC.