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HD DVD backers plan $150m marketing blitz

Roadshow response to counter PS3 countdown

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Microsoft, Intel, Toshiba, HP and others are to spend $150m promoting the HD DVD next-generation optical disc format to North American consumers in the run up to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and through into 2007.

The money will spent on advertising through the usual media channels, and on an HD DVD demo rig which will tour the US this summer hoping to entice consumers through the door to gaze upon the big screens, high-end AV kit, Xbox 360s with external HD DVD drives and so on contained within.

The Xbox 360 element will, we suspect, be key, not least because Sony's PlayStation 3 will play such an important role in promoting Blu-ray Disc in the Holiday season.

Sony's own disc production estimates reckon it will be punching out 10m BDs worldwide by the end of the year, including all the ones with PS3 games as well as those used for movies. The total is split 5m in the US and 2.5m apiece in Japan and Europe. That's just Sony - other disc manufacturers have committed to Blu-ray too. ®

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