The format war is done. HD DVD lost, Blu-ray own, I was wrong and the world continued on. So where is Blu-ray now? ABI Research sayz not so good, but that was just one groups opinion and you know what they say about opinions…something about everyone’s got ‘em and they are kind of like something else…digressing.
Future Source analyzes this type of stuff, and according to their research, Blu-ray is right where the tech is suppose to be. The consulting firm estimates that us consumers are going to buy close to 45 million Blu-ray disks in the US alone. That works out to be a whopping 400% over last year’s figures. The report goes on to state that right now, Blu-ray claims 5-6% of total sales per title and some big releases might even see double digit numbers come Christmas.
Future Source praises U.S. retailers for their shelve space, something that European retailers have not committed too. This is something that most shoppers can attest to as it’s hard to walk through Best Buy or Circuit City and not notice the Blu-ray display — at least for us.
Then there is the price issue.
““Much of the drive behind this increase is coming from growing consumer awareness and falling hardware prices, coupled with PS3 owners increasingly using their consoles for video playback,” adds Jack Wetherill, who focuses on the hardware business at Futuresource. “I would be amazed if we don’t see a Blu-ray player in the US at or below $250USD by the end of this year, and in order to stimulate consumer traffic in the holiday season who’s to say there won’t be a product at closer to $200USD? In the UK, player prices will fall to around £149GBP and there may be one or two companies trying to better that.”
$200-$250 Blu-ray player for Christmas? We saw that low price last year but that was with a competing format fighting for it’s life. Hopefully we’ll get an encore performance again this year. 45 million discs still seems like a lot to us, but maybe if the prices keep on dropping the U.S. could hit it. We sure do know how to buy things over here.