In the ongoing media war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the HD-DVD camp has added another notch to their ever increasing victory belt
with astronomical sales figures.
Toshiba’s second-generation HD-DVD player, the HD-A2, has a list price of $299. However, it generally sells for $199 and two of the largest consumer electronics retailers, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, have gone even further to boost player sales; they’ve knocked the price down to $99.
Now, I find $99 to be quite reasonable for any media player with a good feature list and forward compatibility. Apparently the general public of the US agrees with me, because this weekend alone an estimated 90,000 players were sold. Compare that to the total sales of Sony’s best selling Blu-Ray set-top player, the BDP-S300s, at 100,000.
This large boost in sales has brought Toshiba’s HD-DVD market share up at least 35%. Despite this, and due largely in part to PlayStation 3 hardware sales, Blu-Ray is still winning the format war right now. HD-DVD isn’t exactly off the map though, and with Best Buy knocking $100 off the HD-A3, Toshiba’s third-generation player, more retailers are sure to get involved in the price war; especially with Black Friday coming up.
If you look back to classic format wars, such as Betamax versus VHS, huge strides are made simply by hardware prices – and subsequently hardware sales. Blu-Ray has a clear lead due to its integration with the PlayStation 3. However, as the console war marches forward, a clear winner will begin to emerge. This winner could easily help control HD-DVD/Blu-Ray market share just as the PlayStation 3 has boosted Blu-Ray sales as of now.
One thing is for certain though; DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD aren’t going anywhere soon. There is still enough demand for each of the formats even as older TVs are getting replaced with high-definition TVs that benefit from high-def formats and in-home movie theaters are becoming more and more common. Only time will show the true success of one format – or the combined success of both.
Still undecided or will this holiday season be decision time for you? Leave your thoughts over in the forum