updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2007
HD DVD Outrunning Blu-Ray
Sales of HD DVD players and their accompanying movies are growing far faster than those for Blu-Ray, if statistics collected by research group NPD and pushed by HD DVD's Promo Group are to be believed. Toshiba's players saw a spike in sales of about 37 percent during the spring versus the winter, with movies growing by 20 percent; Blu-Ray actually declined in this same period by 27 percent for devices and 5 percent, according to the study. The Promo Group attributed the difference to price cuts on players that brought systems as low as $299. Most customers have based their decisions on this, the HD DVD backers said.
Absent from the report, however, was mention of the number of devices in the marketplace and whether Sony's PlayStation 3 was included in the Blu-Ray figures. Toshiba and movie studios associated with HD DVD have in the past omitted the PS3 from their claims, arguing that the console is not purchased as a dedicated movie player despite its ability to play Blu-Ray movies with all features.
Companies supporting Blu-Ray have also tried to counter these discounts themselves, but have to date offered multiple free movies rather than applying most of the cuts to the hardware itself. The lowest-cost Blu-Ray players to date are Sony's PS3 and its dedicated BDP-S300, both of which currently sell for $499.