updated 03:55 pm EDT, Tue June 12, 2007
Poor Toshiba HDDVD Sales
Toshiba's shipping numbers for HD DVD will be scaled back, the company's digital consumer head Yoshihide Fujii has revealed. Having first planned to sell 1.8 million movie players to Canada and the US by the end of 2007, the company now says it has reduced the forecast to just 1 million -- a 44 percent drop, a second senior manager said. The cut has been attributed to low existing sales, which would make it difficult to recover in the second half of the year. No explanation has been given for the sub-par results, but the drop will likely be reflected in other regions as well, Fujii says.
Such news quickly follows the company's boasting that it reportedly leads HD movie player sales, commanding 60 percent of the player business versus its opponent, Blu-Ray. In the new development, however, the company has admitted that its figures didn't include Sony's PlayStation 3, which it considers only a game console despite its ability to play Blu-Ray movies. Most PS3 owners buy movies only sparingly compared to those who buy the players alone, claims Universal Studios Home Entertainment VP Ken Graffeo.
"Consumers who are buying Playstation 3 are buying it as a game console," he said. "They're simply not buying it for watching as many high-definition movies as Sony said they would."
Toshiba's news today nevertheless reflects the poor adoption rate of either next-generation movie formats. Both Blu-Ray and HD DVD titles have struggled to match regular DVDs in sales, in some cases managing only a few hundred copies across the US.