Reuters Information Week Reports:
Blu-ray DVD titles outsold rival HD-DVD titles by almost 2-to-1 in the first nine months of the year, but analysts expect additional HD-DVD support and new hit releases to "transform" the high-definition DVD battle score in the fourth quarter.
Home Media Research, a division of Home Media Magazine, said Tuesday total U.S. sales of Blu-ray discs, using a Sony-backed technology, totaled 2.6 million units from Jan. 1 through Sept 30, versus 1.4 million HD-DVD discs sold.
Gerry Kaufhold, analyst with In-Stat research firm, believes newly released HD-DVD titles with new advanced Web-enabled features, such as Paramount's "Transformers", will help the HD-DVD camp in the fourth quarter.
Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research, also said the 18-month period of exclusivity for HD-DVDs by Paramount and DreamWorks should strengthen HD-DVD's hand this quarter.
"This definitely smooths out the edge that Blu-ray had in exclusive titles and it very much strengthens HD-DVD's hand in the fourth quarter," he said, but still expects Blu-ray will lead for the year overall.
Adams predicts that for 2007 overall, consumers will spend $186 million purchasing Blu-ray discs, versus $91 million for HD-DVD.
Since both formats launched in the spring of 2006, an estimated 4.98 million high-definition discs have been sold, including 3.01 million in Blu-ray and 1.97 million in HD-DVD through the end of September, according to Home Media.
One big factor giving Blu-ray an edge has been the popularity of Sony's PlayStation 3 game consoles, which also include a Blu-ray disc drive.