As the high-definition format war continues to rage on, both sides are looking for any advantage they can get to tip the market in their favour. Although HD-DVD hit stores first, and still boasts a lower price point for their players, Blu-ray has roared back with some very high profile movie releases and the help of the Playstation 3 install base. As time goes on, it’s looking more and more like Blu-ray has the edge. Sales figures seem to indicate that they are selling better, and their displays seem to be much more prominent in major retail stores. Now Blockbuster has just made a major announcement that could seal the fate of HD-DVD forever.
Various sources around the web are reporting that Blockbuster will be exclusively stocking Blu-ray titles in the vast majority of their stores — approximately 1700 outlets. HD-DVD, meanwhile, will only be available in a select 250 stores, and via their online service. Blockbuster is the biggest rental chain in North America, so I think we have to assume this is going to have a major impact on the format war. I don’t know that anything short of major support from Wal-Mart could turn the tide this much. Personally I’ve been sticking with HD-DVD so far, and of course I’m both surprised and annoyed at the way things are turning out. I don’t see why more people would be buying or renting Blu-ray over HD-DVD… as far as I know, the Playstation 3 has not been selling all that well so I don’t think it is a major factor here. I think HD-DVD really dropped the ball in terms of bringing out big titles that would sway consumers one way or another. With the BDP-S300 $499 Blu-ray player hitting stores this month, is anyone else out there about ready to jump on board the Blu-ray bandwagon?