The smoke is clearing. The furious standards war between new high-capacity media Blu-Ray DVD and HD-DVD is effectively over.

HD-DVD‘s practically won. Its secret weapon? Porn.

Sony tried to railroad the industry into using Blu-Ray by incorporating it into the much ballyhooed PlayStation 3, which didn’t work. Part of the game plan was to also give the public a cheap way to get an otherwise expensive standalone Blu-Ray player in the PS3 (Microsoft is now selling an optional HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 for US$199). But production, supply and distribution problems and big bucketfuls of bad PR quickly threw a spanner in the Blu-ray war machine.

They didn’t count on the pornography industry throwing its support behind HD-DVD. Despite Blu-ray being resolutionally superior, according to the the Porn People HD-DVD is cheaper and easier to produce, and that, as they say, seals the deal.

Besides, there is precedent – in the days of the Betamax vs. VHS Wars, the technologically better Betamax format bit the bullet because Porn embraced the easier-to-make VHS. And those of you who remember who made Betamax, please raise your hands.

The only industry complaint with the whole concept of high-definition porn is that actresses are running to their friendly neighborhood plastic surgeons once again: apparently hi-def, blu or not, isn’t a very forgiving format.

But it says a lot about an industry when porn can influence tech. Sigh.

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