Hi-def disc battle hots up

With the latest rumours being that Sony's imminent Blu-ray player debut in the UK, the BDP S1E, will cost a eye watering £1000, you might think t

With the latest rumours being that Sony's imminent Blu-ray player debut in the UK, the BDP S1E, will cost a eye watering £1000, you might think that HD DVD would be clearing up over here.And you'd be right. With HD DVD offerings from the likes of Toshiba already nudging towards the magic £300 mark  – the HD-E1 (pictured) was last seen the right side of £336 at Dixons – the Microsoft-backed format has been winning the price and sales wars.Latest figures for January show that European HD DVD film titles out-sold their Blu-ray rivals by five to one. Tosh's bargain player alone bagged it a near 60 per cent share of the hardware market.But one month's sales figures does not a format war win. And over in the States there's a sign that things could be about to turn. Within one month of the Blu-ray equipped PS3's launch there, BD discs outsold the HD variety.Seems by smuggling its hi-def format into people's homes under the cover of PlayStation, Sony's pulled off a stunning tactical manoeuvre.We'll see what effect the PS3 has here when it launches later this month but with standalone Blu-ray players from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic already dipping under £500 online, Microsoft's going to have to sell an awful lot of its £130 Xbox 360 HD DVD add-ons to keep up.

Which disc are you backing? Why not hoot your trap off on the special HD DVD vs Blu-ray thread in our forums?Related stories: Sony announces PS3 release date and price