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Blu-ray/HD DVD Disc Sales Numbers Revealed 321

An anonymous reader writes "The High-Def format wars finally have a yardstick against which to measure who's winning with the first public release of VideoScan sales figures for both HD DVD and Blu-ray. The first two weeks' worth of data seem to back up what many predicted — that the Blu-ray-enabled PS3 is helping Sony quickly close the gap with HD DVD, with almost three Blu-ray discs sold for every one HD DVD during the first week of January. HD DVD still leads in overall discs sold since inception, but that lead looks to be quickly dwindling. While they do show a trend, the results from VideoScan are still fairly vague. Why are consumers being denied the information they need to make a considered choice?"
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Blu-ray/HD DVD Disc Sales Numbers Revealed

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  • by alshithead ( 981606 ) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:00PM (#17848854)
    This hurts the consumer on way too many levels. You might as well release music in several formats...Oh, wait a minute...where's my 8 track player? Ooh! I just found my Betamax VCR. Screw this DVD shit, it won't last out the year's end.
    • Yep...and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @05:28PM (#17850274)
      As to the question "Why are consumers being denied the information they need to make a considered choice?," I answer: I have all the information I need. With the DRM constraints, I don't intend to buy discs of either format.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      History has shown time and time again over the past 25 years that consumers generally do not adopt Sony's proprietary formats: Betamax, Minidiscs, MemoryStick, SACD, UMD, and now Blu-Ray. Things that they develop in conjunction with other companies like CDs and eventually DVDs gained widespread adoption. I won't buy into Blu-Ray simply because it's a stupid name. "Buy this new movie on VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray Disc". "Blu-Ray Disc" sounds retarded compared to "DVD" which rolls off the tongue.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by harks ( 534599 )
        It might not be the best name, but it's a lot easier to say "Blu-Ray" than "HD-DVD"
  • It's pretty obvious to me, the data is proprietary, so it's easier to keep it hidden than to start the "I'm selling more than you are" war.
    • An interesting site to keep track of a few battles like this is eProductwars.com [slashdot.org]. In particular, they have a section that tracks various Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD stats [eproductwars.com] - mostly based on Amazon data it would seem. It seems to track with what the original article is saying.

      It's really not at all surprising Blu-Ray would be pulling substantially ahead and growing, with every PS3 sold being another Blu-Ray player in a consumers home. I know two people at work that have bought PS3's and they moth make extensive use
  • by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:11PM (#17849006) Journal
    Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

    You know, the Blu-ray/HD DVD squabble is not actually important. You rights aren't being trampled on. Most people couldn't care less about it; they're happy with their DVDs and don't mind letting you *philes hash it out with your disposable income.

    Get a grip.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      . . .they're happy with their DVDs. . .

      And what would make them even happier is not a new format, but a DVD "Redbook."

      KFG
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MikeBabcock ( 65886 )
      I wasn't happy with DVD when it came out. The only things I like about DVD are no artifacting and degradation with time and easy navigation of the disc (no rewinding).

      DVD doesn't look great, its essentially the same quality as broadcast TV. Now if you believe broadcast TV looks great, then sorry, but we can do a lot better. I don't pay to go to the cinema to stand on sticky floors, put up with belching behind me or for the overpriced condiments, its for the higher quality sound and picture.

      For the price
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Dretep ( 903366 )

        and the floor usually isn't sticky.
        You're obviously watching the wrong genre of movies - you really do need HD-DVD!
      • by Wdomburg ( 141264 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @08:11PM (#17852646)
        DVD doesn't look great, its essentially the same quality as broadcast TV.

        You should probably get your eyes checked or maybe buy better equipment. DVD's horizontal resolution about 720. Broadcast "quality" is 330 and VHS is 240. Even without a progressive scan display it's pretty far from "essentially the same quality".
  • by llZENll ( 545605 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:12PM (#17849026)
    Dual format players will win this war. As soon as this sells below $500, all other makers will follow. Right now it sells for $1200.

    "Well this is more like it. After waiting forever between the initial announcement and first retail availability of the first wave of HD disc devices, LG's BH100 really rocketed to the shelves, and has just participated in its first unboxing (that we've heard of) mere weeks after the announcement at CES. We're a little disconcerted by that big front-and-center dent on the box, but the unit itself looks just dandy, and gadgetaholic promises a full review in the coming days. But that's not what you're here for, you just wanted to see this little guy ripped from his Styrofoam cocoon and flap his little Red and Blue wings, so hit the read link for the whole event. Fly, BH100, fly."

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/22/lgs-bh100-super -multi-player-unboxed/ [engadget.com]
    • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:29PM (#17849308) Homepage

      I have mod points and I figured this would be a good discussion, but I'll reply to you instead.

      First, dual format players CAN'T WIN the war. They are not a format. Even if everyone gets a dual format player for free from the government tomorrow, consumers will still buy more of one format than the other until people stop making one format. Dual format PLAYERS may win the PLAYER WAR, but the disc format war has no real hybrids right now.

      Second, these discussions constantly suppose that someone will win. I've seen one comment so far that I agree with: by the time these things reach something akin to a critical mass or become big successes, I think Internet distribution will have won the war or come very close. These things may just be failed. Too early for cheap prices and large HDTV adoption, too late to enjoy a long advantage over internet distribution.

      • Dual format player might just win the war... just like dual format burners won the war between DVD-R and DVD+R. I do agree that there's a higher probability of Internet distribution taking precedence over either format... that's more of a DVD-A vs. SACD. vs MP3 model. The big differences being that movies don't benefit from portability the same way music does.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        by the time these things reach something akin to a critical mass or become big successes, I think Internet distribution will have won the war or come very close

        That is utterly impossible in a world in which no broadband provider will let you download more than about 90GB per month on a regular basis; That's what, a couple of Blu-Ray discs? Even at the rates we go through netflix, I would use that up just downloading DVD ISOs, let alone HD video.

        We are going to have to see a broadband revolution in this c

        • That is utterly impossible in a world in which

          Of course I meant to say country. Of course, as such it applies to both the US and the UK, and most other places on the planet besides. About the only people who could pull it off right now are Japanese who live in major metropolitan areas.

      • I think Internet distribution will have won the war or come very close

        Sorry dude, but that's just ridiculous. Internet distribution will be (heck, already is) certainly interesting for SD material, but for HD, there is no damned way Internet distribution will make any inroads. Or did you really want to download 25GB of data?

        And this is ignoring the fact that broadband penetration in the US is still relatively dismal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Malc ( 1751 )
      LG's player isn't a true dual format player. It doesn't qualify for HD DVD logo-ing. I believe it doesn't handle any HDi, so it plays HD DVD advanced content titles (all Hollywood discs are adv. content, not standard content) in some manner it makes up. Take your chances.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Dual format players will win this war. As soon as this sells below $500, all other makers will follow. Right now it sells for $1200.

      I doubt it. Dual format players are just a way to cash-in on hesitant early adopters. Once Blu-Ray or HD-DVD wins there will be absolutely no point in perpetuating the life of the other format. As Blu-Ray looks increasingly likely to win, why waste money on a dual format player, especially when they are considerably more expensive?

  • From TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jonny_eh ( 765306 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:13PM (#17849036)
    "According to VideoScan, during the first two weeks of January, Blu-ray discs outsold HD DVD by more than a 2:1 margin."

    Why does the summary make Blu-Ray sound better by saying it outsold HD DVD by 3:1 in 1 week? Do I detect a bias?
    • Yes, it's definitely a bias as 2 and 3 never appear next to each other on a keyboard.
    • Re:From TFA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @05:13PM (#17850000) Homepage Journal

      Why does the summary make Blu-Ray sound better by saying it outsold HD DVD by 3:1 in 1 week? Do I detect a bias?

      YES! But that's not precisely why. Here's what the FS says:

      almost three Blu-ray discs sold for every one HD DVD during the first week of January

      Now, here is what the FA says:

      According to VideoScan, during the first two weeks of January, Blu-ray discs outsold HD DVD by more than a 2:1 margin. It should be noted that the two weeks in question saw only two new high-def disc releases -- both from Blu-ray ('The Covenant' on Jan 2, and 'Crank' on Jan 9).

      In other words, this is a momentary blip on the chart, and nothing to be excited about itself, unless it continues, in which case you can call it a trend. Right now though, it's not a big deal.

      I sincerely hope that these people are not paid astroturfers, but if they are, it would explain why Sony has to charge so much for the PS3. I've had more people misinterpret my posts and tell outright lies in order to discredit them in the last couple days than I ever have before, and most of those comments are responses to things I've said about the PS3 or Sony.

  • by dracocat ( 554744 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:14PM (#17849048)
    Save yourself some time, no need to read any more comments. Here is a summary of all replies about to follow this article, in no particular order.
    • Sony has never won a format war, haven't they learned their lesson? Just look at Beta and MD.
    • Sony has had great sucess with their formats, can you say CD?
    • There is no reason for anybody to even upgrade past DVD. There is simply no big difference between any new formats and DVD
    • I simply will not buy anything from Sony after the whole DRM fiasco
    • HD will win out because there will be more HD players on the market because of the cheap HD DVD add on for the Xbox 360
    • There will be more Blue Ray players on the market because every PS3 comes with a Blue Ray drive
    • Nobody will buy the HD DVD drive addon for the Xbox 360 because it is too expensive
    • Nobody will buy the PS3 because it is too expensive
    • Blue Ray disks hold more information than HD DVD disks and so Blue Ray will win
    • HD DVD disks hold more information than Blue Ray disks so HD DVD will win
    • What are you guys talking about? Its all about Nintendo
    • Neither format will win because people will be downloading movies from here on our
    • The name HD DVD just sounds better than Blue Ray
    • The name Blue Ray just sounds better than HD DVD
    • Movies these days are worthless I havent watched a movie in 25 years
    Hopes this helps shed some light on which format is better.
  • Misleading? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sciros ( 986030 )
    So, how many of these Blu-ray hardware sales actually *movies*? You know, the stuff that HD-DVD is a direct competitor for? If the format becomes something that's only economically viable to be used as game media for the PS3 then it becomes as relevant as SNES cartridges in the long run.
    • All of those sales figures are for movies, as it does not count game content on BD, nor hardware sales. BD movies are on average equal to or $5 more for native discs, with HD-DVD/DVD combo discs being $5-10 more than a similar native HD-DVD or BD. And Sony has all the major content providers on their side except for Universal, but it's debatable on whether they're a major provider with their poor performance at the box office.
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:18PM (#17849138)

    Why are consumers being denied the information they need to make a considered choice?"
    I suppose that is supposed to read informed choice? DUH. Why would a company want consumers to make a buying decision based on such metrics as popularity and facts? They would much rather have the entire process controlled by their marketing departments.
  • Pricing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WndrBr3d ( 219963 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:20PM (#17849156) Homepage Journal
    The one thought that keeps swirling through my mind when I browse through the HD movie section at my local Best Buy is, Who the HECK figures out the pricing for these things?!

    How can Little Man cost $29 but the Fifth Element is only $19!?

    I've owned the HD-DVD drive for the XBox360 now since it's launch and the only HD disc I currently own is the free copy of King Kong that came with it.

    I'm floored that new titles aren't being released in both DVD and in their respective HD format at the same time. The studios seem too busy trying to 'catch up', releasing titles already available on DVD. I know they're doing this in hopes that people purchase both the DVD version and HD version when it's released later, in an effort to double their money.

    Makes me want to vomit.

    • I'm floored that new titles aren't being released in both DVD and in their respective HD format at the same time. The studios seem too busy trying to 'catch up', releasing titles already available on DVD. I know they're doing this in hopes that people purchase both the DVD version and HD version when it's released later, in an effort to double their money.

      What's to say that people will buy the HD version when it's released? Look, I own an HD TV, and let me tell you, DVD is pretty good for those too. I d

    • How can Little Man cost $29 but the Fifth Element is only $19!?

      Because Little Man is a relatively new movie, but most people who would buy The Fifth Element already have it on DVD. I'm no videophile or anything, so I don't really know how good of a transfer is, but the movie looks gorgeous on DVD. Why would I care about buying it in HD? Frankly it doesn't have any truly amazing special effects, aside from some cheesy spaceship stuff (like spaceships moving as if they were in atmosphere - how amazing) it's

  • Just for a moment, forget the consumer (everyone else is doing it...)

    Whatever your feelings re PS3, you know it's going to sell 10 million units plus in a short time. In the meantime, only relatively small numbers of consumers are actually buying either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray players. DVD is good enough for most. Although the PS3 isn't primarily a Blu-Ray player, it does have that feature.

    So when you're a movie studio or retailer and looking at the current / expected install base of HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray capable
    • Whatever your feelings re PS3, you know it's going to sell 10 million units plus in a short time.

      That might in 10 years after the price is below $200, but in the meantime PS3 sales are looking rather poor compared to Xbox360 and Wii. I believe we might even see a Dreamcast/Saturn-esque situation if situation does not improve.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      From the perspective of the average consumer with no knowledge of DRM, or even which company owns which format you've got to ask... If that person has a 1080p HD television (and that will shortly be the majority of people with HD televisions since LCD TVs are getting cheap, 1080 is the buzz, and there is no such thing as a 1080i LCD), why would they buy a format that doesn't support the full resolution of your television?

      HD-DVD needs to cut over to 1080p (both the players *and* the movies. ASAP, or the form
      • by Firehed ( 942385 )
        AFAIK, every HD-DVD disc released so far has 1080p content. Though I completely agree about the players.

        Of course, whether it makes a visible difference is well beyond me. I'm quite content with DVD, even after watching a few HD-DVDs. It seems a tiny bit better, but I wouldn't have noticed it if I wasn't very familiar with the original DVD version, and I wasn't viewing it on the same TV either. I'd bet most people would be hard pressed to notice a real difference except in a side-by-side comparison, and
    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
      Forget your own point for just a moment, everyone is doing it...

      Just because someone owns a PS3 does not mean they own a television that will benefit from the enhanced resolution over DVD...you forget, MANY MANY people still have standard def 480i tv's with NO hdtv's in their lives.
  • It's more like the Digg vs. Slashdot war, with most Digg stories reporting dismal PS3 sales and most slashdot stories reporting good BD sales.

    One thing is certain. Only one device can play 30Mbit H.264 HD files from a network and it's a BD player.

    • Screw teh Digg! Ise been slashdorking 4evar! I was always an anonymouse coward unktil lest year but nowse I got's edumacatioins sow's I got a intarnet handle wif slashdork...

      Okay, just having some fun. But, I much prefer Slashdot over Digg. There are an awful lot of Slashdot folks who have been around a long time and actually give enough of a fuck to post intelligent thoughts.

      Woo hoo!!! Off to my Pr0n collection now!!!
  • Vouchers were given inside Playstation 3 boxes for free Blu-Ray discs. Everyone who bought a PS3 simply for gaming went out and used these vouchers up.

    The more interesting comparison would be the number of HDDVD's sold against the number of Blu-Ray discs sold - vouchers used.
    • Did you read the vouchers? I don't have mine on me but I think you had to buy 2 other BR discs to get one free, and it was a mail in offer. So basically, you still had to buy in order to take advantage of it.
  • This whole Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD clusterfuck won't be resolved for me until Criterion decides to support on or the other formats. The current movie selection on both formats is pathetic. Just like with quality games driving console adoption, it's the quality movies that matter. What, I'm going to spend ~$500 so I can watch crap like _Underworld Evolution_ in High Definition? Christ, I don't want to watch that SD! (Perhaps when Kate Beckinsale rips her clothes off on camera I'll watch another one of those shitt
    • Um... Kate Beckinsale did rip her clothes off on camera... didn't you see it?

      Oh well, you missed out.
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @04:39PM (#17849446) Homepage
    I've been thinking about this. Why are consumer electronics companies so eager to stick DRM on products (typically they dislike it, it ads to cost and slows consumer adoption).

    Because the content companies (Motion Picture folks) have to buy in. If there was just one format the consumer electronic companies could say, high def disk, take it or leave it. However since there are two formats the Studios can choose the format the offers the most protection. In a way because of the format war the studios got to say "Add DRM" or we'll go with the competeing HD format here.

    It doesn't help that sony owns electronics and content, and the content part is clearly running the company.
    • > Why are consumer electronics companies so eager to stick DRM on products

      Because Sony (the consumer electronics company) also is Sony (the movie company). Take a look at the holdings of Sony Pictures Entertainment [wikipedia.org]. They own Columbia Pictures [wikipedia.org], TriStar Pictures, [wikipedia.org] MGM [wikipedia.org], and a slew of other motion picture companies. They'll be happy to sell you a new DRM'ed copy of Singin' In The Rain [wikipedia.org] on BluRay.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )
      If there was just one format the consumer electronic companies could say, high def disk, take it or leave it. However since there are two formats the Studios can choose the format the offers the most protection. In a way because of the format war the studios got to say "Add DRM" or we'll go with the competeing HD format here.

      Well, it also gives consumers the power to say "screw this", at least they did with the DivX format (which the DivX ;-) codec was a pun on). I'm pretty sure some HDTV format will win ou
  • My local Blockbuster carries both HDDVD and BlueRay. A couple of weeks ago I asked the guys behind the counter what customers were more interested in, they agreed that it was about 3:1 in favor of HD. Personally I think it is too early to declare a winner. PS/3's "recent" introduction may cause a spike in demand. HDDVD folks may be buying more slowly now that the novelty has worn off, and this will happen with the BlueRay "newcomers" too.
  • If not, then the sales numbers analyzed are absolutely meaningless. Revisit once the adult industry has ramped up to full production.
  • I bought PS3 specifically for Blu Ray. There aren't any games for it that I'd want to play yet, so I bought it because it was a relatively cheap, high quality DVD/Blu Ray player with HDMI output (Xbox is component only, so disks that require HDCP won't play in it). Now wait until it actually gets some games that will make it worth purchasing by gamers. Once that happens, you will see another spike in sales. It's a double whammy of sorts. Currently a lot of folks are buying it for Blu Ray. These folks will b
  • An anonymous reader writes:

    Yeah, an anonymous reader who just happens to work for Sony.
  • the Blu-ray enabled PS3 is helping Sony quickly close the gap with HD DVD, with almost three Blu-ray discs sold

    What, like 2.4 discs sold? Somebody just dropped a Hamilton and took off with a BR?

    What's that? The rest of the sentence? Oh, I just assumed...

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