updated 11:30 am EST, Thu January 17, 2008
Warner Kills HDDVD Sales
Warner's decision to produce exclusively in Blu-ray may have already dealt a fatal blow to HD DVD movie sales, according to the latest charts from Home Media Magazine. The industry-oriented weekly reports that all but one of the top ten HD movie discs sold in the same week as the Warner announcement were Blu-ray exclusives. Aggregate results are the same with only the tenth-place Bourne Ultimatum shipping solely as an HD DVD version, the magazine adds.
While the statistics allow for approximately half a week of sales before Warner's news, the figures are expected to further damage the perception of HD DVD, which now only has the support of Paramount and Universal among major studios.
However, retailers in the most recent week have not scaled back their support for both formats, the magazine also reports. Stores such as Best Buy and Circuit City are currently advertising both Blu-ray and HD DVD players and have not announced any intentions to discount movies themselves.
"As far as we're concerned there are still two formats and the format war is not really over," says Best Buy spokesman Brian Lucas, who says that the retail chain would continue to sell HD DVD as long as the hardware and movies existed and there was a viable market for them.
Toshiba, currently the only company to make a widely available HD DVD movie player, has taken its own steps and slashed HD DVD player prices by as much as 50 percent in what is generally regarded as a last bid to keep the disc format viable. Blu-ray players have often remained more expensive but have been helped overall by Sony's PlayStation 3, which costs the same as many dedicated movie players but adds both games and media hub features.