Blu-ray takes early lead in HD Format War

Written by Tim Smalley

April 25, 2007 | 13:24

Tags: #dvd #figures #format #hd #sales #war

Companies: #blu-ray #sony #toshiba

Blu-ray has managed to outsell its rival, HD DVD, by a ratio of more than two to one in the first quarter of this year, according to market research figures published by Home Media Magazine.

Of the 1.2 million high-definition discs sold between January 1st and March 31st of this year, 832,530 Blu-ray discs were sold, compared to only 359,300 HD DVD discs. In March, the situation was even more favourable for Sony's format, as consumers bought 335,980 Blu-ray discs and 119,570 HD DVDs.

Indeed, Blu-ray has already gone past the one million mark since its launch in June 2006, while HD DVD is still yet to break that barrier, despite being launched two months earlier. Current research shows that consumers have bought around 937,500 HD DVD discs.

Rather unsurprisingly, the current top ten chart for high-definition disc sales is dominated by Sony's format, with eight of the ten slots occupied by Blu-ray titles.

Given the choice on titles like The Departed, which was launched on both Blu-ray and HD DVD on February 13th, the majority have opted for the Blu-ray version, which sold 53,640, compared to 31,590 on HD DVD, according to the research.

I'm not quite sure whether these market research figures take into account the fact that Sony has been bundling titles like Casino Royale with its PlayStation 3 console, because those should be counted in total sales. The PS3 has undoubtedly had an effect on these figures, because it's lowered the barrier of entry for Blu-ray, because HD DVD players are almost half the price of the cheapest Blu-ray players out there. However, the HD Format War is still in its early days, so it's hard to pick a long term winner -- Sony has merely won the latest battle.

Have you invested into the HD market and if so, which way did you swing? Let us know in the forums.
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