Blockbuster Deals Blow to HD DVD Camp By Choosing Blu-ray

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After testing out both Blu-ray and HD DVD rentals in 250 of its 1,450 stores, movie rental chain Blockbuster has gone with Blu-ray as the format it's going to widely deploy next month. The decision comes as customers in those 250 stores chose Blu-ray 70% of the time, obviously more than doubling the amount of HD DVDs rented. That's a pretty big margin this early in the format war.


However, HD DVD diehards have a slight bit of hope left. Blockbuster will still continue renting HD DVDs in the original 250 locations, so there could be a possibility in changing the decision if customers start renting a lot more of the HD discs or studios start pumping out a lot more movies on that format. We wouldn't count on it.

Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray high-definition discs over rival HD DVD format [Pittsburgh Live]



This move seems a little bit short-sighted to me. While Blockbuster may have just backed the right horse (and may help ensure Blu-Ray wins), the data they have is a short snapshot that almost certainly has been skewed by curious PS3 users trying out their HD movie capability.

This could be a short term blip in the data, rather than something that'll be sustained. While the PS3 is an important factor in the short term prospects of Blu-Ray, long term sales will be dominated by dedicated players. The data Blockbuster has gathered would be analogous to deciding which system's games to stock based on retail sales in the month following Halo 3's release.