HD DVD Consortium Announces Plans for 2-Disc Special Edition of Anti-Blockbuster Commentary
Looks like Sony may not have to add a new Blu-ray wing to its Museum of Failed Formats after all. This morning Blockbuster said it will stock only Blu-ray titles when it brings high-definition video to its 1,700 stores nationwide.
The company said the decision was based on the rising popularity of Blu-ray DVD rentals, which outpaced those of HD DVD in its test markets. “The consumers are sending us a message,” Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told the Associated Press. “I can’t ignore what I’m seeing … we’re expanding our Blu-ray inventory to ensure our stores reflect the right level of products.”
Blockbuster’s decision is another high-profile disappointment for supporters of the HD DVD standard that, until this morning, seemed to have the upper hand in the next-generation DVD format war. A few months back, HD DVD players were outselling their Blu-ray counterparts by a large margin, accounting for 60% of all high-definition set-top players sold. But recently the limited catalog of Blu-ray titles seems to be giving consumers pause as they consider their choice of next-generation DVD players. All major studios but one are releasing films in Blu-ray, with several, including Disney, releasing exclusively in the format. Said Blockbuster’s Smith, “When you walk into a store and see all this product available in Blu-ray and there is less available on HD DVD, I think the consumer gets that.”