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US HD DVD player sales pass 750,000

Demand accelerating

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Three-quarters of a million Americans now own a dedicated HD DVD player or Xbox 360 add-on drive, the HD DVD Promotional Group said today.

To date, 750,000 HD DVD devices have been sold in North America, the organisation said, citing "retailer reports and other point of sale data". It pointed to busy post-Thanksgiving purchasing as one of the reasons for the growth in sales of HD DVD kit. Many of the big retail chains have been hugely discounting Toshiba players.

And growth there has been. Seven months ago, in April, the HD DVD Promotional Group announced that hardware sales had passed the 100,000 mark - a year after the first players went on sale. By June, the total had risen to just 150,000. So, two months to increase 50 per cent, then five months to increase by 400 per cent. Pretty good going.

The fly in the ointment is the sheer lead Blu-ray has by dint of the PlayStation 3, though it's fair to point out that those 750,000 devices have been bought by movie buffs whereas the several million PS3s that have been bought in the US have largely been acquired by gamers.

Lower prices at last seem to be building the momentum the format has hoped for, and it'll be interesting to see how much further it can go during the remainder of the Christmas sales period.

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