Nielsen: Blu-ray Outselling HD DVD

New sales reporting figures from Nielsen VideoScan are sure to trigger a new round of propaganda in the high-definition DVD format war. According to Nielsen, Blu-ray movie sales have taken 60 percent of the high-def market since the first week of January 2007;, and for the week ending February 18 Blu-ray sales accounted for 65 percent of the market, with HD DVD garnering 35 percent of sales.

Earlier figures from VideoScan showed HD DVD sales ahead of Blu-ray in late 2006; however, beginning the week of December 24, 2006, Blu-ray pulled ahead with 53.3 percent of the market, and has been steadily increasing its lead. Since the week of January 7, 2007, Blu-ray sales have ranged from 63.3 percent of the market to as high as 69.6 percent of weekly high-def movie sales.

Videoscan’s report doesn’t make any forecasts on how the latest sales numbers may impact the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray, but does note that the surge in Blu-ray title sales began about two weeks after the introduction of Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game console, which includes a Blu-ray player.

Among major studios, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Disney, and Sony are releasing titles exclusively in the Blu-ray format; Universal is the only studio solely in the HD DVD camp, while Paramount and Warner and straddling the fence, offering both HD DVD and Blu-ray titles.