HD DVD sales surge; Blu-ray sinking

Format wars are always entertaining and really give an inside look on how businesses and manufacturers compete. Over the years, such wars included 8-tracks vs. cassette tapes, VHS vs. Betamax vs. Video 2000, MiniDisc vs. Digital Compact Cassette and CDs vs. vinyl records. Now, in today’s world, the match-up between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD –and HD DVD is winning.

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group announced today that they’ve captured 60% of the high-definition (HD) market and in the month of May alone, they’ve sold over 75,000 HD DVD movies. Overall HD DVD sales hit $5.2 million and this is a new record, which is 31% higher than the last previous record.

With the success of HD DVD, this format war can’t look too good for Blu-Ray and its primary supporter, Sony. Successful advertising and price drops increased sales for HD DVD players. When HD DVD player prices dropped from $499 to $399, weekly sales doubled in April and doubled again through May.

While Sony continues to introduce new Blu-ray players, the price tags are still pretty high; for example the BDP-S300 player introduced in February is still $499.

Let’s draw comparisons to the different supporters of each disc. Microsoft and its Xbox 360 have embraced HD DVD when an attachable HD DVD player was made available back in November 2006. As of January 2007, over 100,000 of them were sold and HD DVD movies have continued to sell particularly well.

On the flip side, there’s Sony and its PlayStation 3 with a built-in Blu-ray player. Considering the attachable HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 can be used for other devices (with a PC, for example), the versatility of that player is dominant over Blu-ray.

Since Sony is trying to corner the market with Blu-ray and failing, it could be that they are going the path of the Betamax in which Sony lost their shirts in backing Betamax over VHS. The market shift to HD DVD is mounting, and hopefully for Sony, this doesn’t mean people jumping ship from Blu-ray to HD DVD.


[Via Broadcast Newsroom]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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