A few weeks ago we posted a story that indicated the “war” was over…at least, according to the Blu-ray folks. We also noted that since Blockbuster now rents only Blu-ray, a major battle had been won.
This week, the HD-DVD camp retaliated with stats that indicated their growth ahead of Blu-ray. We don’t have the details, and they could easily be “Lying with Statistics”, but they claim HD DVD hardware sales growth at 37% and software sales growth at 20% for 1Q 2007, while Blu-ray hardware sales were down 27% and software sales were down 5% in the period from 1Q to 2Q 2007.
Ken Graffeo, Universal Studios Home Entertainment HD strategic marketing executive VP stated “The numbers are clear — HD DVD is steadily gaining momentum and market share…” and added “With HD DVD CE players now at MSRP prices starting at $299 and with strong marketing campaigns around new HD DVD titles with Web-enabled interactive features, we’re continuing to raise the bar for the consumer experience.” Of course, Ken is also co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group. What would you expect him to say, Blu-ray is better or winning in any possible way? Don’t think so.
The Blu-ray folks still hang on PS3 for their numbers. Andy Parsons, Pioneer Electronics advanced product development senior VP and representative for the Blu-ray Disc Association, responded with, “What’s interesting is that [the HD DVD Promotional Group] keeps trying to disregard the importance of the PS3. It sounds like they are trying to redefine the story a bit. Our position is that you don’t try to separate the traditional home theater player from the PS3 because we know that there are a significant percentage of people who own PS3s who are using them to watch movies. There is no way we could be outselling those guys 2-to-1 on the titles as we’ve been doing since the beginning of this calendar year if not for PS3.”
Parsons went on to acknowledge that dedicated hardware sales of HD DVD players were driven by price, and the recent price drop of Toshiba’s player to $299 boosted their numbers. But he then added this highly astute observation;” we continue to think its content that drives the whole market, not hardware.”
We agree…to some extent. When the price of “entry” into hardware is significantly higher than the competitor, and the available content is more or less similar, the cheaper hardware system wins. But if available content is significantly more diverse, available, cheaper or of higher quality (not the case with this war), then content wins. Evaluating content isn’t so easy, it’s at least in part subjective. Soooo…..
Let the battle continue, and let the consumer win!
Source: TWICE www.twice.com