Negative USA Today Item on Next-Gen DVD Sales May be Outdated

This week, USA Today published a story citing some sales figures from analyst In-Stat that concluded that with head-to-head competition between Blu-ray and HD DVD players underway for several weeks, fewer than 5,000 next-gen DVD players are estimated to have been sold. But late word beginning to circulate online Tuesday evening (Aug. 22) suggested that the national newspaper item might have been based on at least partially outdated material.

The USA Today piece appeared on several tech Web sites, including Data Storage Today. The newspaper article indicated the low sales figures are not surprising, considering apparent consumer confusion over being faced with two incompatible formats.

But late Tuesday, TG Daily online said In-Stat confirmed that the 5,000 sales figure was outdated, and that the overall USA Today piece may have been using some old numbers to draw some current conclusions.

Apart from the USA Today item, meaningful sales numbers likely will not be noted until late fall with the start of the holiday selling season. That's when Sony introduces its PlayStation upgrade (PS3), which will have built-in Blu-ray drives. Microsoft's currently available Xbox 360 will begin offering an add-on HD DVD drive, as well.

Although Blu-ray discs can hold more data than HD DVD, it's not yet clear whether consumers will find this worth paying extra for, especially considering both formats already hold far more than standard discs. The DVD players of both new formats are backward-compatible for standard DVD disc libraries.