HD-DVD Group hits back as UK Woolworths picks Blu-ray

By Guy Dixon on Feb 1, 2008 6:41 AM
Filed under Hardware

The HD-DVD Promotion Group has gone on the offensive after Woolworths in the UK announced plans to delist HD-DVD discs in favour of Blu-ray.

"While we are disappointed by Woolworths' decision, it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win," said Olivier Van Wynendaele, European assistant general manager at HD-DVD backer Toshiba.

"UK consumers can now pick-up an HD-DVD player for less than £150, around half the cost of other HD formats. Even before pricing reached this level, HD-DVD represented more than 60 per cent of the overall standalone HD market."

Van Wynendaele claimed that HD-DVD has enjoyed greater software sales per player than any other HD format, and that HD-DVD owners have bought around 3.5 movies each, compared to less than one movie sold per Blu-ray device.

Woolworths announced its formal backing of Blu-ray on 28 January with the decision to ditch HD-DVDs by March.

The company cited Christmas shopping statistics which showed that Blu-ray discs had outsold HD-DVD titles by a factor of 10 to one.

The retailer's move to Blu-ray is designed to coincide with the release of Pixar movie Ratatouille, which will accompany a new Blu-ray chart and a back catalogue across all 820 Woolworths outlets in the UK.

"Sales figures clearly show that the market is moving towards one high-definition DVD format. The main reason is the success of Sony's PlayStation 3," said Steven McGunigel, DVD buyer at Woolworths.

"Because [the PS3] plays Blu-ray discs, there are over 750,000 homes in the UK that can view the new format. There is nowhere near that number of HD-DVD players around."

 
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