ArsTechnica on HDMI-Less Consoles

Hollywood reportedly in agreement to delay forced quality downgrades for Blu-ray, HD DVD

According to German-language Spiegel Online, there is reportedly a behind-the-scenes, unofficial agreement between Hollywood and some consumer electronics manufacturers, including Microsoft and Sony, not to use ICT [Image Constraint Tokens] until 2010, or possibly even 2012. Without providing more details, the report suggests that Hollywood isn’t exactly happy with the situation, and could very well renege on the agreement, such that it is. But the agreement is there nonetheless, presumably to help the industry transition to HDMI. This could explain why the very same studios that pushed for HDMI and ICT have recently announced that they would not use it for the time being.

[…] If indeed there is an “agreement” of sorts between companies like Microsoft and Sony and the studios (including Sony’s own entertainment interests), this could certainly help to explain why these consoles are shipping today without HDMI support. But such unofficial agreements are gentlemanly in nature: at any time, all bets could be off. In the meantime, it appears as though Hollywood is playing it safe, hoping to keep the boogeyman of HDMI at bay while consumers weigh their options. Whether or not the strategy is ultimately about keeping users happy or lulling them into a false sense of security remains to be seen, but we’re fairly certain that ICT was designed to be used, and used it will be.

Slashdot article: Pact Not to Use Image Constraint Token Until 2010?