Blu-ray Gains Sales Edge

Mar 1, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Powered by the launch of the PlayStation 3 game system, sales of Sony Blu-ray titles have surpassed Toshiba HD DVDs.
Tracking of sales on Nielsen VideoScan, as well as eproductwars.com, show Blu-ray titles are significantly outpacing the rival format.
Blu-ray DVDs accounted for a 65 percent share of the market for the week ended Feb. 18, according to data from Nielsen. That marks a reversal from late November, when HD-DVD accounted for 63 percent of sales.
Similarly, of the top 10 titles currently available in the formats on Amazon.com, Blu-ray titles averaged a sales rank of 246, while HD DVD titles averaged 763 earlier this week.
Blu-ray started outpacing HD-DVD on a few of the key eproductwars.com charts on Jan. 15, said Tony Small, founder of the site.
“By the end of January, [Blu-ray was] taking the lead consistently on nearly all of them,” he said.
HD DVD players hit the market several months before their competitor last year and their titles have led sales figures throughout the year. But Sony bundled Blu-ray into its PS3 game system, which has shipped about 700,000 units in North America since its November release. Blu-ray sales surpassed HD DVD the week after Christmas, according to Nielsen, which does not break out exact sales figures of the discs.
Sony and Toshiba have been widely criticized for the format battle, which analysts say has stymied the home video market and caused consumer frustration and confusion. Sony, in particular, has been cited for overpricing its Blu-ray-bundled PS3 system.
Some companies recently have sought to sidestep the battle by selling dual-format DVDs and players.
On Monday, Sony Electronics President and Chief Operating Officer Stan Glasgow said the company will drop prices on its Blu-ray players significantly this year which could give Sony an even greater edge in the format war. Currently Blu-ray players retail for $999, compared with HD-DVD players, which retail for $499.

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