In the high-definition optical format race, it’s been
commonly observed that Blu-ray Disc software outsell HD DVD by two-to-one
margin. In terms of hardware, however, HD DVD’s lower price point is believed
the help drive greater standalone sales. To explain for this disparity, some
believe it is the Sony PlayStation 3’s Blu-ray Disc playing capabilities that
is driving software sales, even though HD DVD leads the player market.
At a CEDIA press conference on Wednesday, Sony cited NPD
Group research data showing that standalone Blu-ray Disc players accounting for
more than half of all high-definition players sold. Blu-ray Disc set-top
players within the last 9 weeks have begun out-selling HD DVD set-top players
on a unit basis, reports Video Business.
Upon hearing Sony’s comments, Toshiba, HD DVD’s main
supplier of hardware, issued a statement refuting claims that Blu-ray players
had taken over the lead. The statement, as published by High-Def
Digest, reads as follows:
“In light of recent comments made regarding high definition
stand-alone video players sales, Toshiba would like to reiterate its continued
industry leading sales figures. Based on July data from NPD, Toshiba had a 55%
market share year to date in high definition stand alone player sales followed
by all Blu-ray companies at a combined 42%; the final 3 percent is held by dual
While the competition may claim leadership based on one
month of data, Toshiba has had continued sales leadership in every month since
the original HD DVD players launched 17 months ago.
Toshiba is and continues to be a top seller at retailers
such as Amazon, most recently reaching #1 on the site last week. As third
generation players begin to come to market at the end of this month, Toshiba
has full confidence that it will continue its momentum and lead in player
Amazon recently ran a promotion for both HD DVD and Blu-ray
up to eight free movies with the purchase of hardware.
Sony credits it hardware sales surge to the $499
price point of its entry-level BDP-S300
player. Sony also announced this week two new Blu-ray players
that will occupy the upper range of its product line.
Toshiba will also be rolling out new hardware this fall with
a trio of machines
ranging from $299 to $499.