HD-DVD group claims success against Blu-ray in Q2

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Las Vegas (CA) – HD DVD is outpacing Blu-ray in hardware sales growth, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group said today.

Referring to sales estimates from NPD and Nielsen Netratings, the HDVD group said that overall HD DVD hardware sales were up 37% from Q1 to Q2 2007, while software sales experienced a 20% increase in growth. During the same time-frame, overall Blu-ray hardware sales saw a 27% decline from Q1 to Q2, and Blu-ray software sales were down 5%.

According to a spokesperson, these numbers include both HD DVD players sold for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game consoles; The HD DVD group declined to comment on absolute Q2 sales results, but given the exposure of the Playstation 3, Blu-ray is generally estimated to outpace HD DVD hardware sales in absolute numbers.

NPD did not return our calls in time for the publication of this article, but we will provide an update as soon as we receive detailed sales estimates for HD DVD and Blu-ray from the market research firm.

The HD DVD group’s success claims especially refer to the CE player segment. The recently announced price drop from $499 to $299 for the entry-level player segment has resulted in a sequential sales growth of 183% from Q1 to Q2, the organization said. The HD DVD group said that more than 180,000 CE players have been sold so far.

It appears to be price that will become more and more the focus of HD DVD promoters to push the format: “With the total number of titles available for each format differing by only 20-30 titles at this time, the real-world gap in content between the two formats is in actuality not as large as many would perceive," said Paul Erickson, market analyst with IMS Research in the HD DVD press release. “Consumers in the US and Europe continue to show the greatest sensitivity to price, rather than content or branding, in their purchase decision for standalone high-definition players."