For the Next Five Minutes, Blu-ray Is Winning


The argument continues to rage, with no end in sight. HD DVD was winning last week, with rumors of cheap HD DVD players flooding the market via Wal-Mart (who else?). Augmenting that was a sales spike in HD DVD discs, though one that was caused by an artificial (or at least, unsustainable) sales spike caused by fervent fanboys.

This week, the Blu-ray camp is reclaiming some lost ground on the battlefield of public opinion.

Reporters are citing research by Home Media Magazine that says Blu-ray movies outsold HD DVD movies 70% to 30% in the first quarter of this year. (The research was apparently backed up by Nielsen VideoScan data.)

In addition, Wired's Gadget Lab ran an article with this fairly jingoistic headline: "Let the Price War Begin: Pioneer Announces $300 Blu-Ray Player". It turns out, the "player" is actually a BD read-only PC drive that's available in China and, they suggest, assorted gray-market vendors.

Highlighting the ambiguity was last Friday's coverage by TG Daily's Mark Raby. At around noon, Raby posted a news story entitled "Blu-ray edges out HD DVD yet again". By 5:30, however, he went with an opinion piece, "Blu-ray not even close to winning format war". Is this bet-hedging doublespeak? Not at all. If you think about it, there's no contradiction at all, just understandable confusion.

I say we find out the winner of this mess right around the time that we learn who will be the next US president. What do you say?

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD [Gizmodo]

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