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Blu-ray movie sales gathering momentum

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Film fans are steadily heeding the hi-def message. Some 11m Blu-ray Disc movie titles have been bought so far, according to the latest sales stats.

Research by US market watcher Redhill also revealed that more BDs were sold during the first five months of this year than during the whole of 2007.

Last year, BDs only accounted for up to two per cent of the sales of every top-ten movie release. Redhill now estimates that between eight and ten per cent of the latest blockbusters are bought on Blu-ray. Among the most popular Blu-ray titles currently on sale are the post-apocalyptic I am Legend and - still - Casino Royale.

However, not everyone’s convinced. According to a report by Home Media Magazine, Shane Kim, head of Microsoft Game Studios, recently said that he doesn’t see “that format taking off, in general”. Although, if you’re trying to kill off rumours that a Blu-ray drive isn’t coming to the Xbox 360, then rubbishing the format’s a good way to start.

If BD sales are to continue rising, then sales of Blu-ray hardware need to grow too. Market watcher Strategy Analytics has predicted that 57.4m BD players, games consoles and PCs will have been sold in the US, Europe and Japan collectively by 2012.

It also predicted that 30m households in those regions will own Blu-ray equipment by December.

If that prediction is to come true, then Blu-ray backers need to step up their promotional activities, at least in the US if not elsewhere too. Yesterday, it emerged that more than half of US HD TV owners aren't familiar with the BD format, and only six per cent of consumers plan to buy a BD player in the next six months.

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