Blu-ray Victory Party on Crank
The disk format war is over according to Sony Computer Entertainment America and Blu-ray has won. January sales statistics look good for the Blu-ray Disk Association but the victory party is clearly on Crank.
The snapshot in sales figures that has SECA so happy looks like this. As of January total Blu-ray sales are 439,000 while total HD DVD sales are about 438,000. That's only a 1000 sales difference – hardly enough to start the parade. The top selling Blu-ray disk in January was Crank selling 7,500 units. HD DVD's top seller in January was Batman Begins at 4,100 units.
It's certainly true that if you compress the entire format war into the month of January it looks like Blu-ray has taken a slight lead in a race that only about 11,000 out of billions of people care about. Both the new formats are hardly a blip on the radar of the public conscious. Neither has won anything! Hi-def disks are just a niche market at best and the format war ensures the technology will remain underground. Let's put this into perspective:
Total sales of Crank on DVD was two million in its first week. That's not the whole month, that's just in the first week it became available.
Sony declaring victory over Crank's 7.5K sales and 1K more total sales over HD DVD sounds like pure Orwellian newspeak. Sony giving the thumbs up declaring "Mission Accomplished" reminds me of another declaration of victory aboard an aircraft carrier not so long ago.
This "war" for all the passion it elicits from Toshiba or Sony true believers only obscures the fact that both have lost. The consumer's are buying HDTVs but sales figures indicate they're not ready to buy an HD disk format. The "war" seems only to be resulting in a pyrrhic victory for either contestant.