Blu-ray widens US disc sales lead
Big share of Thanksgiving viewing
Blu-ray Disc player owners bought more discs during the US Thanksgiving holiday period than their HD DVD-owning counterparts did, numbers from market watcher Nielsen VideoScan reveal.
Some 72.6 per cent of all HD discs purchased during the period were BDs, while 27.4 per cent were HD DVDs, according to Nielsen figures relayed by the US Home Media Magazine.
That's down from the 37.5 per cent media sales share HD DVD recorded for Q3 as a whole.
US 2007 hi-def disc sales
Source: Home Media Research, Register Hardware
The HD DVD camp likes to portray consumers of its favoured format as being more interested in movies than the other lot's users are, but when it comes down to it, it's about bums* on seats, and like it or not, Blu-ray is shifting more units than HD DVD is.
Such is the numerical superiority of PlayStation 3s out there, that even though HD DVD owners are (probably) more dedicated movie buyers than the average BD machine owner, Blu-ray wins the numbers game.
Last week, the HD DVD Promotional Group said sales of HD DVD players to date have passed the 750,000 mark - an increase of more than 400 per cent since June.
*Note to North American readers: a rear end, not a vagrant.
Two formats can survive - we may prefer one but...
Betamax lost out to VHS. The main reason for that was that Sony did not want porn assoicatied with its format. The video rentals were heavily affected - which helped kill off Betamax.
I think BD will win out in the long run, but if enough of both systems are sold - both types will survive. I drive a diesel car - there are more petrol cars out there. Do I worry about not being able to find a fuel station that supports both. No.
When I go into my local blockbusters - they have Xbox360 and PS3 games. I dont think that is likely to change in the near future. (Wii games as well of course).
I would love all the best games to come out on just the one platform. However that would only be good in the short term. If the PS3 dominated the market - it would be a much longer time before a PS4 comes out. Competition helps innovation.
It is a pain having two separate formats. The companies behind them are in it for the money. There is nothing wrong with that. That is how companies survive. Only in communist countries where they have taken a dim view of such "silly" competition, would this not happen. Unfortunately you just end up with very little innovation in such circumstances.
If both formats really take off - then films are likely to end up on both formats. Just like a lot of games are on both the PS3 and the Xbox360.
I think Sony were right in placing the BD in the PS3 - long term it will help its sales over Xbox360 and drive BD adoption. Mind you I thought the Wii would fall flat on its face - and boy did I get that wrong...
It also depends on retail of HDTV! :)
At the moment, HDTV is becoming more affordable, but there's limited support beyond games and purchased/rented discs. The old skool basic DVD market is on the way out, but it's not dead yet - see any rental store to see the numbers. When they reach a tipping point of 50% HD, that'll be proof that the money is there as consumers have finally shifted over.
While the target demo of this website is the young affluent technical spender, the reality is a lot of people will sit back and wait till they have enough HD outputs to buy a HD TV, and until then they don't care. I don't know about you, but in Ireland, Sky HD is pricey and limited to just a few channels in HD. So unless I buy a ps3 or Xbox tree-sitty, it's not worth my while to drop a grand in euro on a nice TV when non-HD is so very affordable.
Ultimately there will be a turning point where buyers stop being early adopters and become mainstream, but there's enough uncertainty at the moment between resolution, HD outputs, and the HDDVD format wars that many people are waiting it out, which makes it all so unpredictable. And of course the wii added to this!
It's great fun, but whichever one you choose, do try to avoid becoming an extremist champion of either format, flaming people for posting on technical websites... ;)
In the early and middle part of this year, I was sure either format has a chance. I took my chances with HD-DVD, counting on the lower pricing than BD. Frankly speaking, when people started to defend the low sales of HD-DVD, I knew that I must have made a mistake. After the Toshiba HD-DVD player dump, I expected a lot of movie sales number coming from that, but I did not. I own one of those Toshiba players and I am not sure if it was worth defending anymore. I am throwing in the towel. I am glad to have paid only $100, plus change. Not sure if I am ready to join Bluray camp yet, but the handwriting is on the wall.
Game not won
As a European that purchased the 99 USD player on a recent trip, and took advantage of the 5 free disk mail in offer, HD-DVD player was effectively free to me.
I still think HD-DVD has a fighting chance:
1) Less DRM ... I can order movies from amazon, my PS3 buddies cant
2) Less DRM ... No BD+ to screw up my player
3) Sales figure skewed by some studios only releasing BR
4) Manufacturing. HD-DVD can be printed in DVD plants, not so with BR
5) HD-DVD movie demand should be on the increase after dumping players.
What is included in the figures
I thought that HD DVD was backed by the porn industry? Since world wide porn sales far eclipse the movie and music businesses combined I think that this should not be ignored.
The Porn industry do not want to have to pay the hefty fees the Bluray camp charge so once they start producing hd media who knows, the game may be over (or we could end up with 2 systems, one for family viewing and the other well......
Just my 2 pence worth.