Chicago (IL) - The HD DVD promotional Group today reported that the home video divisions of movie studios have shipped more than 1.5 million HD DVD since the debut of the format on April 18, 2006.
One day before the launch of the Playstation 3, which not marks the introduction of Sony's new game console, but also Sony's formal entry into the Blu-ray market, the HD DVD Promotion group reminded us that the HD DVD format is selling about on par with expectations.
The organization said that 1.5 million discs of a total of 110 different movies available on HD DVD have shipped since launch. The portfolio is expected to grow to about 150 titles by the end of this year.
HD DVD players, which were launched for retail prices of $500 and $800, also have dropped in price and can be purchased for as low as $375, according to the HD DVD Promotion Group. Consumers, who already own an Xbox 360, can add an external HD DVD player for $200 to their console.
Until tomorrow, the availability of Blu-ray players is still somewhat limited to devices such as Samsung's BD-P1000, which was introduced for a suggested retail price of $1000 on June 25 of this year and Panasonic's DMPBD10, which sells for about $1300. Since then, prices for the player have dropped: For example, Best Buy currently sells the player for $800. Meanwhile, Sony has been stuck in a series of delays for its own family room Blu-ray player BDP-S1. The company estimates that the device will be available for sale on December 4 for $1000.
A recently published study indicated that HD DVD and Blu-ray will account for about $80 million this year - which is about 0.5% of the total home video market ($16.91 billion in 2006.) Market research firm Kagan believes that 2012 will be the first year when sales of high definition discs will surpass standard definition DVD media.