While I thought I’d be staying firmly on the fence until the dust settles, a family member gave me an HD-DVD player he couldn’t use (thanks, Uncle Al!) so I’ve been buying up my favorite flicks on HD-DVD.
While doing some last minute Christmas shopping, I noticed that the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD debate may have a clear winner after the holidays. There were piles and piles of Blu-ray titles available, but the HD-DVD shelves, while at one time well-stocked, had been cleared out. Action movies like Transformers, V for Vendetta, and 300 were being snatched up off the shelves like they were free (which they very much are not – a regular widescreen DVD copy of 300 is $19.99 on Amazon while the HD-DVD version is $27.95. The Blu-ray version is $23.95.).
I’d like to see the post-holiday sales numbers for Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Considering the scene above was the same at Best Buy, Target, and Circuit City, I think it will be a good prediction of how the format wars are going to end.
I’m not sure a winner will be declaired any time soon, if ever. However, I can say that there are very strong sales of HD DVD hardware this Christmas season, so the landscape may varywell change after Christmas. I suspect the stand-alone HD DVD players in the USA will be slightly north of 1-million. This will not ensure victory, but it may very well ensure a dual format world for the forseable future. The Blu-ray studios are going to find it somewhat hard to ignore 1-million customers for very long.