While the HD DVD group was happily selling its players at
new low prices, the Blu-ray Disc camp managed to sell more movies in the week
leading up to Thanksgiving. Early data shows Blu-ray Disc sales outpacing HD
DVD by an even greater margin than usual.
Tracking firm Nielsen VideoScan has released information
showing that 72.6 percent of high-definition discs purchased by consumers were
Blu-ray Disc, and just 27.4 percent were HD DVD, reports Home
A report released last month from Home Media Research
indicated that between January 1 and September 30, Blu-ray Disc sold 2.6 million units
versus 1.4 million for HD DVD – closely supporting a steady ratio of two
Blu-ray Discs sold for every HD DVD.
Nevertheless, the data showing Blu-ray Disc’s commanding
lead during Black Friday is slightly surprising given the recent surge in HD
DVD sales thanks to rock-bottom prices. Retailers such as Wal-Mart
Buy sold Toshiba HD DVD players for less than $100, though prices have
since gone back up. Throughout the weekend of the sale prices, Toshiba sold 90,000 players.
Those buyers, however, appeared to be less enthusiastic
about buying HD DVD movies during the Thanksgiving holiday, with Blu-ray Disc sales
outdoing HD DVD by nearly three-fold. The data from Nielsen VideoScan is not
the complete picture, though, as the numbers do not include sales from
Wal-Mart, which generally represents about 40 percent of standard DVD sales.
Another possible explanation for Blu-ray Disc’s
comparatively stronger showing is the timing of studio-exclusive titles Live Free or Die Hard, Hairspray and Ratatouille. HD DVD had no comparable
blockbuster releases for the month of November.