HD DVD player sales collapse in January

Warner's move to Blu-ray had a disastrous effect on HD DVD sales at the beginning of January

Sales of standalone HD DVD players have collapsed since Warner Bros announced it was moving to Blu-ray. What's more surprising is how well HD DVD was doing before the announcement - Warner Bros' decision effectively knocked it stone dead.

For evidence you only need to look at sales figures for the first two weeks of January 2008. US citizens snapped up 14,558 HD DVD players in the week ending Friday 5 January, according to market research firm NPD. This was in touching distance of the 15,257 Blu-ray players sold.

The situation was markedly different one week later following Warner Bros' announcement. Blu-ray sales rose markedly to 21,770, while HD DVD experienced a catastrophic fall to 1,758 player sales.

What's difficult to estimate here is whether HD DVD sales will remain at that low level, especially since the HD DVD Promotion Group has since embarked on an aggressive marketing drive.

Christmas sales disappoint too

However The Digital Bits also points out that Blu-ray outsold HD DVD in December - the biggest sales month of the year. Here Blu-ray chalked up 115,132 sales compared to HD DVD's 76,148 - a difference of nearly 40,000 players.

Remember these numbers don't include the Sony PlayStation 3 or sales of the add-on HD DVD drive from the Xbox 360 either. So the reality is that the gap between the two formats is likely to be much, much more.

All in all then, yet more bad news for the HD DVD camp.

[via Engadget]