HD disc sales remain poor in US

Toshiba says sales of HD DVD players are higher than Blu-ray players - when you ignore the PlayStation 3

Research released by Sony has revealed that despite premature victory crows from both sides, neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray is anywhere near winning the high definition format fight. Despite Blu-ray discs outselling their HD DVD counterparts , very poor US sales of high definition movies overall show that the numbers involved are so small they are insignificant.

In the week ending March 18, Blu-ray Disc (BD) movies out performed HD DVD discs by a thumping ratio of 9:2. However, when you consider that a disc can get into the top 10 chart in the US even if it sells well under 1,000 copies, the statistics are rendered meaningless.

In that week, the best selling high def disc was Casino Royale on Blu-ray, which shifted an encouraging 28,233 copies. However, the BD version of The Departed which came in at number two sold barely over 3,000 copies and, down at number 10, the BD version of Babel sold only 880 copies.

These tiny numbers mean absolutely nothing to the format war; neither side is selling anywhere near enough discs to start bragging.

Small numbers

The Sony figures, which were put together by Nielsen VideoScan , show that total Blu-ray discs sold so far total around the 844,000 mark, with HD DVD only slightly behind on 708,600.

This comes after the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) revealed at CeBIT in March its plan to install Blu-ray as the successor to DVD within three years. BDA European chairman Frank Simonis laid down the Association's grand three-year plan at a press conference, whilst throwing around impressive-sounding sales statistics we now know are totally meaningless.

"The fact that BD hardware is now outselling HD DVD for the first time, and that BD software titles are outselling HD DVD by three to one, is a very good indication of where it's going," he said in an interview with Tech.co.uk at the time.

However, Toshiba rejected those claims the very next day. Olivier Van Wynendaele, Deputy General manager of HD DVD at Toshiba told us that the claims were "propaganda". A statement which now seems slightly closer to the truth.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.