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Blu-ray Discs Outsell HD DVD During Q1 2007

According to new market research from Home Media Magazine, Blu-ray discs significantly outsold titles in the rival HD DVD format during the first quarter of 2007—and Home Media Magazine says the contest wasn’t even close, with some 70 percent of high-definition discs sold being in Blu-ray format.

According to the figures, consumers purchased nearly 1.2 million high-definition discs in the first quarter of 2007; of those, 832,530 were Blu-ray titles and 359,300 were HD DVD discs. Home Media Magazine says Blu-ray took the sales lead on February and that, by March, the format accounted for nearly three out of every four high-definition discs sold, racking up 335,980 disc sales compared to HD DVDs 119,570 discs.

Since introduction in 2006, more than 2.14 million high-definition discs have been sold; 1.2 million of been Blu-ray and and about 937,500 have been HD DVD. Those numbers may seem large, but considering it’s been almost a year since the HD DVD format first became available to consumers, the adoption rate for high-definition discs seems astonishingly low, perhaps because consumers are waiting to see which format (if any) emerges as a dominance player. As a point of comparison, total sales of high-definition discs in any format—Blu-ray or HD DVD—is far lower than the number of Xbox 360 owners who have purchased Gears of War since its introduction in November 2006.

Home Media Magazine also proclaims that eight of the ten top-selling high-definition titles in the first quarter of 2007 were on Blu-ray discs (including Sony’s Casino Royale—Sony doesn’t offer titles in HD DVD format), and reports that consumers opt for Blu-ray even when given a choice between the two formats, with Martin Scorcese’s The Departed being released in both formats February 13 and selling almost 1.7 copies on Blu-ray for every copy sold in HD DVD format.

Blu-ray backers trumpet the new figures as victory: "All this data points to the irrefutable facts that the consumers are voting with their dollars and adopting the revolutionary technologyof the Blu-ray Disc," said Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. "With such beloved titles as Pirates of the Caribbean on the horizon, these numbers willonly do one thing: grow."

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