Toshiba slashes HD DVD hardware sales forecast
Promotion Group's numbers not so rosy either
Toshiba has taken an axe to its HD DVD player sales forecast, despite claims from the HD DVD Promotion Group (PG) that the company's "latest promotional efforts are clearly resonating with consumers and showing that price is king when it comes to hardware".
Toshiba yesterday said it new expects to sell 1m HD DVD devices in the US by the end of the year, Reuters reports. That's a drop of 44 per cent on the 1.8m the company previously forecast. Before, it said it would ship 3m HD DVD players and drives by the end of March 2008, and while it didn't provide a revised estimate for global sales, it admitted it was going to have to come up with a new, lower figure.
Contrast that with the HD DVD PG's bullish claim that its favoured format accounts for 60 per cent of all HD "set-top players" sold in the US to date. "With the successive price drops by Toshiba, weekly player sales doubled in April when the price dropped from $499 to $399, doubled again during the first week of the latest promotion in late May, and increased again last week," it said on Monday.
Toshiba's HD-A20: lower price for higher sales
To date, US consumers have bought 150,000 "dedicated" HD DVD players, the PG said, almost all of them sold by Toshiba, though it's unclear whether the group is including sales of Microsoft's HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 or not.
Probably not, because that might invite comparisons with PlayStation 3 sales which, limited though they are, are nonetheless driving adoption of the Blu-ray Disc format. Sony has sold a lot more than 150,000 PS3s in the US since the consoles late November 2006 introduction there.
And if 150,000 HD DVD players represents 60 per cent of HD player shipments, that means some 100,000 Blu-ray Disc players have also shipped in the US. Now since, HD DVD has been on the US market for over a year - Toshiba shipped its first player there in May 2006 after an April 2006 launch - and BD players have been available for less than that, HD DVD's 50,000-unit lead is not impressive, and certainly not a sign that it's winning the war.
And maybe the prognosis for the format is even less attractive, given Toshiba's new, significantly lower sales forecast, one that covers a period in which the company has already said it plans to equip more of its laptops with HD DVD drives.
Sony should quit trying to make new formats.
The first time Sony released a format was the betamax it then failed. Then it produced the Minidisc that also failed. Then it produced the UMD that failed.
Now it’s got the blu-ray disk. Sony has always wanted its format to be used.
Sony in recent years has been failing to compete in Home entertainment against the likes of Panasonic and Samsung. It computer market barely made a profit (plus its batteries exploded). Their music label was the same.
Sony saw the only thing it had that was successful was the Playstation.
The reason the blu-ray player ended up in the PS3 was to try and get its share of everything else back.
If it makes blu-ray the leading format it gets control of the entertainment market again. Its computer line gets Blu-ray burners and that can't hurt.
The problem is its biggest supporter, the gamer takes the biggest hit. They are the early adopter. They pay for something so expensive and its barley needed.
This is just so Sony can boast the biggest share of next-gen media players.
Re: HD TV's
All such kit takes years to establish itself - it's not until it's "cheap in tescos" that HD will get down to the hoi poloi.
Here's how companies work. Five, maybe ten years ago, marketeers and engineers get together and plan HD storage and playback. They scurry off and sell the idea to their CEO's who then finance the millions in designing the electronics and producing the players.
The cost is enormous and so the marketeers talk about amazing sales and fast adoption rates - it's the only way the budget to design the stuff will get signed off.
The kit gets made after arguments and licensing issues and technical difficulties...finally limping into the shops a few months late.
Everyone sits back and awaits the "Amazing sales and fast adoption rates". They don't happen. Predicted sales get adjusted downwards, shares slide, jobs get lost, technology improves and the kit gets cheaper, suddenly it's "cheap in tescos" and everyone lives happily ever after.
So, why would I want to buy an HD-DVD, when my TV won't show HD content??
I don't watch that much TV either. The only thing I use my TV for is to play my PlayStation 1 or watch DVD's.
And HD TV's, while nice, are too damn expensive for me to buy. I think the HD-DVD camp hasn't realized that??
I might, however, buy a PS3, so I would end up with BluRay anyway.