2.7 million Blu-ray Disc players sold in North America, most of them are a videogames console

Despite Sony Corp.’s CEO Howard Stinger calling the high-definition battle a simple matter of prestige, the Blu-ray Disc Association wasted little time in announcing yet another sales milestone.

Thanks the frenzy of buyers during the Black Friday shopping period, total Blu-ray Disc player sales have reached 2.7 million units in North America. The number, of course, includes Sony’s PlayStation 3 as a Blu-ray Disc player, regardless whether or not owners of the gaming console utilize the high-definition movie function.

According to Video Business, actual numbers of standalone Blu-ray Disc units may be around 700,000, as there were 2 million PlayStation 3 consoles sold through October. Accurate data for standalone player sales is harder to gather for Blu-ray Disc than for HD DVD, however, as there are a greater number of Blu-ray Disc hardware manufacturers. Should the provided data be accurate, it would mean that 74 percent of all Blu-ray Disc players in North America are in the form of the PlayStation 3.

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group released its own sales data following Black Friday, revealing that total sales for HD DVD players in North America have exceeded the 750,000 mark. Like the Blu-ray Disc Association’s numbers, the figures for HD DVD also include console contributions – the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive add-on. Unlike the situation for PlayStation 3, where it’s still unclear how many owners use the Blu-ray function, buyers of the Xbox 360 hardware accessory are assured HD DVD users.

Sales of HD DVD players for as low as under $100 didn’t seem to faze the Blu-ray Disc Association, though, as it said in a statement, “Despite the $99 HD DVD fire sale, Blu-ray movies were flying off the shelves in this crucial holiday shopping period.”

The comment made by the Association comes from Nielsen VideoScan data showing that 72.6 percent of high-definition discs purchased by consumers were Blu-ray Disc, and just 27.4 percent were HD DVD.

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