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A Blu-ray Christmas? Don't bank on it

Credit crunch to hurt HD format's sales

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There’s little point in dreaming of a Blu Christmas this year, because the credit crunch looks set to sap consumer spending on the format, one market analyst fears.

In a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Russ Crupnick, senior industry analyst at market watcher NPD, said that sales of premium-priced electronics, including Blu-ray, will suffer as consumers tighten their belts.

Consumers are “going to be more selective in their spending”, he said, adding that consumers are likely to place a higher priority on buying, say, a games console or an HD TV than a Blu-ray Disc player.

Andy Parsons, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association’s US promotions committee, was - unsurprisingly - a little more upbeat about the format’s Christmas sales potential though. “We’re hopeful even though things are getting a little tough out there, economically speaking,” he told the paper.

But why be blue, Andy? If punters do indeed favour games consoles, they're likely to consider the PlayStation 3, which, conveniently, doubles up as a Blu-ray player.

That might be enough to swing sales in the console's favour over the cheaper Xbox 360.

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