Sunday, October 28, 2007
However, apparently Blu-ray discs have been selling despite the risks, and they've been selling fast enough to justify more consumer confidence and the confidence of more movie studios. Generally, once consumer confidence in either format has been instilled, it's possible for the format to take off.
There have been several things attributed to the success of Blu-ray. One is the new Play Station 3 which many people bought for its video gaming capabilities and then used to watch Blu-ray discs as well. Toshiba and other backers of the HD-DVD format claim that the only reason why Blu-ray did well in January was because there were more movie titles released in January on Blu-ray disc than on HD-DVD disc. This may be a valid point to make, but it doesn't really support Toshiba's assertion that HD-DVD is still a contender. For one thing, if there were more movie titles released in Blu-ray format than in HD-DVD format, that would be because movie studios have more faith in the success of the Blu-ray format.
Another thing that's worth considering about those statistics is the fact that the actual discs aren't the major investment for consumers. The major investment that consumers have to make in the technology is buying the actual player. The fact that twice as many Blu-ray discs as HD-DVD's were sold in January indicates that a fair number of people have already made the investment in Blu-ray players. Otherwise, they wouldn't be buying the discs.
Sales of players also reflects greater success for the Blu-ray format. When you include Play Station 3's, there are more Blu-ray players in American homes than there are HD-DVD players. Considering that Blu-ray players tend to be about twice the price of HD-DVD players, that must mean that Blu-ray is much more attractive to consumers than the HD-DVD format for consumers to be willing to spend that much more money on them.
While in some ways, it may seem somewhat premature for Sony to announce the triumph of Blu-ray, there is a lot of evidence indicating that it might be a valid claim. And since, winning the format war is all about buzz, announcing the win at this point may be enough to make the win a reality.