Both formats offered improved picture and sound quality over the regular ol' DVD. But HD DVD, developed by Toshiba and NEC, had already attracted the big players. Its supporters included Microsoft, Intel and Warner Bros -- and the format was backed by the influential DVD Forum industry group.
USA Today dismissed Blu-ray as an also-ran in an article touting HD DVD's quality: "Sony has developed the competing Blu-ray DVD, but hasn't signed up any studios beyond its own."
Despite HD's major leg up, the Blu-ray Disc Association soldiered on as a joint venture between Sony and Philips -- and slowly slowly garnered support from content manufacturers and major retailers.
A mere day before CES 2008, Warner Bros. announced it would drop HD DVD for Blu-ray. That signaled the end for HD. Less than one month later, Toshiba conceded defeat and discontinued its HD DVD business. Once again, a tortoise triumphed over the hare.
NEXT: 2005: Windows Media Center fails -- again and again