Dealerscope is reporting that Best Buy plans to promote Blu-ray in stores. Customers who purchase two Blu-ray discs will receive a $10 gift card, those who purchase three will receive a $25 gift card. This will reportedly apply to all Blu-ray titles.
Impress AV Watch reports that Hitachi will be bringing a second-generation hybrid hard drive/Blu-ray camcorder to market. The DZ-BD9H will sport a 60GB drive and support 8cm mini-BD discs, as well as 8cm mini-DVDs (SD recording only). Each mini-BD cal hold about 1 hour at the max 1920×1080 resolution, or roughly 2 hours at 1440×1080 with a reduced bit rate. Via Engadget.
But the biggest news comes from the new figures from NPD Group by way of The Digital Bits. They showed a dramatic shift to Blu-ray in hardware sales. In December Blu-ray took 60.19% of the standalone high-def player sales to HD DVD’s 39.81%, that’s not counting Sony PS3 or Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on sales. And that’s with HD DVD’s general price advantage and player sales. Even worse for HD DVD, for the first two weeks of January that balance has shifted to 69.41% BD, 30.59% HD DVD.
But that’s not the whole story. NPD broke down the ratios for the first two weeks of January. For the week ending January 5th, which mostly pre-dates Warner’s Blu-ray announcement on the 4th, the ratio was a more favorable 51.17% BD, 48.83% HD DVD. But for the week ending January 12th, after Warner’s announcement, the figures are a stunning 92.53% BD, 7.47% HD DVD. Clearly the Warner announcement had a strong impact on the market. It looks like a lot of people who were holding off on making a high-def purchase decided it was time.
I don’t expect that ratio to hold, especially with Toshiba’s price cuts which took effect on the 13th, but I don’t think HD DVD will be able to take the majority. Even with a price advantage favoring HD DVD, BD has been able to steadily gain ground and take more of the market. That growth is one of the factors Warner cited in their decision. Via Blu-ray.com.