Well just as the formats were about to fall out of the ring and go into an all out street brawl, the ref called time and sent the combatants back to their corners. The violation being a worldwide shortage of blue laser diodes. Nichia, the company that holds 80% of the blue laser diode supply, has reported that its yield rate of production is currently at 30%, but the product still fails to meet demand.
Philips, Hitachi-LG, Sony, Matsushita Electric, Lite-On IT and BenQ all have drives in some form of production, but only Pioneer and Plextor are currently able to maintain regular shipments. It is speculated that Toshiba might soon be able to as well.
Michael Gong, of Lite-On, believes that the weak supply of diodes should strengthen early next year. Hopefully he’s right. I’ve been waiting patiently to figure out which of these to get and I’m starting to get antsy.