Sony might be overly giddy now that it’s wiped HD DVD off the mat. How else to explain the company’s apparent 2008 sales targets for Blu-ray: It says Blu-ray will have a 50% share of the DVD market by the end of this year. What does that mean exactly? We’re not sure.
But according to a cryptic article in DigiTimes, Sony’s president, Ryoji Chubachi said at a press conference in Taipei last week that Blu-Ray accounts for 20% of movie disc demand and DVD accounts for 80%.
If Ryoji means that Blu-Ray will account for 50% of the movies sold, then this plan seems delusional, unless prices for players and movies plummet — which seems even less likely now that there’s no competition. For example, the bestselling Blu-Ray movie at BestBuy.com is 300, which sells for $30. The DVD version sells for $14.
And even if he means that the market share for all Blu-Ray media will be 50%, that still seems like a reach, because prices are still high. The cheapest blank, recordable Blu-ray disc on Amazon.com was about $11. You can get a spindle of 25 DVD-Rs for about $1 more. Obviously Blu-Ray has a much larger capacity and delivers a much better picture, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to be willing to pay for it.
Sony seems to be working on one step toward accomplishing this goal: Ryoji said that Sony will be releasing Blu-Ray on a number of different product lines (an HD TV that has integrated Blu-Ray recording technology, more Blu-Ray drives in computers). But even that, coupled with the fact that the PS3 is expected to outsell the Xbox 360 this year, makes us think we’re missing something in the translation.
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