Next-Gen Disc Buyers Still Advised to Wait

While the sales numbers for this holiday season are still being tallied and evaluated, one thing that has not seemed to change much since last year has been the words of caution from industry observers on purchasing a next-gen disc player.
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While the sales numbers for this holiday season are still being tallied and evaluated, one thing that has not seemed to change much since last year has been the words of caution from industry observers on purchasing a next-gen disc player.

Like last year, the advice this season from Consumer Reports magazine is that it would still be prudent for would-be buyers of HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc players to hold off awhile longer. And a lot of local newspapers are giving the same advice, judging from their Web sites. (Prominent film critic Roger Ebert also let it be known that he’s playing the wait-and-see game, as well.)

Proclamations based on early, incomplete sales figures from both camps have been fast and furious this month, with each side sometimes using identical numbers to demonstrate how their respective format is outdoing the other. Bottom line for the holiday season: Nothing conclusive can be drawn from whatever initial sales numbers are known, and the war still does not appear to be on the brink of ending anytime soon.

“Right now I would say ‘wait,’” Parks Associates analyst Chris Roden told the San Jose Mercury News. “If you can be patient and see what happens in the next 12 months, you’ll be rewarded because you’ll be less likely to buy a product that’s obsolete.”

According to Nielsen VideoScan, combined sales of HD DVD and Blu-ray players in 2007 (before final holiday numbers are in) represent less than three percent of U.S. households, including those Blu-ray players that came automatically with the purchase of the PlayStation 3 game console.