Sony: Blu-ray Sales Forecast to Fall Short

While Sony still thinks Blu-ray Disc players (its own brand, as well as Panasonic and Samsung) will do some brisk business this fateful holiday season, it now says its early sales forecast will fall a bit short of expectations.

While final sales numbers (in a sales season that has yet to begin) may not be truly formed until a week or more into the new year because of possible deep discounts for post-holiday shopping, Sony told Reuters the sales projections will not meet a global worldwide target of 5 million units. Most of those players in the next few weeks were expected to sell in North America, but the economic climate going into the holiday season here does not bode well for Sony and other Blu-ray proponents.

Still, Sony said the lower numbers will not be disastrous—with a possible decline of maybe about 10 percent under early projections.

Some retailers plan to slash Blu-ray players price points to well under the $200 level on Black Friday (Nov. 28) and beyond, with Walmart selling one player for $128 (see first item in today’s HD Notebook).