Launch date: April 18, 2006

Fatal flaw(s): Not enough big-studio support

Next time there's a major media format war, do the smart thing and wait it out. That's what people who bought HD DVD players learned the hard way. Backed heavily by Toshiba, HD DVD was a next-gen optical disc format for storing and recording hi-def video meant to replace the DVD. Despite selling a good number of expensive players and recorders, and over 400 movie titles released in the format, the industry decided to go with the Sony-backed Blu-ray Disc. A larger number of consumer electronics companies including Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp, as well as Sony deciding to ship its Playstation 3 video game console with a Blu-ray player, spelled death for the format.