Blu-ray Strikes Back (With Blockbuster)

Perhaps Blu-ray isn’t having such a bad week after all… Blockbuster has decided to exclusively stock Blu-ray in the majority of their brick & mortar stores. (HD DVD is available for rental online and at select stores.) Blockbuster made the decision based on Blu-ray accounting for 70% of next-gen DVD rentals in a 250 store pilot. Seems premature to choose just one format this early in the game. Which makes me wonder what kind of back-room deal might have been struck.

6 thoughts on “Blu-ray Strikes Back (With Blockbuster)”

  1. I was thinking the same thing. Very early to pick a winner.

    I also wonder why BB is willing to ignore 30% of their customers while claiming they are listening.

  2. Both formats will coexist. All this move does is send a portion of Blockbuster’s existing (and potential) customer base to rival Netflix (or Best Buy).

    I’m still waiting for a deal on the Xbox 360 HD DVD accessory. Until then, I’m fine downloading HD flicks from Microsoft on demand. In fact, we wasted 96 minutes of our lives on The Fountain last night.

  3. I think Blu-ray will win too. It is already out-selling HD DVD and the pace is accelerating. It has vastly more studio and CE and computer industry support, and it is just technologically superior.

    There are *many* times the number of BD drives in the world now, thanks largely to the PS3, and that continues to explode. Eventually Universal, the sole HD DVD exclusive major studio, will find that revenue hard to resist and will release titles on BD. Once that happens, it is all over. The only reason to get HD DVD is for content you can’t get on BD. And there is a lot more BD exclusive content than HD DVD – all Sony, MGM, Fox, Disney, Lionsgate, etc.

    It isn’t like DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW where the physical disc was the same, and it really was just firmware. BD and HD DVD have different physical structures and require different lens assemblies, or a more expensive dual-mode lens. So dual-format players will always be more expensive.

    As for BB ‘ignoring’ customers. They’re a business, and ROI is what matters. Shelf space isn’t free and it is finite. If they can put a BD title in the same space and an HD DVD title, and get more rentals, that’s better for them. So why stock HD DVD? Just like they’ve largely phased out VHS – there are still people who watch VHS, probably more than HD DVD and BD put together at this point, but they can make more money putting DVDs on those shelves.

    Plus the format war is bad for Blockbuster, so I’m sure they did this as a way to help push HD DVD over the cliff.

    I will cheer when HD DVD dies, I’m pissed with Toshiba for starting the war. And make no mistake, it was Toshiba – and to a lesser degree, NEC – who cause this mess.

  4. The strength of Blockbuster’s online offering is Total Access… which would be crippled in stores without HD DVD discs.

    It’s still early and the numbers of high def rentals are relatively small. Maybe MZ is right, and Blockbuster is helping HD DVD to an early death.

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